Saturday, March 20, 2010

Scandals Galore

What is this...scandal month? Yikes! The organization that I work for is currently on trial for an event that happened a quarter-century ago. The local paper published an article in Wednesday's edition. It was top-center, above the fold. The opening sentence revealed an unfair bias against the organization. Then, on Friday afternoon, I was shocked to discover that the Huffington Post has published an even more biased article, with inflammatory accusations. I'm not allowed to discuss the issue with anyone, lest I want to face a subpoena to appear in court, but I did want to bring it to the attention of my friends and regular readers of my blog. Most who know me, know exactly what my opinions about this organization are. I haven't been actively pursuing another job for three years because I love this place. Its hard to work in a place where the politics goes against my own personal code.

Because I'm the low man on the totem pole, I have little power or sway with what this organization does. All I ever wanted since January 2007 was a new job that will take me out of here and in a better office environment. But, the lawsuit has nothing to do with the actual office politics. Someday, I may write a book about what really goes on in this organization...but I want to be long gone from here before I do that. I've said before and I'll say it again...since I moved to Portland in 2006, its like I'm experiencing bad deja vu of every negative experience I hated the first time around. I can't believe that once again, I'm in an organization that is in the spotlight of negative publicity. I swore after the last one that I would pick a better place to work. In reading the articles in the local paper and on the Huffington Post, once again, I'm reminded of the fact that although I get scorn for my liberal political and spiritual views, my personal conservative values once again trumps the morality of the so-called conservatives I work with. This was true in the Navy, as well. And come to think of it, the Navy had its own sex scandal when I was a sailor (1991's Tailhook Scandal). I really do feel like Forrest Gump: an innocent bystander with a front seat to the intense media spotlight.

Is politics any better, though? The past few weeks have been a field day for comedian Jay Leno. Each night for the past couple weeks, Jay has joked about Congressman Massa and Toyota. Maybe both should do the other a favour. The Toyota Corporation should give the Congressman a free Toyota Prius to drive away from D.C. in. He probably can't get away from there fast enough!

Who is Congressman Eric Massa? Well, I'm not going to be like the Fox News Corporation and change his party affiliation because of his embarrassing scandal. He is a Democratic Congressman from a district in New York state. He's also a veteran of the United States Navy. A few weeks ago, news broke that Congressman Massa was named in a sexual harassment suit for allegedly groping his male staffers. He resigned his office for "health reasons." In the drip-drip-drip of scandal, we learned that Massa claims that he merely liked to "tickle" his male staffers, as though it is part of male bonding culture (I can attest that hitting or making fun of each other is part of male bonding culture, but not "tickling"). News reports dug up his prior history and revealed that as an officer in the Navy, he also engaged in inappropriate touching of underlings. He even has a special technique he calls "the Massa Massage."

Uh-oh! When I was in the Navy, I always freaked out when a guy started mentioning wanting a massage. I would always refer them to a special bulletin board where massage therapists advertised their business. Usually, it was women offering massages on these bulletin boards. I wasn't about to give another man a massage. Perhaps a part of me (I was kind of naive back then) knew that a sailor talking about wanting a massage was a code word for something else.

Even worse, the reason why I dislike being around drunk people is because of the lack of inhibitions. There have been a few drunken higher ranking men who have touched me inappropriately at parties. I lost respect for them at that moment and stayed clear of them at work. To this day, its probably the reason why I do not trust ultra conservative men at all, especially the ones who make a big noise about their homophobia. Chances are likely, when drunk, they act inappropriately to subordinates. In other words, I knew khaki uniformed personnel like Congressman Massa when I was in the Navy. What pisses me off is that alcohol is used as an excuse to deny what they did. These people do not belong in any kind of power. If you lose your moral standing, you should lose your leadership position as well. Someone has to be the janitors of society. Why not make these power abusers do the honest work of cleaning up shit-clogged toilets for the rest of their working lives? Positions of power should only go to the virtuous. Reward good behaviour, not sweep bad behaviour under some carpet in the hopes that no one discovers it.

Last week, Saturday Night Live had a field day with Congressman Massa. In one scene, they forever ruined the word "snorkling" for me. Apparently, Massa had a creative vocabulary. To him, "snorkling" means something quite different than being underwater in SCUBA gear.

Republicans have also enjoyed reporting this scandal, because for once, its not one of their party members caught in an embarrassing act of hypocrisy. Fox News Corporation does not have to change the party affiliation indicator for Massa as they did for Governor Sanford, Senator Larry Craig, and Congressman Mark Foley. Glenn Beck even had Massa on the show, but after talking with the Congressman, realized that something wasn't right in the head with Massa, so he actually apologized for wasting his viewers time! Damn, if Glenn Beck thinks you're batshit crazy, what hope is there for you?

