I just read the most extraordinary opinion piece in the New York Times. In an article dated December 1, Jill Filipovic lays the blame for Hillary Clinton's defeat at the feet of now-disgraced Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, and Mark Halperin. These three allegedly pestered Clinton 'with cold, aggressive, condescending questions hyper-focused on her emails, only […]
I just read the most extraordinary opinion piece in the New York Times.
In an article dated December 1, Jill Filipovic lays the blame for Hillary Clinton's defeat at the feet of now-disgraced Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, and Mark Halperin.
These three allegedly pestered Clinton 'with cold, aggressive, condescending questions hyper-focused on her emails, only to pitch softballs at Mr. Trump and treat him with gentle collegiality a half-hour later.'
That is, Clinton lost because male sexual predators were mean to her in interviews.
My first thought was, are they that stupid at the New York Times? That desperate?
My second thought was, wait a minute! Is this what's behind the rash of sexual harassment scandals? Not that courageous women spoke out and inspired others to do the same, but powerful people who think SOMEBODY is to blame for Clinton's loss and somebody has to pay for it?
Then my third thought was, am I paranoid? Have I spent too much time in Eastern Europe and absorbed the paranoid style of thinking? That is where vampire legends come from after all.
What do I mean by paranoid style you may ask?
Let me give you some examples.
One year in Poland the country was rocked by the news a former general under the communist regime and his wife were murdered. They were found tied to chairs in their home with their throats cut.
Of course everyone thought, 'Ah-ha! Secret struggles among the powerful.'
About a year later police announced the results of their investigation and it turned out it was the result of a home invasion robbery gone horribly wrong.
Nobody I knew, as in not a single person believed it.
So were they paranoid or was I na´ve?
Another. I was living in Serbia during the Clinton administration in the time leading up to the NATO bombing campaign. In one of my English classes a student asked me quite seriously, 'Do you think (President) Milosevic is working for Clinton?'
('Well I don't think he draws a paycheck from him, but I think they both find each other's existence convenient,' I told him.)
Or consider those vampire legends from the Balkans. Someone you love and trust might return from the grave to drink the blood of the living, with a strong preference for family members. Or a stranger knocking at your door asking to be let in or perhaps just a drink of water might be a vampire, who can only enter a home once they've been invited in.
What do these legends teach you? Trust no one! And never trust obvious appearances. Can you imagine growing up thinking like that?
Maybe we should.
A Serbian friend told me, 'What you call paranoia, we call experience.'
So am I crazy? Or is she?
Filipovic's article is paranoid clear through. It's MEN! All men who want to excuse predatory behavior and quash any woman who gets uppity.
'That is why it's so egregious that sexual harassers set the tone of much of the coverage of the woman who hoped to be the first female president,' she said.
Then another source said Hillary's backers were furious with her and wanted to know where their billion dollars went when all the polls said it was a slam dunk " and no you're not paranoid.
And among the conservative anti-Trumpers a scholar I like whose work I respect is absolutely obsessed with the notion the Russians decided the election. She's spent a lot of time in the paranoid part of the world too.
One of the characteristics of the paranoid style of thinking is a rejection of anything that seems simple and straightforward. That for example Clinton was a lousy candidate and an overwhelmingly favorable media could do nothing to overcome that.
But now here I am proposing that powerful occult forces are purging the ranks of the news and entertainment networks and wreaking a terrible vengeance on those they believe have failed them.
And I ask myself, I know I'm paranoid " but am I paranoid enough?
And my Balkan friend answers, 'The answer is 'no'. Not even close.'