443 Comments

Annnnnnd this is why im happy to be a paying subscriber. this whole notion of mass victimhood and helplessness is taking us in to dangerously anti-democratic territory. Your framing of the problem is just fantastic.

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If a college student finds consent so complicated, why in the world do we allow them to vote? Make contracts (loans - yeah, THAT one's already biting us in the ass)? Take any serious role in society?

If college students find consent too complicated, perhaps they shouldn't be allowed to make ANY decision by themselves. Or be allowed to drink alcohol. Or smoke marijuana. Or drive a car. Or go out in public unsupervised. Or dress themselves.

This generation seems all too eager to infantasize itself. And too many adults are allowing.

Here, have a ribbon

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Absolutely agree 100%. If they want to be treated like a kid, then we’ll raise the age of adulthood for everything to 25, when science tells us that the brain is fully developed.

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That's an interesting concept. Perhaps raising recruitment age with it might help starve the Pentagon of naive 17 yr olds signing up to come home broken or not at all.

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I totally would agree with your comment except you seem to think the student loan crisis was the result of entitled millenials and not the result of an economy that has been gutted from top to bottom by a confluence of factors, most notably by financial regulatory capture and private equity. It's important people realize that not everything is within our control, but the things that we're mostly responsible for the things that are.

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Firstly, you erroneously assume there's a student loan crisis. I don't. I think there's a crisis of integrity to one's word and obligation. IF you borrow money, pay it back!

Secondly, if these infantile students don't understand the obligations that a student loan presents, then as suggested, don't let them make them. They're too immature ... it's "too complicated"

Finally financial regulatory capture and private equity only influence the terms of the loan, not the integrity and willingness of the borrow to repay what they agreed to repay. Teaching them that if they throw loud enough tantrums for long enough that they won't have to honor their obligations teaches a behavior no society or economy can sustain.

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Let’s not condescend to an age group. People of all ages have misgivings about their personal lives. Adulthood isn’t achieved all at once. It’s trial and error that lasts a lifetime. Managing sexual relationships, intimate or casual ( that my sudden classification, take it or leave it) is a challenge for lot of older adults, too.

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I tend to agree. And people in all age groups are happy enough to play victim and blame someone else for their own stupidity or regret. It's indeed a failing of character.

But I would argue that this generation has been uniquely rewarded for refusing accountability in all things; for routine petulance and immaturity that thwarts their character and makes them believe that they need never take life's lumps and learn from them.

And that's some scary shit.

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I agree with everything EXCEPT the homophobic nature of this smear campaign. For a glimpse into how this exact scenario plays out in a hetero context, look no further than what happened to the Canadian artist Jon Rafman just last month. The parallels are uncanny. In his 30s he had completely consensual sexual encounters with women in their early 20s that he met on dating apps. The testimonies which can be read on an unironically titled instagram page surviving_the_artworld, reveal that the women admired his art and saw him as a “gatekeeper” to success. They now state that after multiple sexual encounters with him and no grievances ever being aired, they couldn’t possibly have actually consented, after apparently consenting, because of the power imbalance derived from his social clout in the Montreal art scene. None of the women worked for him and he made no promise of art world success.

Rafman’s consequences seem even more severe than Alex Morse’s as well. Multiple museum exhibitions were cancelled and galleries dropped him within the first few days the accusations becoming public. No investigations seem to have been done at all. More proof that cultural institutions are run like HR departments, terrified of the slightest controversy.

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«cultural institutions are run like HR departments, terrified of the slightest controversy.»

They are selling something -- why discourage potential buyers if for profit or potential donors if non-profit? Especially if many buyers or donors are "liberal and affluent" and they have their own image to cultivate, and they want zero risk of being tainted by association? It is exactly like during McCarthysm: why risk tainting by association, however tenuous?

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Right. Economics are naturally in play in all these cancellations. Years ago cultural institutions used to, or pretended to, court controversy for the sake of public interest. That sold tickets as well as pushing the culture’s most sensitive buttons in ways we need artists to do.

Controversy, in its contemporary iteration simply does not exist without protests, boycotts, and struggle sessions. I imagine standing behind someone who seems marred by the slightest stain is completely untenable to somebody sitting on the board of a publicly funded museum in 2020.

The trouble that Alex Morse is in is actually quite enviable compared to a Jon Rafman style cancellation. At least Morse only has to rely on the voters to determine his fate, most of which don’t understand any of this critical theory infected nonsense, rather than a terrified collection of professional administrators who only wish to survive the purge.

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Sorry, Matt, but I think you've dropped the ball on this one. There is a power imbalance such that, and the students here used exactly the right phrasing, "consent becomes complicated." This isn't rape, where consent is absent. But nor is it as consensual as two strangers meeting in a singles bar and deciding they want each other. It's complicated, and the students are right to raise questions if events they organize are being used in a troubling manner.

Your assumption that "this question would less likely be raised about a 31 year-old part-time male lecturer having sex with female students," seems like an ad hominem attack offered without evidence - a sexuality version of playing the race card. Don't discard an idea because of assumptions you choose to make about the person offering that idea. Either the idea stands on its own merits or it doesn't. (I don't share your assumption, BTW, because I know of a male speaker who was sleeping with females at colleges where he spoke, and his career took a huge hit during #MeToo. Plenty of people find it troubling even when the one with the power is straight.)

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I think you're a bit naive. The College Democrat move has the convincing feel of an engineered political hit by his well-funded primary opponent.

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Indeed. It’s been happening to all the progressive candidates. They even used Warren to do it to Bernie. But the DNC were smart and got to destroy Warren by having her do so.

They’ve also done it to Shahid Buttar. Any progressive candidate and BOOM! Sexual misconduct.

Ironically, they’ll do everything they can to protect Biden even though he had a sexual allegation levied against him. And they did everything they could to discredit the poor woman.

The DNC is disgusting.

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And they're hanging AOC out to dry. The Democratic obstruction of progressive candidates is more effective - and covert - than the Republican effort.

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Welcome to the party. The vast majority of men right of center have been accused of some sort of assault or perversion.

I bit odd for the party that harbored Epstein and Weinstein and the rest of their media creepers for 20+ years.

The DNC should get its house in order. They were once a solid party with admirable values, now it's banana republic with a victim Olympics overlay.

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But nothing seems to do the trick. Certainly not decay and defeat.

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It’s because they are half of our political system. Wanting them gone is grossly shortsighted.

Given the illiberal DNC of today, don’t be shocked when the RNC ranks grow with more sharply tongued, perhaps militant leaders and many normal folks support them. Europe is a decade ahead on this evolution; at least it’s still relatively peaceful from the right.

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Biden's revolting behavior with women, young girls and little girls is evident in miles of footage. Ask your YouTube provider if Joe is safe for your nine-year-old!

Can anyone offer some insight as to why the DNC wanted this peculiar individual to be the candidate?

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2008 - plea bargain by a corrupt, politically inept candidate. She dropped out and supported Obama in exchange for Secretary of State and the 2016 DNC nomination, which she got even though she was so bad she couldn't even beat a sleaze like Trump. No doubt there was a similar deal this year. Business as usual.

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I agree this looks like a political hit. The College Democrats could have contacted him privately if this was an issue for them. But they dropped a sledgehammer on him publicly, it looks like on the first go-round.

On the other hand, these days there's a group relish for destroying people whenever opportunity knocks, so maybe not.

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Beat me to it. Good screen name.

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I have to disagree.

At some point your an adult or you are not and adult.

So what if something is complicated. Life is complicated. All relationships are unbalanced and complicated.

Not all things are black and white, they are gray and nuanced and this is one of those and it is up to BOTH people in the situation to use JUDGEMENT.

We cannot have No means NO and then say that the Yes was only given because of a possible, maybe, in the future it might be a problem form me.

I call BS.

At some point you gotta grow the heck up and learn to stand up and not whine later because your too much of a weak coward to say what you think or how you feel.

NO adult in this world is entitled to be protected from themselves and their own decisions.

As you said, this is a complicated thing. For that reason, the ADULTS, and they are all adults, should manage it between themselves.

WORSE....they took this public and humiliated the man.

What BS.

Being an adult means having the maturity and the strength to stand the heck up for YOURSELF not go whine to your comrades and then set out to wreck a man because he is involved in a situation that makes you feel awkward or uncomfortable.

Its called having character.

God, these people make me sick they are SO weak and whinny. I'm embarrassed for them.

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What you articulated here is what Camille Paglia has been saying for around three decades now: so you had bad sex, or a bad experience, or whatever: FUCKING DEAL WITH IT. So what? The world doesn't care about you, or your whining, or your bruised feelings. Right now in the world there are people lying in the rubble of bombed cities, or starving, or unable to speak for fear of prison time...and you want to complain aboot yer petty cunty grievances? GROW UP AND SHUT UP.

(Disclaimer: Camille Paglia did not, admittedly, say all of this. She would have had to have used a Scottish accent to do so. Please don't sue me, Camille! No androgens were harmed during the making of this production)

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OMG....I think back to some of the women I slept with in the army and in college and I think to myself that I was a complete idiot.

There were some that I really really wish I could forget.

BUT...I do not blame them, and some were 10 yrs older, I blame myself.

I made bad judgements. I live with them. I learned from them. I moved on and eventually learned not to repeat them.

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Anybody who does not cringe at some shitty sexual experience they have had, with a sexual partner they could quite happily never see again for their entire lives, human or animal or vegetable....should not be allowed to talk aboot the subject. Or to drink alcohol-free beer again, thus allowing themselves to be willingly put into sexually dodgy situations they can thus whine aboot later: "MY shit sexual experience I regret was worse-better than YOUR shit sexual experience you regret!" :)

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This is a key difference between many men and women. Women don't put themselves in situations to have shitty sex nearly as often, while men are often so shamed by their bro's they'll avoid it for at least a month or two :).

One of the worst parts of our neo-Puritan revolution is when both people enjoy the evening of love and/or debauchery, but one party wants more and doesn't get it. This underlies much of the campus kangaroo courts, and the blame vectors quite predictably from one sex to the other.

