Tuesday, June 11, 2013

American Catholic Bishops Continue to Practice Sexual McCarthyism – Bundling Gay Hate With So-Called Christian Love

They, the Bankers and the Brokers, bundled bad mortgages together with good mortgages and sold the bundled mess as good securities. The global financial meltdown happened in 2008 and nobody really has had to pay unless you lost your job, your house, your family, your dignity and or your life by natural cause or other means.

Little people don’t matter on the scale of things anymore – the Wharton Global Spreadsheet and all that.

So too the last of a race of closeted sexual men in black, purple, red and whites dresses are selling the “Christian Love” thing from that dead Jesus guy bundled up with the “you are welcome at our table” - “but not really” – because you are ritualistically “unclean” and no matter how much you wash your hands or other dirty body parts, you will not make it to our High Priest feast. 

The dirty part of the bishops big bundle of sex is of course “homosexuality”, something the church fathers and fundies know a lot about but not in public btw (wink, nod). Lol

An author selling his book this morning on a cable news show sparked this piece of writing in that he was selling the biography of the late Senator Lester Hunt of Montana who committed suicide in the Senate Office Building by gun shot in 1954.

That the author stated that because the family did not want to be burdened with publicity, Senator Hunt’s wife primarily had never sought or cooperated in any attempt to write about the suicide or the related dirty hardball politics of the thugs of the age, Joe McCarthy and company in the Senate fear mongering witch hunt business.

That Senator Hunt killed himself after receiving results of some medical tests at Bethesda Medical Center. That he did so also under the cloud of the far right trying to oust him from office regarding his son’s arrest soliciting gay sex in Lafayette Park across from the White House, a well-known gay hot spot, pick up sight in those days.  

It was in listening to the author of Dying for Joe McCarthy's Sins: The Suicide of Wyoming Senator Lester HuntRoger McDaniel who finally has written a book about the late Senator, that I remembered the Movie – Advise and Consent – that sounded an awful lot like the plot of the last days of Senator Hunt. The story of Senator Hunt had been told through a mask in those masked days when truth in the American Town Square was real and or phony in its context and or presentation to the public. 

There was a strange glimpse via Hollywood in the early sixties of the brutal world of American politics, political blackmail and or sexual blackmail as well in the movie Advise and Consent.

While I did not see this movie when it was originally made and traveled no doubt in brief rounds to small audiences in movie theaters in 1962. I give the movie credit for trying to make a point and illustrate that corrupt world of raw power and how some would use it gain more power or the highest offices of the land.

Like a lot of movies of that era that wanted to address intelligent adult issues and on an adult level, mature I.Q. and eye opening for discussion, they were done on tight budgets from film studios or independently produced and distributed via the Hollywood studio film distribution network. They were filmed in black and white as such a factor then involved great cost using the color film process. It goes without saying that such social matter movies were not likely to see much profit if any and thus the black and white presentation of such.

Other movies of that era tried to communicate the condition of the human soul.

It goes without saying that a movie like To Kill A Mockingbird that dealt with rural Southern race relations of the 1930s only had limited theater showing in the South except for maybe the major downtown cinemas of those areas, areas that were most likely to have a college audience or cosmopolitan feel to the population of a large urban center.

So too Gentleman’s Agreement tried to illustrate anti-Semitism in a way not greatly down to earth and or with in your face reality. But it did make a try and used the most cutting edge communication available at the time, the cinema.

Even the black and white movie People Will Talk took a clumsy serious look as unmarried women, pregnancy and abortion that somehow slid into something of a Hollywood style light comedy/fantasy piece.

Advise and Consent I saw several times over the years and perhaps in bits and pieces, and not showing any great interest in the message that the director Otto Preminger used in many of his films regarding the general state of the human condition. So too if I saw the film in reruns and in the late 1960s or 1970s on the local TV station, it was likely heavily edited both for content and to sell advertising within a limited showing time.