My question is...where did the Democrats find this piece of work? And what possessed the guy to run for political office anyway? His dysfunctional unprofessionalism followed him from his Navy days into the hallowed halls of Congress. What a shame. Fortunately the Democratic Party is not like the Republican Party. The Republicans facing scandals stay in office until the voters throw them out. At least Massa had the good sense to resign his office for the good of the people he represented. They deserve a better representative in Congress, whether Republican or Democrat. Good riddance, Massa. No low wage staffer on Capitol Hill should have to put up with the abusive behaviour of the politician they work for.

Finally, there's Sandra Bullock. America's Sweetheart. This year's Best Actress Oscar winner. Tabloids have revealed that her bad boy husband Jesse James had been having an affair with a tattooed lady for months while Bullock was filming The Blind Side. In response, Bullock moved out of the home she shared with James and his children from his first marriage (his previous wife was a porn star). She also cancelled public appearances in Great Britain for this weekend's theatrical release of her Oscar-winning movie.

The amazing thing about this bombshell revelation is that on Oscar night, James was looking like the proud husband supporting his wife at the height of her career success. Reporters gushed about how much in love they looked and what a great relationship they had. I was never convinced about that. When I first heard about Sandra marrying a tattooed, motorcycle driving ex-husband of a porn actress, I couldn't believe it. Why was she "slumming" it? Once again, its another case of an intelligent and successful woman falling for a bad boy. What is this power that bad boys have on beautiful and intelligent women? I don't get it. It pisses me off, quite frankly. I can't think of any example where a lady is able to transform a bad boy into being a happily domesticated, loyal, and faithful husband. Usually, it turns out that the woman ends up abused, murdered, or humiliated. Do Whitney Houston, Nicole Brown Simpson, Rihanna, Mrs. Tiger Woods, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, Mrs. Eliot Spitzer ring a bell?

A week or so ago, I saw Sandra Bullock on the Charlie Rose Show. She was intelligent, funny, and sweet. In fact, she is exactly the kind of lady I always fall for. She has an international background and diverse interests (I learned that her passionate hobby is buying and restoring old homes in the San Antonio / Austin TX area). She also has a terrific sense of humour. So why does such an intelligent and successful woman end up marrying such a jerk? Its the billion dollar question that I'd like to know the answer to, though I already have my theory.

There's a reason why so many women loved Avatar. The "bad boy" gives up his entire human race and his culture for the love of a Na'vi woman. For years, women have been subjugated as second class citizens with no power to change society. Women's natural role was the raising of children, while men went off to dominate the world. Because women have the power to deny men the sex we crave, this is where the power play happens. This is not any new revelation or sexist remark. The ancient Greeks even had a play about what happens when the women of Athens decide to refuse their husbands sex until they end the war (Lysistrata). Perhaps that was the birthdate of homosexuality. Who knows? Ancient Greek men seemed to screw anything that moved. Congressman Massa was born in the wrong era!

My theory is that the reason why so many intelligent women fall for the bad boy is because of the fairy tale fantasy that they have the power within them to transform and domesticate men by the force of their love. It makes for a nice fairy tale, but it could be quite dangerous. In reality, it often does not happen that way. Most women in relationships with bad boys get the shit kicked out of them, or they are humiliated time and again. Is "make-up sex" really that great to endure the physical abuse and humiliation? Women pride themselves on being more thoughtful and maybe even smarter than men, but I often fail to see it whenever I see or hear about an intelligent woman that I'm naturally attracted to falling for a bad boy. Nice guys might be "boring" because you don't have the intense physical fights and prospect of real danger, but we are far healthier for you in the long run.

Besides, what's sexier than an intellectually stimulating conversation and shared interests in some hobbies? It breaks my heart to see intelligent women falling for guys who don't respect them. I think Jesse James might even be threatened by his wife's success. Many successful women seem to have a hard time finding a man who isn't jealous that they make more money or are more successful. Maybe that's why they love to get smacked around or cheated on. A small part of them feels like they deserve it for being more successful than their man.

Get with a liberated man, Sandra! In case you're interested, I'm available and I've had a crush on you ever since I saw Speed in 1994. The most successful Hollywood marriages seem to be the ones where the famous person has a non-famous spouse who doesn't desire fame. Speed away, Sandra! Buy a Toyota Prius if you have to so you can get the hell away from your lyin', cheatin', bad boy husband. You deserve better! You deserve a guy like me.

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