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(Sorry, some problems here. Posted this post, it replicated twice, I deleted once, and it deleted twice)

Women are just as guilty as taking advantage of drunk men as vice versa, though they would never admit it. It can have obvious problems for a man. A friend of mine lost his virginity when he was drunk at 15 to an older teen girl at a party when he was drunk, and he said she basically took advantage of him. So it happens. The opposite sex are, obviously, best avoided when drunk, for ego and, in men, rigidity reasons. If they want something and can't get it, they can be fucking brutal in the things they say.

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As Matt put it, they want to be permanently infantilized. It’s disturbing.

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Haha! That is disturbing! 🤣

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Confess, before I watched the video I posted the link. I thought it was an actual video clip. It's from an anti-porn porn film called Cafe Flesh, which is actually really funny and good. From 1982. You should check it out, you'd love it! :)

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Interesting! I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation. =)

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I simply can't let this go by any longer. Your use of "your" instead of "you're" is incredibly annoying.

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What in your view does "consent becomes complicated" mean?

Consent either existed or it didn't. It's binary.

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How dare you make them conform to binary. This is a nonbinary world and I feel unsafe by your usage of a word I don't understand. Mommy!!!!

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Not exactly. There are at least four scenarios: consenting because I want to; consenting even though I DON'T want to, because I fear what this person could do to my future if I offend him; NOT consenting, because I'm not interested; and NOT consenting, even though I AM interested, because I fear what this person could do to my future if it turns out badly. Women have been weighing those four scenarios since the beginning of time. (Perhaps men are less familiar with them.) I assume this is why universities have had policies forbidding student/professor relationships since long before the New Puritans appeared on the scene. I loathe them as much as Matt does, but I think he's a bit off base on this one – especially with his suggestion that this wouldn't have happened if the Mayor/Professor were straight. (Hello? Have y'all been following the #MeToo movement?) The New Puritans are positively giddy in their support of all things LGBT. Straight white males? Not so much.

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A thousand times no. Two reasons.

Your four quadrant distinction is still only two. Either there was or their was not consent.

Far more importantly, your post confuses the notions of coercion and fear. You state that fear is what renders consent null but it's not, it's coercion. Coercion can happen positionally because one takes a job where one has control over outcomes for another and/or it can happen because of an action one takes that threatens an outcome against another. In the absence of either of these, a feeling of fear is irrelevant. It doesn't matter what someone feels, it matters what people do. To believe anything else reduces "free exchange" to only those who have no potential to harm us under any circumstances which means there is little or no free exchange at all.

And in this particular case, the Major neither took a job wrt the students that put him in a position of power nor did he DO anything coercive. In that context, consent is freely given.

You have, perhaps unwittingly, bought in to the (to me) horrifying dynamics of the current "thought" that all relationships are shaped by inherent power dynamics rather than by the behavior of free individuals.

I urge you in the strongest terms to reconsider. There is nothing to darkness down this path you are treading.

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I can't imagine having your mindset and also feeling empowered. There is a have your cake and eat it to dynamic in today's rampant PC culture.

Gender is just a construct...I'm a woman hear me roar...but I can't consent with a yes or no because consequences.

It's all so tiresome.

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It's a rhetorical device. It doesn't really mean anything, but it sure sounds wise. Many a career are built on such statements.

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I don't know all the details of this story, but I agree with Matt about the "power imbalance" issue. If a young mayor/college lecturer is doing something wrong by trying to date adult college students (who are not his own students) then wouldn't anyone in in a position of any kind of power (politician, company owner, celebrity) be doing something wrong by trying to date anyone younger than them or with a less important job? It seems to me that this expands the idea of "power" so much that it would prohibit most dating. What if the captain of the football team asks out an unpopular girl who is a year younger than him? Does that mean she has to go out with him because he has more "power"? Has he done something wrong by asking? What if a senator asks a nurse out? Is that an abuse of "power"? The idea of abusing power in sexual relationships used to be confined to situations where the powerful person had actual power to fire, promote, punish or grant opportunities to the person they initiated a sexual relationship with. So I agree that it looks like the concept of power is being expanded here in an alarming way.

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That’s the joke. Congress is riddled with sexual “misconduct” scandals. It’s the blind leading the blind with regard to integrity of sexual relations. Lately it seems the Democrats are trying to herald in a sex free, and as Taibbi says, humorless agenda. Obviously, neither of these is desirable, integral or necessary.

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Or it is narrowing the definition of power by willfully ignoring the power of sexuality. The stereotype is of a young woman dating a sugar daddy twice her age, but it does illustrate how a young person can use their sexuality to reverse (or exploit) other hierarchies of power like wealth, political positions, etc.

I have first-hand knowledge of students, who think they are being subtle, ham-handedly try to flirt their way to better grades. Students also threaten to claim the opposite, trying to use extortion for better grades. (Which is why no one has office hours in their offices anymore.) So these students are not entirely unaware of that power dynamic.

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When you consider the fact that money is also power, the argument becomes even more ridiculous.

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Agreed. Even if two parties are apparently "evenly matched" one of them may simply think of themselves as the "lesser" and we're off to the races. LOL, how could Larry Ellison ever find a partner if he wasn't hiring them every so often?

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i think what’s illiberal about this is the constantly changing and totally nebulous rules. people are labeled evil when they do things that violate no rules. It’s one thing to use this as an anchor for discussion about what norms should be, it’s quite another to definitively determine it is retroactively bad and apply publishment for a non-existing standard. thats what makes it illiberal.

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Agreed. I think Matt is mistaken if he’s saying that this kind of policy would not be enforced against a heterosexual adjunct professor. But the reduction of intellectual debate to a zero-sum power game is really disturbing.

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Human relationships are complicated. All of them. To accept "it's complicated" as a battle cry for lynching a political adversary is craven and unconscionable and the New McCarthyism.

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I don't see anything in this piece about lynching a political adversary. All I see is College Democrats of Massachusetts discontinuing to invite a speaker to their events in light of the speaker's past conduct at these events. That's very different.

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Putting it out in the public space and not keeping it private was intended to humiliate him and take him down politically.

It was intended to harm.

There is no reason that they could have just not invited him and never have announced why.

They could have sent two or three representatives to explain to him privately why they would not be inviting him.

There was NO REASON to take this public.

Nobody is claiming that the man is a dangerous predator and the public needs to be warned.

This should have been kept private for both his sake and that of his lovers.

Decency demands it be kept private to the extent possible.

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Then you'll want to give it another read, and if you've forgotten U.S. history, take a look at Clarence Thomas' cry of "highs-tech lynching"

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Well that is because Matt ignored how this evil SOB is pulling all the strings to get the media to talk about all the icky gay sex rather than his awful record. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/paulmcleod/surprise-billing-deal-richard-neal

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Thank God...I thought I was the only subscriber who believed that Matt was way off the mark in this situation. A 31 years old heterosexual female high school Biology teacher would be fittingly eviscerated for having consensual sex with her 18 year old student. So, why would a 31 year old part-time [gay] male college professor be given a pass for having consensual with his 21 year old student, be it female or male? There's no Puritanism at play here...is just plain old inappropriate behavior perpetrated within the power structure of an institution of education. Sorry Matt, you're just wrong on this one.

Whether Alex Morse should be disqualified from running for Congress is up to 1) the powers that be who are unfortunately in charge of anointing the Chosen in our undemocratic system of American candidacy selection, and 2) the Democratic (or Republican) voters who are forced to choose from the candidates that are offered up to them by the power elite. In this case Morse stuffed his own closet full of unsavory skeletons.

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He was not having sex with his students. He was a politician and sometimes teacher in his twenties having sex with college students - not HIS students.

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hey. matt. thanks for engaging in the comments. i appreciate it

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EXACTLY...he was (and is) a politician, and politicians have enemies. One of my favorite politicians, a woman of color, who would NEVER, EVER be a 2020 V.P. consideration for the Democrats, is Tulsi Gabbard...all because she's been branded by her (Democratic) peers as an "Assad Apologist" (and a clandestine homophobic personage) which is actually just code for somebody in Congress who hates forever war and The Military Industrial Complex. If Morse's political enemies want to portray him as someone who preyed upon students by using his power position as a "sometime teacher", then that's gonna be the spin. When an archived silly photo of the former comedian, the excellent Senator Al Franken was unearthed during the early days of the #Me Too movement, he was toast. Now that was a real travesty, especially because his Democratic colleagues in Congress were absent in his defense.

Morse is the mayor of the 37th largest city in Massachusetts. The Justice Democrats wouldn't give a shit about him if he weren't an openly gay candidate...because if straight, he would just be another privileged white guy, even if his policies were progressive. It's a cynical world, Matt...and politics is dirty, and running for office sucks if you're not already the moneyed incumbent.

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You're offbase. The Justice Dems have backed plenty of straight white guys less known and less connected than Mayor Morse, if they support the platform. It's the media and the political establishment that doesn't pay attention to that.

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Since 2018, the Justice Dems have supported about 100 candidates, and straight, white males were a minority by a long shot. Morse is the mayor of a town that ranks 37th in size in the State of Massachusetts, and his resume is limited to the mayoral duties of Holyoke, a town of just 40,000. There are about 20,000 mayors in the United States, many from cities much larger than Holyoke...I just haven't read anything about this guy that's particularly special, outside of his (yawn!) Ivy League education.

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Matt, I hope these little snowflakes ever find out about Ted Kennedy-- not even Chappaquidick, but his incessant womanizing while the longstanding rep from Mass. Ya think being an intern or associating with Larry Craig, Bill or Hillary, et al doesn't come with "unspoken undercurrents"?

I agree that seeking independence is retarded in some younger people, ironically more from those who are supposedly more highly educated and from higher economic status. Kids with jobs and going to jr. college seem to be pretty normal in their desire to be functional adults.

