I finally watched the video which has given rise to such agita, and in my opinion is that Gillette’s marketing department tried — and failed — to get across a very old message. Part of the problem is that when one is thinking about organizations possessing moral authority, marketing departments aren’t usually on the short list.
The early medieval period was pretty chaotic. The collapse of the security provided by the western Roman Empire left Europe with a power vacuum. Various strongmen vied with each other for territory, leading to almost continuous fighting. The Church was almost the only widely recognized authority in the region. It promulgated the Peace of God to get the warring parties to quit raiding churches, abbeys, and convents, and to stop robbing the unarmed clergy.More
“A whole lot. And a whole lot more [expletive] human battleships,” he says. “And every single one of ’em is crewed by the angriest, most [expletive] off, most fanatical, most vicious humans you’ll ever run into. They call themselves Texans.” — Tnk’rkr The Wise, as written by Oshay
One of my hobbies is writing in a collaborative story/strategy game called From the Ashes. One part weaponized spreadsheet, one part role-playing game, one part writing project, and 100 percent geek, it is one of my main forms of relaxation. Most of the players are college-aged or older, several have kids of their own, and the group is fairly fun to hang out with. As you can imagine, the language is a bit rougher than around here at Ricochet. The link above is definitely not CoC-compliant.More
My dad died Thursday. That’s a sentence I’ve been thinking through over the last couple weeks, but I’ve never wanted to say.
Just under a month ago when they took him to the hospital with stroke-like symptoms, that was bad enough. It got worse when we found out that it was a brain tumor. We thought we could fight it at first. Yeah, it would be hard, but we could do it. But as time progressed and complications amassed, it came to the point where treatment options fell off the table one by one, and all we were left with was palliative care. But even through that, dad was still himself. Sure, the tumor caused him to lose the use of the left side of his body, but he didn’t lose his personality.More
Masculinity is being attacked on a theoretical level, one where it barely manifests itself.
A few days ago I was reading an article about men’s workout clothing. Specifically how the market for high dollar designer gym gear had grown exponentially in the past several years. Nike, Under Armour, Lululemon, and GAP have all released men’s lines of fashion-conscious workout clothes and are apparently raking in the cash. There were many quotes surrounding how many men are now caring more about their appearance while they work out.More
The rise of identity politics in the west has led to an increasing weaponizing of race for political purposes. In these United States Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream speech” is one of the sturdiest bunkers against this tide. And the intersectional crowd knows it.
MLK’s clarion call for a colorblind society was never meant to be taken as a call for a colorless society. He did not envision a world without culture or difference. His ethic didn’t assume a naïve view of race. But the beautiful vision he so eloquently spoke forth into the zeitgeist was an aspirational ethic. An ethic of fairness and justice whereby a person would be judged by what they had done. Both good and bad. That a person’s character would be the only measure by which they were measured.More
Earlier today, President Trump addressed the nation on border security and the shutdown. He offered a deal to Democrats: protections for some migrants in exchange for his $5.7 billion border wall and an end to the shutdown. Shortly after the speech, Mitch McConnell said he’d bring a vote to the Senate floor this week. What do you think of the President’s proposal and what are the chances the Democrats accept it?More
The title comes from the Declaration of Independence. Third on the list of grievances, Ol’ Tommy J. has this to say:
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
When I was young, we used to go hiking quite often. Or it seemed often to me. I think avid hikers would snort in disdain. The Gorge area between Washington and Oregon has some very nice mountain and hill trails. I’ve also been up Mount St. Helens four times (which is, admittedly, an easy mountain) and Mount Adams. One of the places we went to often was Dog Mountain. If you get there at the right time of the year, the wildflowers are blooming and it is beautiful. Supposedly it is a hard hike. I didn’t learn that until after we’d done it multiple times before I was 12, so I don’t know if that’s true. Beacon Rock is just climbing stairs, and that is hard. That one is also boring, but the view is nice, I guess.
My uncle loved hiking and caving and found lots of little-used side trails to explore. He didn’t have kids, so he borrowed his nieces and nephews to help him explore. My mother used to come with until our much younger siblings got old enough to coin the phrase “My legs are broken, carry me!” When they were really little we could carry them in the hiking backpack. But it’s no fun to have to hike with a whiner. Apparently, the oldest four kids did not whine in that context, or if we did, maybe not as much? I remember enjoying going on the hikes, even in the rain, and thrilling at the views at the top and the exhaustion and soreness at the end.More
The Law by Frédéric Bastiat is a short, searing work praising free markets and condemning the socialism that was wrecking his nation of France. One of my favorite quotes about politicians who aim to control the citizens:
The claims of these organizers of humanity raise another question which I have often asked them and which, so far as I know, they have never answered: If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? The organizers maintain that society, when left undirected, rushes headlong to its inevitable destruction because the instincts of the people are so perverse. The legislators claim to stop this suicidal course and to give it a saner direction. Apparently, then, the legislators and the organizers have received from Heaven an intelligence and virtue that place them beyond and above mankind; if so, let them show their titles to this superiority.