In any case, the clear picture of what the character of actor Don Murray was about as a junior Senator from Utah was over my head way back then and or I was just plain myopic and dumbed down like I was supposed to be as part of the general population of the time. It was over time that the focus of the matter of fearful closeted people and political power and the use of victims and blackmail to achieve ultimate political (or religious) power is what I have finally understood about this movie.

I keep going back to my parents who towed the party line, the Republican party line in Philly over the years. That I heard them talk a lot of liberal bullshit over the years in the privacy of our home but outside the home they were good cloth coated Republicans in spirit if not New Deal Democrats in reality. 

That many times and on many topics they towed the party line of The Evening Bulletin which was conservative over the morning Philadelphia Inquirer which leaned more left. The consensus of the Philadelphia town square was presented in the local Pravda papers of choice.

My father said that when Philadelphians first voted for FDR in 1932 and 1936, that they had to do so silently in the voting booth even though you were registered as a republican. That to be registered anything else meant that you could not work for the city and may not have been employable with the big corporate employers, Republicans, who owned those big factories and shipyards in Philly. That to vote openly as a Democrat, you had to wait until the 1950s when the Democratic machine finally swept the Republican machine out of power in the city. 

And it is the early 1950s when the Republicans make gains in the White House and Congress that they realize the victories may have been pyrrhic and losing a northeast city, the third largest in the country at the time, of Philly, may have sent caution to the wind with the Tea Partyers of the time, the dogs of war and paranoia and repressed Catholic sexuality coming into everyone’s town square via radio and TV in the form of Senator Joe McCarthy from Wisconsin.

Senator Joe McCarthy was such an up and coming Catholic radical politician mesmerizing the American public confused as to why we won WWII but did not defeat Russia, that Joe Kennedy Sr. insisted that his son and attorney Bobby work for McCarthy on one of his senate committees.

The Cold War with real Corporate or Military containment policies was never really explained on a street level I think to the American people. That academics in Harvard understood the Cold War but the average American Joe and Jane ignored it as best they could but could not really do so when air raid drills and talk of nuclear attack became part of the background noise of the American social landscape filled with political fear mongering.

So in that period when Joe McCarthy could no longer easily win on the "he or she is a pinko" and or "a commie" witch-hunt, name tagging kind of thing, the Republicans and or McCarthy’s handlers introduced gay blackmail into the equation in the quest to hang onto power quickly slipping away from McCarthy’s tent show circus of fear as it waned in excitement with the crowds.

Getting back the movie Advise and Consent, I eventually saw the full intact version of the movie only a few years ago on cable and without commercials. I was impressed that such an intellectual approach in a dramatic setting was available to the American movie goer of fifty years ago. 

That is to say that an underlying theme of gay blackmail against one of the Senator’s for a gay liason in the past was a part of an emerging bundling of causes to buy votes through blackmail and to obstruct the selection of an appointee, Henry Fonda, as Secretary of State, who would likely continue an ailing president’s foreign policy should he die. 

Sounds so strange today to think that Secretaries of State had so much power then and have so little now so to speak.

That part of that loss of power I would think has to do with the nature of a changing world and also the fact that so many mistakes and misperceptions of the Soviet Union at the end of WWII caused more harm than good regarding America’s position in the world. 

That putting military might ahead of diplomacy has put us in the bottomless shit pit of drones and torture and spying on our citizens and the rest of the world and so-called means to promote the foreign or more accurately these days, the corporate profit policy of the ruling global plutocracy.

Well the movie is quite tame in terms of what being a gay man or a man with a closeted or gay past in America plays out as compared with today's media experience of such. In the movie, Spoiler Alert, The young Senator from Utah briefly revisits some past gay social scene trying to get some letters back that will be used to destroy both his political career and his present personal life with wife and children. The Senator then commits suicide.

All this was brought out briefly, flashed through my mind, on a morning talk show, by an author Roger McDaniel who finally has written a book about the late Senator, that I remembered the Movie – Advise and Consent – that sounded like the plot of the last days of Senator Hunt.


 (Dolan watercolor – Artist Terry Shoffner)

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