Alex Morse's sin was not f*ing other young adults, it was heading up against moneyed interests, 100%. And the so-called progressives will use gayness against him if it suits their needs. As well as prude-signaling with whatever volume of sex was inappropriate. Again, Bill Clinton and many others would not have made it thru this litmus test, but Bill got all his shit done before the internet so no big deal apparently.

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Thirties, right? Not that it matters so much. If students felt like they were getting targeted by a creeper repeatedly at organizational events, seems legit that the organization might send a note asking someone not to come to events? I guess I've been to plenty of bars, clubs, and house parties where creeps have been asked to leave. And behavioral standards for a formal political student group might be expected to be higher than any of those other places.

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Except they weren't HIS students. And if you read the article, it wasn't the hookups, but the social media invites. Does a friend request from someone you work on a cause with constitute a sexual proposition?

This kind of bullshit is why we don't have progressive policies. The guy is trying to unseat the corporate crony who voted to save surprise medical billing, and something like this derails him?

I'm not whining, but I am going to use myself as an example. I have a new baby and a wife with an obscure medical condition, and we were hit with ten thousand bucks in surprise bills, despite me paying 500 bucks a month for insurance. Because some 21 year never learned to grow up and was "disturbed" the guy he hooked up with turned out to be a mayor, you think my 8 month old daughter has to suffer? She has to wait for a totally pristine perfect candidate to get some relief? That money comes out of her future? "Woke" liberals are Rabid Capitalism's useful idiots.

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You might be surprised - no, you would be - that many conservatives agree with many so-called progressive points. But political Progs always take it a step too far. No, many miles too far.

The realization of an inch given is a mile taken is what militates against folks seemingly at opposite poles finding middle ground. The madness represented by the College Dems (who no doubt got their instructions from Moscow Center) as well as the niggling nitpicking by many commenters here are examples of that "mile taken".

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The baby Dems got their instructions from Morse's opponent, right-wing Rep. Neal. And they're playing silly word games to conceal the very political reality.

It's perfectly obvious, even if Matt doesn't actually call them on it.

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Excellent.

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he is now, I repeat NOW in his 30s. as in this present moment. besides you're right, it doesn't matter so much.

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With the connection to the heavy hitting Congress critter he was seeking to unseat, it makes me wonder whether someone got access to digital data to dig up some dirt?

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Catherine Fitts (former assistant sec at HUD under Bush I) said that it was standard to have a control file a/k/a dirty pictures on everyone. When they couldn't find anything, they'd make it up. Now with "deep fakes" you could fabricate anything. She ended up getting hammered severely when she tried to create systems to trace financing at fed and local levels. No big player wants to disclose where the gravy (and the fraud) are going.

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I can understand how it’d be disconcerting to have a casual sexual encounter with someone and find out that they held public office. It’d be good to disclose that up front. Ithaca, NY had a young mayor, maybe he’s still around. He was unmarried and unattached. I was told by one person how he had poor taste in sex partners.

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Disclosing it up front creates a "power dynamic" where consent is, at best, "problematic"... It appears this individual can only have fair and equitable sexual relations with other mayors. Even then, I wonder if the cities have to be comparable...

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Our mayor is single, 35, and hot as all get-out. No word on whether he's straight. Guess the city. Population roughly 500K

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Why would it be “disconcerting” to find out someone you fucked held public office? Particularly if it was a “casual” relationship? And why would that need to be “disclosed”? Casual sexual relationships are just that: casual. I’ve had hundreds of those. Never knew their last name (sometimes I didn’t know their first name), never knew what they did for a living, never knew much about them. Because, you know, it was a CASUAL relationship. If I found out that someone I was fucking was the mayor of some city, I’d be stoked. Definitely wouldn’t be “traumatized.” This is just asinine. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve been this irritated by a non-issue masquerading as a story in years.

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Keep your STI check ups, up to date.

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‘Asinine’ is precisely the word that came to mind for me as well. And Matt has correctly identified the sorry psychological state of those seeking protection from adulthood. At seventy, I find these exercises in hyper-fragility sad and ludicrous.

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As a woman in her 60's, I'll also bite. I didn't think the story on Aziz Ansari should have been published, Instagrammed, blogged, or publicized above the level of word-of-mouth. Here's my take on it. Yes, I'm one of those older "She could have just left" women.

What I think happened there was that Ansari saw the evening as a casual encounter potential and nothing more. The young woman, "Grace," met him at an event, they got to talking about photography, and he asked her out on a date.

Dinner was rushed, and back at his place afterward, he quickly started putting the moves on her. She kept pulling away, indicating that she didn't want to feel rushed, or like just a booty call. But she didn't leave. He kept trying again. She ended up saying "You guys are all the same." He called her an Uber to take her home. On the way home, she cried and felt violated. He said "Clearly I misread the moment" and apologized. She published the story in online.

Some older feminists said "In my day I would have just left." Younger women excoriated the older feminists for the "I would have just left" viewpoint. I'm pretty tame and fragile and repressed but I had my share of dates where it was clear I was on the "quick booty call" category in the guy's mind and would never be on the "he wants to make a good impression so he's happy to wait" track. So I would say "not so fast" and get "We should call it a night" and know we would never date again and chalk it up to, "he saw me as a potential booty call and no more than that." So I felt as other feminists my age, "I would have just left." Wouldn't have felt wonderful to know the guy saw only booty-call potential and not keep-dating potential, but could face reality and tell myself, "If I had had a one-night stand with him, I would have been less happy in the long run, than if I left without having a one-night stand with him....there was no way I was ever going to be able to change his image of me to the girlfriend track."

Also, in my day, let's say a woman DID want a one-night stand but wanted it to be a GOOD one-night stand. We would say, "That turns me off." I guess in a way that's what "Grace" was saying early in the encounter when she was saying things to the effect that he was rushing and being insistent not in a fun way, but I am sure "Grace" would not have desired a one-night stand even had it been good. It still would have meant she was on his booty-call track not a potential girlfriend track.

I think what was going on with "Grace" was that it hurt her ego to find out he was only interested in one thing and was rushing it at that. Leaving as soon as he put the moves on her in a non-suave way would have meant cutting her losses and admitting to herself that she was never going to be on the potential-take-seriously track with him. And she kept trying to rescue the evening and find something to feel good about, such as sweet conversation and flirting stopping short of a one-night stand with no finesse.

Guys know how to use finesse when you're on their "potential-take-seriously" track. I think what may have been going on in his mind was "this chick is down to get busy looks consensual to me let's go."

I think there's still a fundamental disconnect between a lot of men and a lot of women in that for a guy, even if a first date is just a booty call and no more, that's still an ego boost for him. For a lot of women, not so much. It's tough emotionally on a lot of women to go from "he was acting romantic at dinner now he's pawing me" to "he only sees me as a booty call I am better off cutting my losses and leaving." Maybe some women are also thinking, "If I say no at this point he might get mad." No shortage of that and I had trouble with it too until I matured a bit. So what if he gets mad? Boo hoo. He shouldn't have acted super romantic during the all-too-short wine-and-dine phase. Bait and switch, joke's on him.

"Grace" not only didn't leave after the first few attempts at pawing her; she felt violated rather than (as we would in my day) chalk it up to "he's all hands...no thanks!" and then she published the story without thinking maybe it would also reflect on her for not having the (I'm gonna use the word savvy) experience? resilience? to leave and say "I'm not into this, I'm gonna go now"

While I think Ansari probably was as crude in his attempt to get her interested as 500 million other dudes, he didn't do anything actionable. I think she didn't say a firm enough "no" because she wanted to salvage the evening and turn it into her getting back on the potential take-her-serious track, and that was never going to happen. Sure he was acting rather piggish, but in my day plenty of guys would try stuff and when told they were being too pushy, would stop and say things like "A guy's gonna try" but they would stop, and that's what Ansari did. For a long time before the final "I'll call you an Uber," though, there was a lot of "let's just chill" and the groping starting up again...which was just like 50,000 first dates I had in my day but the guy stopped when told to stop and when it got annoying enough, I'd cut my losses and leave and not date him again and he knew why. He was never going to turn into a potential sweetie pie or take me seriously as a real potential girlfriend or he wouldn't have been pawing me in the first place in quite that way. And we both knew it.

So older feminists responded to this Ansari story with, "I would have just left." And younger women weren't having it. Ansari was painted as having been more crude than I think he deserved, and I think that in my day a young woman would have sensed that he was only after one thing and been more willing to walk away and chalk it up to mismatched expectations rather than put him on blast for "feeling violated." She felt violated because he was treating the evening as only after-one-thing and she didn't want to cut her losses and say "This turns me off, I'm gonna go now." If he keeps spending money on dinners and getting "This turns me off I"m gonna go now" he'll figure out how to use a little more finesse or get a real girlfriend and quit with the booty calls. Lots of guys get to that point, and they know how to go about getting a real girlfriend and treating her like a potential-serious when they are ready.

"Grace" just didn't want to take the ego hit that she was on the "booty call only" track, when she thought they had more of a connection than that. And she didn't want to cut her losses and/or thought she could rescue the evening and make him quit pawing and get sweet.

I don't know where I'm going with this anymore. I don't understand why "I would have just left" is considered such a bad answer. He didn't do anything officially wrong. He was crude and handsy. A woman in that situation just leaving isn't being old-fashioned or anything. The old-fashioned approach would be not to go to his place after dinner. No one is saying to return to that. But there's nothing wrong with a woman in that situation saying "you know what, I'm not feeling it, I'm gonna go." The guy knows what's what. If he wanted a guaranteed booty call he knows where to find one. Joke's on him.

Are today's young women that terrified of annoying the guy in a situation like that by saying "You know what, I'm not feeling it, laters" while at the same time feeling too violated to say "Too bad, he turned out to be a masher and not a good one at that...next"

In my day there were stories in like Cosmo like this, about a date with a guy who seemed promising but turned out not to have any finesse and turned the woman off and she decided not to date that kind of many anymore... but no one named names.

