Now that the Senate on Capitol Hill “has unanimously approved legislation (November 9) that institutes mandatory sexual harassment training for senators and aides,” we’ll have no more incidents involving the likes of Roy Moore, or Matt Lauer, or Mark Halperin, or Harvey Weinstein, or Bill Cosby, or Roger Ailes, or Donald Trump for that matter.
I mean the manual for how men should behave will not only filter down from the Hill to Hollywood, but from the hallowed-halls of Harvard to the Paterno-types at Penn State, from the Pentagon on the Potomac to the shining sea of the Pacific, all moral impropriety will cease and desist.
Because, after all, the message will have been sent. Congress will have spoken. And this time they mean it.
Since when do better laws make better men? Can we legislate away licentiousness?
Or is what we’re seeing simply the truth of the ancient proverb: “A city broken down and without walls is like a man without self-control.”
Five years ago, almost to the day (November 14), The New York Times (NYT) opined that, in light of the Petraeus-Allen-Sinclair-Johnson III affairs – to name a few of the military with tarnished brass over just the previous year alone – that maybe the Pentagon would get about “enforc(ing) the military’s standards of sexual conduct more consistently.”
After all, said the NYT, “The Pentagon needs clear rules on misconduct.”
Well, somebodies didn’t get the memo.
“Columbia University sponsors the (in)famous ‘Sexhibition,’ (an) event complete with a sex-toy show-and-tell.”
“It appears that, after more than a century of debate, Harvard students are still unsure of what ‘cheating’ means.”
“Life is short, have an affair,” is the message of www.AshleyMadison.com who flauntingly, suggestively claims that “Every 60 seconds a new woman joins www.AshleyMadison.com looking to have a discreet encounter.”
Office Depot hooks up with Lady Gaga to sell back-to-school supplies, a project called “Born That Way”. Never mind that the release of Gaga’s album by that title featured a picture of her nude from the waist down.
Penn State football gets kicked wide of the uprights (and Sandusky, Paterno and Spanier are ejected from the field over the child sexual abuse scandal).
Following the folks gunned down in a theater in Aurora, Colorado, the multimillion-dollar violent summer blockbusters were recommended by the theater industry to be released in the fall, or shown on Wednesdays instead of Fridays to avoid fan frenzy.
Speaking of the delay of the films – as opposed to declining to show them at all – Russell Schwartz, former head of marketing for New Line Cinema and the president of Pandemic Marketing, said that while “the craft of film making is gloomy as hell, it doesn’t seem to be keeping anybody away.”
In other words, while we may vilify – rightly – the likes of this very incomplete laundry list of lily-white pretenders, Petraeus et al, they are all but the most powerful examples of the real evil that lies within us all.
And that a class won’t fix.