Sunday, November 25, 2007

First Spouse?

What should we call the husband of our first woman President? Notice I didn't use the phrase "female President." The ability to make this simple distinction has been lost on members of my generation (who consciously avoid it) and simply doesn't exist for later ones (from whom is has been deliberately kept by members of my generation).

To illustrate this stage in human evolution, simply read the Washington Times feature on The U.S. Mint. The story is a cutesy feature on how one federal agency is dealing with the possibility of a woman President. The cultural and intellectual vagrants at the Mint presented President Bush and the First lady with their first ever "First Spouse" series of commemorative coins.

My 10-year-old daughter and I were waiting for the train at Union Station when I decided to read it. I got to this point:
"What to call a male "first spouse" could be a hot topic if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, is elected president next year.
So I asked my 10-year-old what should the husband of the President be called. After phrasing the question a few different ways, she finally came up with "The First Gentleman."

Why this is a cultural and not a clinical or biological issue is important because it marks a recent example of the real effects on society that attempts to erase from our perceptions and thoughts any and all differences between the sexes, or between social norms such as right and wrong.

The problem with such experimentation is that the differences are not erased. They are now and will always be real. What we have instead, is an entire generation of willing dupes and a new generation of people with no connection to their true cultural heritage except that which has been scrubbed clean of the truth, good and bad. The phrase" Ladies and Gentlemen" is simply just a sound that a person makes in addressing an audience, no more meaningful than a car alarm.

And so we have the Director of the U.S. Mint who has no concept of what a Lady is or was and why that term is used to distinguish one woman from another. If he does, and he appears to have the years to know better, then he falls into the "willing dupes" category.

In grappling with the problem presented by a woman holding the highest office in the land, one must come to grips with the differences between Ladies and Gentlemen, which Edmund Moy, the 38th Director of the Mint, seems to have abandoned. The solution, as with all things male and female (except in Montgomery County, MD of course) is to have separate commemorative series.

The First Gentlemen Series, will be small at first, while the First Ladies Series will continue to grow, God willing.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tis The Season, Again

Christmas used to be my favorite time of the year. It stopped being so when American society stopped having Christmas parties; when grade schools stopped having Christmas Pageants and stores stopped selling Christmas decorations and other things I had associated with this time of the year.

Now I can't even look at a container of egg-nog, whose label has the traditional red and green coloring and borders of ribbon, holly berries and poinsettias, without being reminded of this sad fact. I opened the refrigerator one morning to get my milk for my morning coffee and stared at this label whose contents were described, in the traditional Christmas script, as "Holiday Egg-Nog."

OK, why does it have to be described as "Holiday" egg-nog? Why not just plain egg-nog? At what other time of year do I find egg-nog in my refrigerator? Christmas, of course. Well, we backwards and unenlightened obviously can't be trusted to have the colors, graphics and script associated with Christmas and NOT think of this time of year as Christmas, can we? So the good culture-neutral nut-jobs have seen to it that such dreadful thoughts never enter our empty heads.

Later that same day, I get an e-mail message from one of our esteemed conservative Republican elected officials inviting me and the fam to, yes, a "Holiday Party" fundraiser. The invitation was festooned with garland, holly and berries and poinsettias, and was written in the traditional Christmas script.

It's almost enough to make one say "Bah! Humbug."


I unhappily report today that our message is not getting through. How do I know this? It first occurred to me last month as I trudged back to my truck after another long day at work along with other trudgers whose daily work lives involve the MARC commuter train system.

One of my fellow trudgers, a long-time commuting acquaintance who delights in passing the time between late or annulled MARC trains by ribbing me about the latest Republican or Bush administration foible. A retired army non-com, he disapproves of everything the current government does and we have interesting debates. His political acumen, however, is limited and his opinions tend to be formed, like so many others, in the Democratic echo chamber of the mainstream media.

So together we trudged and debated as we have on so many occasions until he stopped and wheeled around to face me. This is it, I thought, he's snapped and now he's going to resort to violence. I tensed and waited for the strike, when he suddenly he changed the subject as though he just remembered something very important that he wanted to tell me.

"Did you know that we are paying farmers to not grow anything?" he asked, expecting me to fall over and die. "Not only that," he continued when I didn't appear as dumb-struck as he expected, " but we are paying millions to rich farming conglomerates!"

Well, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. He had just heard the news about the Congressional debate over the most recent Farm subsidy reauthorization. I wanted to tell him that, unfortunately this has been the case ever since the Great Depression, that yes, of course I knew this and have remained a Republican largely because of it and many other ridiculous wastes of tax revenue, etc.

But, why? He wanted to know. Well I took the time to explain the purely political reasons behind the ancient policy he just discovered and the very real economic impact of such politics on the poor nations of the world. I don't think I made a convert that night but maybe, just maybe, he'll hesitate come the general election before voting for Hillary Clinton.

More recently, on the Metro this time, another commuting acquaintance took the occasion to explain to me his plan for getting another of his kids into a private school. The tuition is eating him alive, he said, but what can he do? The public school stinks on ice. I was about to leave him with my trademark "almost makes you want to vote Republican," when he said he was going to look into a tuition voucher. Intrigued, I asked what sort of voucher he had in mind. Well he had heard about private school tuition vouchers "on the news" and was going to look into Maryland's program to see if he qualified.

I almost missed my stop. I was this time, dumbstruck. I recovered in enough time, though, to advise him that looking into the Maryland school voucher program would be a waste of time, as there isn't one. No? No. We could have had one, I said, but your friends and neighbors voted against the last time it was on the ballot. Oh. "Almost makes you want to vote Republican, doesn't it?" I said as I left the train. Yeah, I heard him say.