I guess today there's more of a case for naming names but nothing Ansari reportedly did was anything worse than being insistent and pushy. I guess what I'm saying is in my day we would just leave, and tell our friends, but today the viewpoint is that it's right to put someone on blast for actions that don't really cross a line. It's like accepted that he really did cross a line when he actually stopped when she said...but she didn't leave and didn't leave so he would start up again. Leaving after the first couple of crude pawings, sure the woman would feel let down that that's what he thought of her, but what's wrong with just cutting her losses and saying "He's a jerk" and leaving?

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Casual is the key word here. His partner didn't care enough to even ask. Did Morse even know what his partner's situation was, either? It sounds like a simple hookup. I just don't see how that fits into the narrative they're trying to sell.

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Exactly! If you don’t care enough to even ask what someone does for a living (I never have), then you don’t have the right to be flabbergasted when the person you’re fucking turns out to be the mayor. This whole thing is absurd.

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founding

Here because I'm not sure a better way to get this to you... Gilead CEO said drug would save $12,000 per PATIENT, not per day of hospitalization. Your math is off when you multiply that by four and then are using $48,000. I suggest an edit ASAP. $12k makes sense with hospital cost numbers, the rule of thumb is about $3k per day, that's what is multiplied by four.

Also, not sure how else you think drugs should be priced than by what they save the system/insurer. That's exactly the math all governments use to figure out if they will pay for a drug, and so it's the math all companies use to figure out if they will try to develop a drug.

When I saw the piece was up I thought you were going after the real scandal: the massive billion dollar deals that are going towards therapies as moon shots, and towards vaccine production ramp up cost covering for things that will likely never work. These are so blatantly poses for the election and a huge waste of money, they are even worse than forcing the car companies to manufacture ventilators that we'll never use. A sad thing about the government's pathetic overall performance is that they couldn't even get the earnestly well-intentioned parts right.

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So just what is a mayor? Just some palooka who draws a six-figure salary?

Consider this, Matt- back in the day, we had what were called "authority" figures. It could be your Mom or Dad, a coach, a boss, a politician, a professional of whatever description. In short, someone who commanded respect and acknowledgement by virtue of selflessness, integrity, self discipline, public service and so on. These are such quaint notions these days. And that is 90% of the reason we as a society are so lost- we've lost basic human qualities and this is particularly so in those who would be our examples and leaders. It's timeless stuff and not something that laws or technology or activism can replace.

Now ask yourself- did Morse exhibit those qualities of a leader? Or did he answer only to his base desires?

Why keep wandering the wilderness, Matt? Why waste this article on defending the guy?

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And if Morse was the teacher of any of the students in question that would be relevant. As far as we know at the moment, he wasn't and so it isn't.

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Why would it matter if he was their teacher if the college had specific rules about faculty having sexual relations with ANY student? He's accused of allegedly “having sexual contact with college students, including at UMass Amherst, where he teaches, and the greater Five College Consortium.”

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Because that isn't their policy...

"UMass policy bans consensual sexual contact between faculty and 'any students or postdoctoral researchers they teach, advise or supervise.'"

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"UMass policy bans consensual sexual contact between faculty and "any student or postdoctoral researchers THEY teach, advise or supervise."

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Please...that doesn't mean that UMass (or any institution of higher education) generally condones sexual contact between faculty and students who aren't presently interacting in a classroom. If I had a professor who was my current lover, you could bet your bottom dollar that I be signing up for her class next semester, even if she taught outside of my major. That'd be any easy A+...without any effort on my part.

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LOL. You are again implying the student is being taught by the professor. There is no evidence of that.

UMass is of course free to do anything it likes but if something isn't prohibited by policy, it is permitted by policy, is it not?

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He is hardly a professor. He is a full time Mayor and teaches one class on the side. He got elected at 24, he isn't much older than them. This story is little more than the 2nd most powerful democrat in congress, who most recently sabotaged the effort to end surprise medical billing in the middle of a pandemic, playing dirty tricks to hold on to his seat. This is nothing more than a last min attempt to get all the news reporters to cover how much sex the gay guy is having.

The message very much intended to be given off by this is, if your gay, you better marry the first guy you sleep with like Mayor Pete or the democratic establishment will bury you.

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I'm an old lesbian and therefore super sensitive to homophobia wherever it lurks. I came out at a time when, for the heinous crime of being homosexual, you could be escorted by the cops directly from the bar into the back of a paddy wagon. You could get your name published in the newspaper, lose your job, your kids, your apartment, AND be thrown in the loony bin by your parents for that good, old fashioned, electroshock cure. And as a woman, the ugly dynamics of sexual coercion in the workplace is something I'm familiar with. I'd love to say it's gay baiting that's going on here. But that's a theory, an assumption. It doesn't read that way to me. It like an attempt to discredit a viable and winnable candidate by painting him as a sexual miscreant according to today's prurient, hyper-judgmental standards. Morse did not use his power or influence to acquire sex. He did not intimidate or coerce anyone. He engaged in short-term, garden variety, anonymous sex with slightly younger men (who were nevertheless adults), who didn't know who he was, and he knew very little about them either. He broke no rules. This kind of stupid moralizing needs to be brushed off like the cockroach it is.

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I agree entirely, except I don't buy that it is just some big coincidence that these students decided to come forward weeks before his primary against one of the biggest, scummiest, democrats in office.. I would be absolutely shocked if these kids don't all have internships lined up on the hill.

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Spot on, in all respects.

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Most teaching faculty AREN'T professors...but, lecturers and assistant professors have to follow the same guidelines of behavior set-forth by the institutions they work for. The former CEO of McDonald's, who's straight, is in hot water because he couldn't keep his pants zipped. The homophobic angle being pushed by Morse supporters is a red herring. If Morse is truly a stellar candidate, he'll rise above the accusations, like all of the other power players and opportunists who already occupy the halls of Congress and The White House.

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So by your insane logic, the fact that he teaches some 30ish kids once a week means that, even though the university does not have a policy against it he should have to disclose to every potential sexual partner that he teaches one class a week. All 22,726 undergraduates are off limits. I'm sure he'll have no problem dating on Grindr in a college town and avoiding all students, even though it isn't against any rules.

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Your 21, your an adult, act like one.

That means if some situation makes you feel awkward or uncomfortable then you stand the heck up and say so.

You try to do so discreetly and with respect and if that fails THEN and ONLY then do you take further steps.

Your 21, you can drink, you can drive, you can vote, you can serve in a war, you can pick your sexual partners.

ALL THOSE THINGS COME WITH RESPONSIBILITY!

That means being accountable for your choices and it means standing up and asserting yourself when a situation makes you uncomfortable.

Shit....I look back at some of the women I slept with in my 20's and want to kick myself but I sure as heck do not blame anyone else for my choices.

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So, it sounds like you were sleeping with "girls" who were below the legal age of consent when you were in your 20's? Why else would you want to kick yourself?

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He said women. Stop with the hysterics.

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God no!

I always went OLDER.

My girlfriend when I was 19 was 30, divorced and had 2 kids.

I had a fake ID in HS and college and started going to nightclubs when I was 16. I was dating women 7 to as much as 15 yrs older than I was.

In a lot of ways that was great. They had their own places which made sex easier. They expected nothing from me in the future because of the age difference. It was just sex.

But, I look back at a few of them, and I ask myself what the heck I was thinking.

Well, I know what I was thinking. I was getting laid a lot by women who were not going to make me jump through a bunch of hoops to get there and who knew what they were doing in bed.

The regret is that I had more than a few mornings I woke up and cringed.

The other regret is that in retrospect I missed dating a lot of very nice younger women that I might have had healthier relationships with.

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Clutch those pearls harder and you might even read into more that OP didn't write.

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Well, maybe they turned out to be mayors or professors at colleges he didn't even attend. Isn't that the logic you're using here? Why don't you ask that question to the guy who was "disturbed" the guy he hooked up with turned out to be a mayor?

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You’d have a tough time convincing others they were to blame.

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You would hope so...

But today?

These people want to pass off blame for the fact that they are unhappy with the outcome of their decisions and they want the world to protect them from themselves.

Sorry, that is just pathetic.

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Right, wasn't this the Aziz Ansari incident too? Chick has sex with Aziz, comes to regret it in the morning and suddenly it's #MeToo.

After reading some of the comments I'm kinda glad I had some regrettable nights. At least I learned something and could make better decisions in the future.

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They didn't even have sex! Ansari's date put out a blog much later about how it was a bad date. He didn't force her, or even, apparently, pressure her. And THAT became an issue. The crime, nowadays, for which one pays, is merely having "allegations".

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Having sex with someone 13 years your junior is unacceptable and worthy of “evisceration”? Seriously? My ex-girlfriend was 21 when we started dating. I was 34. We were together for almost three years. Should I be eviscerated? Fuck y’all.

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I would like it if the age-difference people would clarify exactly what age differences are permissible and how they arrived at the figure(s).

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this is why we have laws. anything above 18 goes. it can be 2 years difference it can be 40. doesn't matter.

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That's the _law_, which is supposed to cover extreme cases. I am more interested here in the disparaging of age difference which is perfectly legal. It looks like flat-out ageism, if that's a word -- prejudice against people because of their age.

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Looks like people succumbing to the ever-growing impulse to dictate the behavior of others and increasing the range of things subject to their judgement.

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Are the vast majority of sexual relationships not based on a power dynamic, whether traditional or kink?

Whatever side you are on for this topic, or more broadly in life or politics, the idea that certain groups (basically anyone that isn't a cisgendered WASP) have no autonomy or accountability is culturally insidious.

Taibbi is right, but in this century we aren't becoming Puritan to try and construct the most stable "units" of society, but rather the "moral" doing their best to dismantle it. Where this leads is very ugly....think Weimar or ANC, with each choice repulsive and un-American.

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Yes, this, exactly. All sexual relationships are based on a power dynamic. I actually applaud Morse for not bringing up the fact that he’s the mayor. I feel like that’d be something that I would use. You know, like,”Yeah, that’s right, suck that mayor cock....” haha!

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Agreed. Not to mention a significant if not majority of motivation, particularly for men whether gay or straight, for hard, often thankless work and achievement is to be more attractive to partners.

