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Of Predators and Prey

With the recent rash of revelations out of Hollywood, Alabama, and Minnesota pertaining to sexual misbehavior, we have a perfect opportunity to have a national dialogue, and actually make some changes. Of course, we have had many opportunities for that dialogue before (remember Anita Hill?) and we seem to be almost supernaturally able to forgive, forget, and return to business as usual. Then the next incident arises and we are shocked, shocked I tell you, that this is going on, and has been going on for so long. How is it we didn’t notice? How could these men be so predatory without someone knowing? (I’ll tell you a secret – people did know. Lots of people knew about Harvey Weinstein. Lots of people knew about Roy Moore. And since Al Franken was not alone when he misused his proximity to a sleeping woman, it is likely that people knew about that, too.)

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FAQs

Some decades since, when my workplace was trying to familiarize us with using computers at work, in a weak moment one of the head honchos requested that we surf the internet for a while each day to find out what useful treasures were available to us.  Among many other things, I quickly discovered that this was a world which was powered by inscrutable acronyms.  And so it came to pass that one day I innocently asked somebody what the deuce ‘FAQ’ stood for.  I was misinformed.

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What were the Oughties? What are the Teens?

I suppose I should have seen it coming; each decade of my life became a little less distinct.  The fifties were, of course, suburban conformity, though I didn’t spend them in a suburb and my parents were not the most pliant conformists.  The sixties quickly got filed under ‘peace and love’ with a dollop of political activism—though some spoilsport was always ready to point out that more than half of those sixties took place in the seventies.  As for the seventies, things got a bit hazier, but they seemed to be sort of like the sixties except that nobody thought that stuff was so great any more, and some of the activism was elbowed out by political scandal.  Then the eighties, the ‘Greed is Good” decade, and it seemed like the pigeonholed decade was back to stay.

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