I decided to watch the Gillette ad this morning. I wasn’t going to, because I really don’t care, in either direction. But I watched it since many of you are writing and commenting about it. Having watched it I say “meh.” I am not outraged by it, though I do understand what might cause folks to be irritated or even mildly angry. If you are outraged by it, you may be a little over-sensitive. But I don’t think any of you are. This is another red cups moment, where our cultural opponents project their own behaviors on to us.
Leaving aside the fact that a razor company ought to just shut up about cultural values and sell razors, I think there are some points worth considering.More
To: David S. Taylor, Chairman, President and CEO / Procter & Gamble
Dear Mr. Taylor — Recently Gillette, one of the brands in the Procter & Gamble family, chose to post a video about the rampant toxic masculinity of men. As you know, the video has become quite controversial but demonstrates that Gillette is willing to gamble on offending a large portion of its customer base on what it perceives is an omnipresent social ill that society must correct and eliminate. Other brands in the Procter & Gamble family, as you are most intimately familiar given your history in leading the brand management group for Pampers, deal with a customer base that sadly and regrettably is under constant assault, an assault much more severe than the occasional catcall, or grope, or objectification of women. In fact, this assault has been going on for decades and has resulted in literally killing off tens of millions of your combined international customer base, a staggering number of customers that eclipse the number murdered by Hitler or Stalin. And yet Procter & Gamble remains silent in the face of this genocide when it could use its voice and influence to help change the behavior of millions of women, and often-complicit fathers, who end the lives of healthy, living unborn human beings.More
I recently read Pat Buchanan’s book, White House Wars, which describes his time working for Richard Nixon, including some years before he became president and running through Nixon’s resignation. It was based on a recommendation from Scott Johnson on a Power Line post. I had already been aware of the book and had listened to some interviews of Buchanan when it first came out in 2017.
Scott Johnson said he bought it just for the chapter where Buchanan describes his appearance before the Senate Watergate Committee. And that’s what attracted me. The Watergate hearings were televised by all the television networks during the daytime in the summer of 1973. I was between my freshman and sophomore year in high school that summer and already a political junkie. It was my first opportunity to watch the Senate on television.More
Don’t touch that dial! Next week, from Monday through Thursday, Ricochet’s theater of the imagination presents Judge Mental in 1954’s strangest and boldest futuristic radio script fantasy about the beginning of the 21st century, “Lord Protector of the United States.”
It’s been a troubling question for republics since the times of the Caesars; what happens in those few, crucial times when saving the country from chaos seems to demand utterly undemocratic means? How can a total outsider to politics, a moody, gifted loner, a former astronaut and computer wizard with a vigilante streak, rise to power over a great continental nation? How dare he try to resolve its roiling race to bloodshed? There aren’t really topical questions here, just timeless ones. In next week’s story, nineteen fifty-four looks ahead almost a half century to a changed world, made richer by technology like atomic helicopters and automated kitchens. But human nature doesn’t change.More
I wasn’t shocked when I saw this from LifeNews, “For Every 1,000 Babies Born, New York City Kills 544 Babies in Abortions.” Over one-third of pregnancies in New York City ends in the killing of the child. I wasn’t shocked because I knew NYC was the abortion capital of the US as far as a single city goes. And that’s not good enough. The Dems have taken over both Houses of the legislature in NY State now and fully intend to expand abortions if that is physically possible.
On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton joined forces at a Barnard College rally to promote the Reproductive Health Act (RHA). As Jack Crowe reported for National Review, Cuomo has “no doubt” that conservative justices will enable the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion at the a federal level. If that happens, the RHA will fortify abortion right in New York state law.
Folks, here’s the completion of my trilogy with John Presnall on liberalism confronted with technological surveillance: Brian De Palma’s Blow Out, which puts together image and sound, Antonioni’s Blow-Up and Coppola’s The Conversation, turning these theoretical studies of art and technology into a practical matter — where does art stand to corrupt politics in our world.More
We’ve all been told you can’t judge a book by its cover even when sometimes you most certainly can. Unfortunately the victims of this sexual predator didn’t have the pleasure or the advance warning of seeing this man’s face, many had only heard his voice, often his impersonated feminine voice, when they responded to his phone calls for babysitting services, cleaning services, taxi services, or real estate (presumably on the pretext that he wanted to sell his home).More