Should we comment on our next possible VP having an affair with a married 60 year old double her age to launch her political career? I'm sure she was just overwhelmed by the power lol.

Also, look up this study by Hall and Hirschmann published in 1995 in Behavioral Therapy...quite mind boggling the ages people view as attractive and the ages this falls off when just looking at random people.

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IF "the vast majority of sexual relationships" are based on a power dynamic, it is more complex than I ever see addressed by the vast majority of people, including yourself.

Matter of fact, much of the insanity and vileness of PC culture derives from the Foucaultian notion that EVERY human interaction is a contest of power. This is fucked up, unproven and worse, largely unquestioned by people who seem to think this "understanding" makes them smart.

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There are laws against secondary school teachers having sex with students. Are there laws about college instructors having sex with students who are NOT their students?

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Some do, not all. He is not a professor. He is a full time Mayor who teaches one class. This is dirty tricks by the scumbag incumbent who you can thank the next time you get a surprise medical bill.

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I would assume it would depend on the bylaws of the college with regard to faculty interaction with students. Most colleges and universities ban student-faculty dating, especially where a supervisory relationships exists.

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I agree. At the college where I teach, the rules are as follows: “Consensual Amorous Relationships with Students —

Relationships with Undergraduate Students Prohibited.

“The university prohibits any faculty member, including part time faculty, from knowingly engaging in a consensual romantic and/or sexual relationship with any undergraduate student enrolled in a degree-seeking program.“

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And that isn't the rule at the college where he taught, which says clearly "student in your own classes, or student you counsel or advise".

So, for the rule worshippers, for the 20th time: "No. He did not violate any rules of the college where he taught part-time".

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No, Matt’s not wrong. He just doesn’t suffer from your moralizing perspective. Lucky for him AND us.

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That’s not true. The rates of prosecution / incarceration for women sleeping with underage persons is not comparable to the rates with men.

There is substantial documentation of this.

One-off, Bourdain’s ex led the #MeToo movement despite what she’d done to the boy on set years before.

Women’s prison terms in general do not match men’s for similar crimes.

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I’ve seen studies that show all else equal, men are sentenced 1.7x years for the same crimes as women.

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Nah this is all horseshit. Not even recognizable to anyone over 45 who isn't part of the toxic university scene. I weep for the younger generations and am glad I'll be dead soon so I don't have to see them fail to meet the challenges ahead of them. I knew that you were all doomed regarding personal relationships when the Aziz Ansari outing occurred on Babe.com. I thought it was some clever parody of MeToo at first. Nope, it was serious. I'm surprised anyone who graduates from an elite university even knows how to fuck, such is the level of the miseducation that goes on there.

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Does "consent become complicated" if one person is older than the other? Wealthier? More worldly? Has great connections? Drives an amazing car that you'd always wanted to ride in? If one person pays for the other's meal -- or expensive tickets to a Broadway show? If you stopped having sex with him/her, you'd be kicked out onto the streets? It's just about always "complicated." That cannot be a reason to shun this particular gentleman.

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Your comment reminds me of the youtube pranks where a guy is standing next to a Lamborghini, asks girls passing if they want a ride, they all fawn, then he walks around the car to his Honda. The girls all leave.

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Sorry Billy but the idea that "two strangers meeting in a singles bar and deciding they want each other" is uncomplicated is really creepy. All sexual relations are complicated. How much did either party have to drink. Is there a racial or age or income disparity that might occasion, say, exertion of white privilege, when and how do the two come to understandings about HIV testing, VD status, how does one guarantee that A is not going to accuse B of rape the next day, who goes to singles bars anyway -- so cheesy, when is birth control discussed, how is sex without getting to know the other person well first supposed to be the ideally uncomplicated situation. It's more like the ideally screwed up situation. Do you actually think that two strangers acting impulsively over drinks is the standard sexual situation? Do you watch a lot porn too?

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You win the prize for the comment with the greatest amount of pretentious baloney. You realize, don't you, that you are one of the New Puritans Matt is talking about!

Unless your comment is meant as satire, in which case, never mind.

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OMG yes, satire.

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I agree with what you say, however, it’s not valuable or necessary to be the morals police.

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founding

Like this if you disagree with Billy the Kid

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If 40-ish Governess of the state had sex with the 30-ish Mayor of a city of the state, after meeting at a convention of their party, would "consent becomes complicated" apply? Should she be barred from further party conventions because of the risk of her preying on younger Mayors?

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Money is power. So then by your logic (and that of the letter), "consent becomes complicated" when two people with differing amounts in their bank accounts meet to potentially have relations? Obviously, that is ludicrous.

The test of whether "plenty of people find it troubling" does not make something moral or ethical. Someone familiar with the term "ad hominem" (though you used it improperly) ought to know what an "appeal to popularity" is. Plenty of people find homosexuality troubling. Must we pander to those sensitivities simply because they exist?

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It’s not meaningful to say something is complicated. Consent isn’t a spectrum. It’s normal to have sex.

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Puritanism still informs this country as it did in the 17th century. So very pathetic.

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I am sorry to report that I am part of a generation who raised their kids who are now all in their 20s to be afraid of everything. To be afraid of a world that is out to hurt you. After Columbine and the era of therapy and child abuse and the need to raise your kids to not be school shooters -- we raised them on the idea that they had to always be protected, visiting friends, on schoolyards, at restaurants. We came out of the era of child molestation being to our generation what Me Too is to this generation thus every adult was suspect. We would worry and interrogate our kids to make sure nothing like this was happening ever by anyone at any time. Imagine growing up like that. We're already at the place where a 21 year-old sleeping with a 17 year-old is considered pedophilia. Not rape, not statutory rape but pedophilia.

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I have worked brutally hard to make sure my 19 yr old did not turn out that way.

It has often meant letting her take hits I would like to have protected her from and it has meant forcing her to protect herself and stand up for herself when I could have easily stepped in and solved the problem. It has meant forcing her to do hard things like work her way through college.

But, she is strong, she is highly independent smart. She graduates a year early from college with a 4.0 in neuroscience and is already looking at early admin to law school. She is unafraid to confront anyone who tries to bully her and she is capable of using Tai Kwon Do to protect herself, plus I taught her combat knife fighting and how to shoot. She can handle herself in any circumstance.

But...she is also super kind and very protective of her friends and family.

My experience is that weak people look to be bullies. Strong people have no need or desire to be bullies.

The progressive head cases are all bullies.

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Or the place where someone can be routinely called a "tween rapist" on Twitter because a *satirical* book he co-wrote 20 years ago related a *fictional story* involving sex with a 15-year-old, taking place in a country which had just lowered the age of consent to 14!

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As ye sow...

Maybe those "baby on board" placards and bumper stickers were more foreboding than once thought

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«a generation who raised their kids who are now all in their 20s to be afraid of everything. To be afraid of a world that is out to hurt you. After Columbine and the era of therapy and child abuse»

I think that the underlying motivation is simple: once upon a time women had lots of pregnancies and a large percentage of them resulted in stillbirths or children who died young. Currently in many countries most middle class women only ever have 1 (at most 2) pregnancy, and often at the time where it is the last possible one, so the resulting child is an extremely valuable investment to them, not one of several, and no risk is allowed. In China the 1-child policy for urban families also resulted in the "little emperor" situation.

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I think this is intentional on the part of the elite who are trying to roll back population. Gates and the Rockefeller family have been eugenicists for decades now. Gates got caught in Africa by the Catholic church sterilizing kids with his "vaccines" according to some sources. Who knows if that's true in the post truth world we now live in.

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I agree that the treatment of Morse is deranged. But are you really sure this would be treated more leniently if the "perpetrator" were a 31-year old straight guy having relations with young adult women? I think it would worse, because they would add some pablum about the inherently unequal relations between men and women, in addition to the supposed overwhelming power one has as the mayor of a medium-sized town.

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Yeah, that's the one part that seems to miss the mark a little. I think Matt's reasons for why Morse was treated as predatory because he's a gay man are on the money, but a 31-year-old male mayor sleeping with female college students at his institution would have played equally well to the offendees. Probably the only person who might get away with it would be an older female professor/mayor and a younger male unconnected in any direct way outside of institutional affiliation. Then there'd be too many counter-arguments that the power dynamic equaled out or was somehow in the male's favor. Either way, it's puritanism,

though.

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It's pretty amazing to me that a whole segment of society can't admit that at 18 or 21 or some age whatsoever, it's time to let people make their own decisions and mistakes. I'm on the slightly older side of millennial, and I would have found the idea that I — as a college student — couldn't consent to sex with an older partner fucking insulting.

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Before I ran for office in 2008 (I served 2 terms in a countywide office), I had a criminal background search run, paid off my outstanding student loan, paid all my parking tickets and tollway fees, and put my financial affairs in order. For the next nine years, I never set foot in a place of "ill repute" including (gay) bars with strippers, 'novelty' shops, and avoided parties or gatherings where drugs were used. I even dropped my private masseur for a corporate massage provider to avoid any "talk."

If you're going to seek a public office, then you have to accept losing some of the perks of private life. You have to watch what you say and how you behave. One of the hardest things for me was driving without flipping anyone off.

The fact that Mr. Morse was picking up tricks on Grindr, let alone even having a membership, as a Mayor and congressional candidate shows a profound immaturity and lack of seriousness. If he wants to be a member of Congress, he needs to keep it zipped. I understand that many young college students are cute, but hitting on them as a candidate is just a tad smarmy.

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I think yours is the proper take-away. His actions evince poor judgement if nothing else, which perhaps (perhaps not?) reflect on some aspect of his overall character. People feel entitled to their sexual desires, however. That battle was won decades ago. But vestigal counter impulses remain. Are they worth listening to?

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Smarmy, or simply human?

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It's smarmy. Human beings are perfectly capable of exercising disciplined self-control.

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Do straight people have “tricks?” Or just gay people?

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Anyone who sells sex has tricks. Anyone who doesn't sell sex does not. Granted some gay people will use it as an insult (e.g. Oh, isn't that your trick over there?), or a humble brag.... I'm not gonna go down that rabbit hole, you get the idea.

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You are ignorant of gay culture or at least gay culture circa the 1970s and possibly 1980. “Trick” meant one-night stand. It has nothing to do with “turning tricks” as you seem to believe. But it’s weird that a presumably gay man who ran for public office uses this term to talk about consensual intimacy of gay men. Far be it from me to accuse a fellow gheh of internalized homophobia but if the shoe fits .... Or maybe “intimacy” is just for straight people and gay people just have “sex.”

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For the record, Michael is correct. The term "trick" was a deprecatory term used by gay men in the go-go years of the 70s & 80s to mean a 'one-night-stand.' Anecdotally, it's use seems to have disappeared after the AIDS epidemic when 'turning tricks' stopped being funny. I'm quite proud of my internalized homophobia, thank you very much. But what I would characterize as "weird" is calling a one-night-stand some glittering euphemism like "consensual intimacy." Give me a break. I'd like to think that "intimacy" means something a little more to me than what my dog would like to do about three times each year.

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*shrug* the difference between sarcastically implying someone paid for sex and a one night stand is awfully small. and I'm not touching the rest of that rage bomb.

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In the 80's and 90's, I "tricked" with many men. There is a wide chasm between paying for sex and engaging in a mutually satisfying consensual sexual experience. Your implication is that something that is not only illegal but rarely mutually satisfying are the same. Prostitutes provide sexual services that are overwhelmingly focused on the pleasure of the client. They aren't there for the pleasure of it.

Find something else to *shrug* off. Your homophobia and heterosexism are more than apparent.

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Yeah, Trick has been associated loosely with prostitution since the early 1900's. Do I doubt that in the 70's and 80's in gay culture it generally referred more to casual sex? no. But that doesn't mean that it fully separated and certainly not to the point where you have any basis getting upset at someone. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/16499/where-did-the-trick-in-the-phrase-turning-tricks-come-from

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And also I am so sick of people like you who are ready and eager to toss out homophobia as a defense to win an argument. You cheapen the term and make it that much harder for people who have to deal with actual homophobia.

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I'm not a child I understand that there is a world of difference between paying for sex and casual sex. I am gay. So I am well aware of that particular type of gay humor that conflates the two. I have almost never heard anyone use trick when referring to themselves or someone they were with and the few times I have sarcastically implying it was paid for would have been entirely appropriate. Google 'Turn a Trick' and then try to tell me it has never had anything to do with paying for sex.

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*or sarcastically, like above.

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I had to read hundreds of posts to finally come across a true adult who understands how the world works. Not how he'd like it to work but how it truly works. Not even Matt has this level of understanding- in fact MT is still quite a ways from it.

Why is it so hard to understand, that running for political office, or wanting people to buy your product or hire you or look at your shitty painting, means you have to earn and keep their trust? Let me say it again- THEIR TRUST. Because when you want them to trust you, it no longer is about YOU.

I'm reminded of that California congresswoman who was run out of office due to her indiscretions. Wasn't that consensual? Totally low rent. And we want these people making our laws?

This guy/gal gets it. The rest of you are just destroying electrons.

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If only Congress were so chaste! Ethics matter, no doubt. The question is what is ethical and what isn’t? Is it unethical to have SLD? To have consensual sex? I’d say “no” to each of these.

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I think you miss the hypocrisy that the Democratic Party and the radical left are all about supporting sexual freedom etc. So why would they expect these rules for their politicians? Seems very odd to me. I can understand why you would do it because you don’t want to give easy ammo to your opponents but it goes against all the pro-sex agenda that the left pushes.

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Since when are Dems about supporting sexual freedom?

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I live in Neal's congressional district. There was no chance he was going to lose, but it's amazing how quickly the Morse signs all came down in my very liberal town. Neal's position makes him one of the most powerful Democrats in the House, which is usually a reason to keep him so the pork keeps rolling our way. But I don't think he's done anything for our district in decades. It would have been helpful if Morse could have given the near comatose Neal a scare but it looks like it's not to be.

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yeah, he's great if you happen to be a private equity ass hole. sucks if you are just an average middle class person with health insurance. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/paulmcleod/surprise-billing-deal-richard-neal

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This is a great piece. Thanks. You've been terrific for years, but your work these last few months has been in every way indispensable.

I don't know if anyone's seen or commented on this, but chapters of the DSA, the Sunrise Movement, the College Democrats and others have thrown Mr. Morse under the bus based on these accusations. (Sunrise, whose raison d'etre is to get Green New Deal legislation passed, revoking an endorsement of a GND-positive candidate based on accusations of totally legal behavior because they are, in their words, a "youth movement" is wild.) I feel like all of these groups misinterpreted Bernie Sanders' 2016 platform and perverted it into the most wild version of identity politics imaginable (maybe because those battles are winnable?). Even the Justice Democrats and "the squad" worry me. AOC using constant accusations of racism and sexism as a cudgel don't inspire my confidence.

I suppose there's this idea that you can bring down people - as they have at the university level, the media level, and elsewhere - by levying an accusation of sexism, racism, or some form of "bad thoughts," but this will ultimately be self-defeating, and doesn't square with any form of leftism or liberalism in my mind. I had to do a work project with one of the aforementioned groups recently, and every interaction I had with them felt like I was communicating with a cult. It was not pleasant, and their stated political goals are mainly aligned with mine. At least I was getting paid.

I know people keep bringing it up, but people on this "new left" seem more and more anti-sex daily. (Even the commenters here seem to be on board to punish Mr. Morse!) It's great that we can now have openly gay politicians winning legitimate national elections, but we're quick to punish the behavior of a sex-positive, young, gay bachelor. (Sometimes I feel like the only answer with these people is to never have sex. Or talk about it.)

Don't get me started on what's been happening in the underground music, film and art scenes of late. A slew of Instagram pages devoted totally to unsubstantiated and anonymous rumors have become quite popular, and have broken up bands, labels, review websites and shut down art shows without investigation or remorse. (An Ellen DeGeneres is big enough to withstand a thousand accusations of being mean, or having sleazy producers, or, uh, keeping the studio too cold during tapings and survive, but a small independent art venture can't withstand any attack at all. A fairly large indie label, with a popular yearly music festival, was just totally shut down in less than 48 hours based on an Instagram page designed to do exactly that.) A multi-decade American arts counterculture is in danger of disappearing, and I hate it.

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John, I'm really interested in the story of those rumor sites -- could you tell me more?

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The Rafman case, based on accusations published on an anonymous Instagram account created solely to destroy him, is one of the most appalling cases I have seen yet. The campaign to cancel him was absurd yet highly effective. The stories on instagram describe clearly consensual Tinder hook-ups pursued by both sides that took place six years ago; each story is published with a trigger warning that mislabels them as "abuse" or "predatory behavior"; the creators of the account target all the institutions and galleries the artist works with and demand to denounce him and not support his work; institutions give in within 72 hours and cancel all his shows without any due process; Ny Times covers it; the guy's life and reputation is in shatters. Rafman was not a mayor of a city, just an up-and-coming artist, yet these women to claim that they saw him as a "gatekeeper" to the art world and therefore claim he "abused his power" to get them to sleep with him.

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The Rafman case is a really extreme one, but it has the hallmarks of what's happening in arts organizations. If words like "abuse" or "power imbalance" or anything of that nature is thrown next to a tawdry retelling of consensual sex in a smaller, liberal, art-forward organization, that's usually it. In Rafman's case, every gallery, museum or organization dropped him immediately without investigation and that's really it for him.

I know from personal experience that when one person within an organization finds a certain work offensive and makes a stink about it, all of the (invariably liberal) personnel will drop the work immediately, as they don't want to appear to old-fashioned, backwards, or, god forbid, conservative. Most people are not willing to put up the fight, and that's why you see galleries, repertory cinemas, music venues, art journals, museums and the rest quietly dropping anything controversial in favor of an "all woke, all the time" format. The public doesn't hear about 99.9% of these battles.

There's a similar battle happening where older personnel are having petty accusations about things like bad pay and lack of benefits conflated with racism and sexism. The stories about Salvador Salort-Pons at the Detroit Institute of Arts are telling, wherein low-level, non-senior staff seemed willing to leverage every petty accusation they can think of at him to bring him down. Luckily for Salort-Pons, other staff and people in the arts community came to his defense and saved him. These battles are being fought to move up the ladder much quicker, so to speak. Young zoomers take entry level positions with the expectation of a living wage and benefits from day one (and I don't blame them for this!), and seeing the hoops they have to jump through, and the years they have to put in, go for the quicker, easier path of wild accusations to shake up the personnel. Often, an organization will shutter before they can address any of these issues. These same young people are also shocked and dismayed when they find out the director of the non-profit, or the gallery owner, or the bookstore manager is 55 years old making $45K a year, and working 60+ hours a week, just because they're in the field they want to be in.

When the New York Times publishes a giant feature about two young women complaining about themes in the works of Balthus they find unsavory (along with a giant color photo of them), and trying to have his paintings removed from the Met, what sort of message does that send? People in New York arts have been perfecting their craft, and working their fingers to the bone for decades to get even a fraction of that kind of publicity, and it's just given away to the young and offended. Why put in the work? Why create when it's so easy to destroy?

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Matt, it appears that a lot of cease and desist letters have gone out and shut some of these Instagram pages down. I'll leave the names of some of the artists I like that have been embroiled, because they're not quite canceled yet, but they have gone dark for a while at least.

The first of this type of Instagram site I saw is one that some friends in Austin sent me. It consisted of people trying to get bartenders and waiters and grocery store clerks fired for perceived, often petty offenses. It was gross. This became quickly trendy and there were pages like this for every conceivable type of organization, for a brief, horrible moment.

This one has been written about a good deal, and I know the Red Scare ladies defended Mr. Rafman on their podcast, which was re-tweeted and supported by Glenn Greenwald. Even the Times covered this, I believe. An Instagram page about the Canadian art world had Jon Rafman's fairly major show shut down based on allegations of what appear to be consensual sexual encounters that people felt weird about later:

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/hirshhorn-museum-halts-jon-rafman-show-after-allegations-surface-online

Here's the associated Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/surviving_the_artworld/

Here's the Instagram page that opened up the floodgates of accusations in the independent music world:

https://www.instagram.com/lured_by_burger_records/

And a story about it: https://www.vulture.com/2020/07/burger-records-allegations-bands.html

I didn't spend too much time exploring all of the accusations, and there did seem to be some genuinely abhorrent behavior here, or at the very least incredibly sleazy rock'n'roll partying of the sort from past decades. My concern was that illegal behavior was being thrown in with things maybe mildly unethical, or possibly even newly reinterpreted as "wrong" with this week's new rules, and that in this world, there's no hint of investigation, or even questioning.

The label attempted an embarrassing rebrand/rename, with a new corporate female executive and a female-centric approach in the first day of accusations, and by the second day, they'd shut it down completely. I honestly don't know many of their artists, but they had become a pretty big player, especially in the resurgence of cassette tapes. It appears that their entire catalog will now go out of print. Their annual music festival was hosted by John Waters and had some huge acts (Iggy Pop, Devo, Jesus and Mary Chain, among others).

It just seems wild that something like that would cease to exist so quickly, and it did open up the floodgates to some very strange, often totally legal, accusations that broke up bands, had their catalogs instantly removed from streaming, etc. There's certainly way more to all of this, but these are two of the bigger stories.

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Nothing new in that story

“If it wasn’t for date rape/I’d never get laid” Sublime “Date Rape” 1992

“You’re only 15/No, I don’t want to see your ID” The Rolling Stones “Stray Cat Blues” 1968

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Sure, a lot of the stories going around are as old as rock'n'roll, and jazz, blues, and other American pop style, but some of the stories are things like "I was 21 and I was sleeping with the guy that lived in the record store because he was giving me free tapes, and now I see that he was abusing his power imbalance over me" or "I slept with this guy when I was only 18, because of his power." Sounds transactional, but who's initiating these transactions?

It's more concerning to me that the whole label would totally shutter so quickly. It's not like these guys were sexual power brokers like Miramax. It sounds like they were a few burnouts in their early '30s thinking they're living in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." This means that all of the records that the label handled go out of print, and they had a pretty big catalog (and not just of a bunch of LA party types). Suddenly having your titles go out of print - and maybe even getting pulled from streaming platforms - during a pandemic where you can't perform live for what appears to be an indefinite period of time is not good for people in indie music, who are living a pretty tight existence these days as it is.

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Hi Matt, thanks for reading the comments and thinking about this!

I definitely think you'd be interested in this stuff, but I do worry that any additional publicity, good or bad, could send the whole situation reeling. And it seems stabilized for the moment. 99% of people in the Twittersphere are only interested in the most mainstream of culture, which is where these battles are mainly fought, and I'm fine with that. Maybe I can email you?

On a side note: this whole hubbub on the "WAP" song and video is ridiculous, and semi-refreshing. It reminds me of the culture wars of the '80s and '90s that made sense: conservatives are worried about "common decency" in the public sphere, and liberals just want to support vaginas. How retro!

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Checking back in here to post this as a follow-up, in case anyone hasn't seen it: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/14/us/adolph-reed-controversy.html

A self-proclaimed "socialist" organization cancels a Zoom lecture by a black Marxist Ivy League professor that grew up in the Jim Crow south for being too focused on class. (And for his dislike of identity politics.)

It's amazing that they still consider themselves a "left" group.

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I have to give credit to the New York Time for running that story. The absurdities of the Woke Inquisition are laid bare. And in this case, the Wokies are unable to direct scrutiny away from their callow self-absorption with the facile dismissals enabled by "standpoint theory", because in this case the person who they've targeted with their dogmatic rigidity is 1)on the Left, politically; 2) of black American ethnicity; and 3) entirely capable of prevailing in a battle of wits against them without the need to shift out of first gear.

There are some great lines in that article. A sample:

From the target of the Uberwokies, "[Professor Adolph Reed] finds a certain humor in being attacked over race.

“I’ve never led with my biography, as that’s become an authenticity-claiming gesture,” he said. “But when my opponents say that I don’t accept that racism is real, I think to myself, ‘OK, we’ve arrived at a strange place.’”

From Bhaskar Sunkara, founder of Jacobin magaine: “If I said to you, ‘You’re laid off, but we’ve managed to rename Yale to the name of another white person’, you would look at me like I’m crazy."

More at the jump: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/14/us/adolph-reed-controversy.html

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Also, I recommend the story comments (to which I did not contribute, fwiw.)

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BTW you seem like someone who would appreciate Clouzot's "Le Corbeau", and it's appropriate to our modern situation. It's about poison pen letters, though it has a deeper allegorical meaning as well. But poison pen letters were a historical version of what you're describing and we're seeing today generally. The good news is that over time, people began to discount poison pen letters and I think the populace will learn to ignore these modern disruptive allegations over time, hopefully within 18-24 months.

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Thanks. I love Clouzot, but I haven't seen that one! I'll check it out. Maybe tonight.

Something has to happen to correct these things, but it seems to be currently getting worse rather than better at the moment. This latest crop of people want to punish people for behavior that is totally legal, which is similar to the poison pen letter thing, or the old town square/beauty salon rumor mills, I suppose.

The new thing young people in the arts are being brought down for is "grooming," which has come to mean dating someone outside your age group (and there's no fixed rule to this), or someone with a power imbalance (also no fixed rule set), or both.

I'm not sure, but the grooming may be partially based on comments from that Hannah Gadsby special where she talks about hating Picasso because he slept with a teenager. Now, I've heard Picasso was an unpleasant person, but he's in every way someone that mastered multiple disciplines and then deconstructed them and created new forms. He's a fascinating subject of study and I don't want to lose him. I've read arts professionals of some esteem argue for removing him since then. His crime? Sleeping with a 16-year-old, which was totally legal in France at the time. And it's still totally legal in France now. Unethical? Maybe, but I fear people identifying as leftists/artists/intellectuals adopting a more strident morality than conservative Christians, with a moving, amorphous set of rules being made up on the fly.

On some level, I get that people are entering an economy that's seemingly impenetrable for them, and low-paying, gig-based, and benefits-free when they get a foot in the door. Strident, no-survivors-allowed culture wars - especially in a winnable field like indie arts; nobody wants to appear to be on the wrong side of some "movement" - must seem attractive. Usually when I see these things go down, there's no replacement for something destroyed, and it just removes jobs, and art, and artists from an already suffering field. (And it's certainly analogous to what's happening in education, media and the government to some extent. And it's almost 100% within "left" spaces. Great!)

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There is a thesis inside your comment to be drawn out: something along the lines of: "is the takedown culture a rational response to greater economic barriers to new entrants?", i.e. a minor revolution to throw down the old to create enough space for change in the face of excessive control by an old guard.

I haven't thought long enough about it to have a take but it's an interesting thread to pull.

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Trust me, this is something I've thought a good bit about. There's something to it, but I don't think it's (totally) intentional. It's a nasty side effect in most cases, which are often marked by ignorance and naivety. I am reasonably certain that people have weaponized this a good bit, and a lot of what's happened to once-thriving American journalism shows signs of that.

The obvious dangers of using a constantly shifting, non-religious, non-civic, emotions-over-all lawless moral code as a way to rework all systems is that there's no way to put the genie back in the bottle once its out, so to speak. How far could something like this go?

I really hope reason, and emotional sobriety, will eventually prevail. As utterly lame as Biden is as a candidate, I hope that his "return to normalcy" platform will settle everyone down if he wins, but I fear we're too far gone at this point.

I miss having truly offensive-to-everyone artists like G.G. Allin be part of a vibrant underground art scene. Even artists who didn't care for him, or even actively hated him, mainly felt like it was their duty to defend his right to be awful. The vibrant American music underground had to be somewhat agnostic about personal taste. Having the margins gleefully pushed in every possible direction created a certain safety, and community, for weirdos to operate within that broad palette. This idea, and those who pioneered it, seems to be being forcefully supplanted with the blandly inoffensive, created within a forced "safe space." Can you imagine how people would react to G.G. Allin now? Can you imagine how he'd react to this world?

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Octuple bonus points for mentioning GG Allin! As a kid who grew up on New Wave and Punk, we were all for embracing the boundary pushers, the harsh, the weird (even if I didn't know GG till later). The Cramps and Dead Kennedys were enough to get the pearl-clutchers going, which suited me fine. I always wondered why Al Gore was considered "progressive" when Tipper was busy trying to lecture people on music with bad words. It's political kabuki for any necessary effect.

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There are much larger forces at work. Here's a link to an analytical framework for how revolutions happen. It's a long book, but the framework is clear enough just by reading the parts that Amazon lets you see using "Look Inside":

https://www.amazon.com/Revolution-Rebellion-Early-Modern-World/dp/1138222127

In a nutshell, this is a widely lauded and accepted framework of historical causes of revolution. Revolutions occur at the conjunction of three things:

1) state crisis (especially fiscal/financial crisis),

2) elite divisions (infighting for positions and control),

3) popular mobilization (anything from agrarian populist movements to street protests in cities);

I wouldn't suggest that we're fully there, but this framework lets us judge how close. Elite infighting exists. Your example in the arts is one, I think. Politically the ferocity of the anti-Trump reaction can in part be explained by the loss of privileged position in many of our elites. By the historical framework this book lays out, that sets the stage for our elites being the most likely to accept throwing out the system. Coronavirus is driving some fiscal trouble and the popular mobilization for sure. But since that is temporary, we're generally a strong fiscal crisis away from real potential. Nonetheless, the understanding of the potential contribution of elite actors is critical. Revolutions don't come from the street, they come from the elites when the street is supportive.

Finally, one immediate outcome of the three items happening in conjunction is described as "the increase in the salience of heterodox cultural and religious ideas". Which can clearly be the iconoclasm (statue destruction) and history rewriting we see today, along with ideas like "defund the police".

Are our elites tolerating the street level action as a potential cudgel for when their time comes to take power rather than have it voted in?

I'm not too worried if and when it comes, we're not talking violent revolution. The other scholarship the book intro cites clarifies that nations with average age above 35 have soft revolutions (US avg age is 38). Think Euromaidan. "We don't like the election outcome, we demand our way now." A reset into a democracy they approve of, perhaps with some things like inconvenient amendments thrown out.

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This framework also provides good perspective on Russiagate as an elite response to the threat from the populist vote.

Also note that one cause the book cites of greater popular mobilization is "weakly administered cities".

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GG Allen would have Antifa types starting fires at his shows if he were alive today-and them jump off the stage and kick their asses! GG Allin is one of those people who serve as a weathervane for society and the 1st Amendment-I named my cat after him!

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Picasso gave lip service to the Commies, b/c that was what passed for virtue signalling in mid 20th century Europe, but he was too much of a hedonist and free spirit to ever be a true believer, as Nat Geo’s excellent mini-series on him, with Antonio Banderas, illustrated. It also showed that his personal life and general views on women/family were that of a Jerry Springer show designated “villain”!!

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I agree with most of what you're saying but feel the need to defend AOC. She's a 30-year-old newbie trying to break the mold of corruption and of course, she's going to stumble . Her passion lies with fighting for a better living standard for the poor working class of her district and I so admired her for standing up against a behemoth corporation that not only is in control of a HUGE chunk of the US GDP, but also now controls a major media outlet. Bernie Sanders was her mentor, but even he's letting her down. I'm sick to death of the cancel culture along with so many other followers of Matt's but the real issue is bipartisan corruption in government and it's yet to be seen whether she can withstand the pressure. Even a seasoned "independent" such as Senator Sanders couldn't.

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I supported AOC from the beginning, and I still have hope that she'll turn a corner, but she really seems to be pushing identity politics in a way that would make even MSNBC blush. "The squad" spats with Pelosi and the establishment Dems over an House issue? Say that Pelosi better remember she's talking to women of color. Internet censorship? Sure, she'll lead the charge! The Harper's Letter? Both deny "cancel culture" exists, while simultaneously saying it's just people facing consequences. Every time I see her in the press, it's something like this.

Identity politics freaked Sanders out in 2016 (HRC's “If we broke up the big banks tomorrow, would that end racism?” comment; getting shut down by BLM protestors, et al.). A lot of party insiders thought he needed to embrace the identity politics wing of the party to move forward, and most of the "new left" groups I mentioned earlier - the ones that popped up in his wake did just that - and he had no choice but to embrace them. (I think he knows that his brand of politics does not mix with this new wing, and I personally think these upstart groups may have lost him a lot of ground with mainstream voters. It was doing well within heavy Dem primary states, but he ultimately lost centrists, moderates, and I fear that we'd have seen him lose the non-party independents that supported in 2016 had he move forward. I definitely still voted for him in the primary.)

I know that a lot of people are excited about AOC as the future of the Democratic Party, but I think she's gone too far into ultra-woke world, and has actually become, in some ways, the opposite of Bernie Sanders' populism for everyone promise. (She's also becoming the bête noire of the libertarian press, the conservative press, the centrist press, and even the Trotskyites at the World Socialist Web Site are down on her.)

I think the left needs a more sound future.

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I was very pro-AOC when she first arrived, but have been puzzled by a lot of her decisions in the last six months in particular.

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She's done a few good things and a few terrible things, but more represents the steady race to the wings on both sides of the spectrum, away from the center and sensible, civil politics. It's enabled in part by the reduced influence of party machines, for decades through moving to wide open primaries and now amplified by the direct-to-consumer communications of social media.

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I'm wondering - is it because she's taking a tack toward the status quo of the democratic party, or because of her support of the woke world?

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The real issue is that DC has gathered too much power to itself. Corruption is the necessary result of that aggregation of power.

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So glad this wasn't a thing back in the day during the Sex, drugs and rock n roll era. The Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin, Bowie, Elton John ..pretty much all the "Classic Rock" music not to mention a tremendous amount of Jazz & Soul Music would've been muted/canceled by the hedonistic lifestyles and "groupie" sex common amongst Bands and performers of that time. Woodstock would've been far too disgusting a spectacle...lol

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They've gone after Picasso, Balthus and Gaugin. It stands to reason that the Rolling Stones and David Bowie, as well as almost the entire canon of American vernacular music could go next. They haven't been successful. Yet.

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It'll be problematic when they are confronted with justifying the works of song writers like Snoop Dogg if they call out the white hedonistic boomer bands for their debauchery and sex orgies with star struck teen groupies. Can't wait to see how they defend stuff like this if they are dumb enough to go down that road..lol

Two in the mornin and the party's still jumpin

cause my momma ain't home

I got bitches in the living room gettin it on

and, they ain't leavin til six in the mornin (six in the mornin)

So what you wanna do, sheeeit

I got a pocket full of rubbers and my homeboys do too

So turn off the lights and close the doors

But (but what) we don't love them hoes, yeah!

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I love the handle and thanks for the insight into the indie arts scene, scary.

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"people on this "new left" seem more and more anti-sex daily. " -- could part of it be because so many are on medications these days that kill their sex drives? Not saying sex drives shouldn't be channeled in better directions ... and not saying sex drives don't lead to pecadilloes often... but as an old person, I try to remember what it was like to have a sex drive and try to be a little understanding (not of bona fide creeps, but perhaps of actions that go right up to the line but don't cross it) Is it possible some of these medications are not only killing sex drives, but making some people extra upset at other people who do have stronger sex drives and therefore walk right up to the line?

Also, is it possible these medications, having been used as substitutes for talk therapy for decades, are preventing some people from getting practice on enforcing their own boundaries? For example, answering back with a "not interested," "LOL K," "not happenin bud," little white lies about being in a relationship, "I'm taking a break from dating" (that one's rather weak in my opinion) or even "I'd rather go out with Harvey Weinstein's pig?" Is it possible these medications are part of the reason young people today feel extra threatened by indications of interest when they don't return the interest, instead of feeling strong enough in themselves to enforce their boundaries with a well-placed "you wish?" In the 80's there were all sorts of smart comebacks like "in your dreams." My favorite was "wrong girl pal." It's a little harsh but it lets the person know it's not happening and they stand a good chance of being severely ridiculed if they push back.

Also, "every interaction I had with them felt like I was communicating with a cult." Could this, too, be due in part to some of the medications that are so prevalent in lieu of talk therapy? Talk therapy taught me a lot about making my own decisions and feeling that my own decisions were OK. It taught me how better to have and stand up for my own boundaries rather than fear the potential boundary-invader's anger.

Not saying some people don't need these medications but maybe not everyone needs them in lieu of talk therapy?

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Me again...instead of "LOL K" I meant "LOL no" as a snappy comeback when the target is not interested. "LOL K" would be more like if the person making the approach said "I'm just a wild and crazy guy" or some such. "LOL K" means "I think you're ridiculous now go away." Can no one say "I think you're ridiculous now go away" anymore, or do we always have to be (I'm trying not to use the word "triggered..." threatened, feel harmed, diminished, frightened, let the person in through our boundaries rather than bounce them off/snap back)

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Me again...it seems so many young people today consider actions like trying to meet a potential partner "creepy." I hear that word so much when I don't consider the person "creepy." Not saying creepy people don't exist! My goodness, listen to the "Let's Not Meet" podcast! I myself met a bona fide serial killer and yes, the hair stood up on the back of my neck! Now where was I. Today, even striking up a conversation with a stranger is called "creepy" (I am not talking about persisting when the target has clearly indicated they are not interested) Seems people today don't know how to say "Not happenin' pal" and "Not feelin' it" etc. Is it possible these sex-drive-killing medications have gone so far as to make some people think others, who do have a sex drive, or a drive to mingle/meet new people, "creepy?" It sounds like I'm defending bona fide creeps. I'm not. We all know creeps are out there. But if I had a young adult child, what would I tell them about trying to meet someone? My standard advice used to be to join a discussion group or go to a bookstore cafe where it was widely known and accepted that people went to see and be seen/strike up conversations and proceed from "Is this seat taken?" to "Hi I'm Matt" not "I want to devour you" or anything. Just talking about how almost every approach these days seems to be considered "creepy," things that were OK just a few years ago and the target of the approach could say "I'm taking a break from dating" or "I'm not interested" no harm no foul. Is the prevalence of sex-drive-killing medications making a large swath of young people feel that any attempt at a meet-cute these days is "creepy?" If I sound like an old person trying to say slobbering and leering is OK, I'm not! I'm not! But saying "Hi I'm Matt" at a bookstore cafe? that's NOT creepy!

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I've read a great many of these comments and found the discussions really informative, compelling and interesting. As I read them two maxims out of my past that came down through my family come to mind.

1> Don't shit where you eat.

2> Trouble is like a bucket of shit. The more you stir it the more it stinks.

The first maxim is elucidated by the politician who posted below. You are held to a different standard. Fair or not (mostly not), deal with it. Stay out of the student body "cafe". As in law, even the mere appearance of impropriety is to be avoided.

This article is a rollicking exploration of the bucket of shit the young Dems have produced for all the unwoke masses to feel bad about. (Everyone white and marginally powerful, please hang your head.) So, unfortunately we have to stir the bucket to make some sense out of what's been presented.

Why do messages from the young ones of today always seem to descend from on high as would words from a vengeful God? Dictums and directions about what the entire society has done wrong, what woeful failures are running the country (something to that part) and specific tasks that must be preformed and penance offered before we are grudgedly forgiven (or as often not). It takes some brass to make today's pandemic realities even more vividly oppressive.

Their self righteous navel gazing and ego fragility, coupled with the pronouncements from on high often make me annoyed and angry. Lately it all just seems ridicules and sad.

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