We’re back in the USA after spending a delightful summer in Europe. Americans get much less wound up by important matters than they do by trivial ones. Barely had we stepped off the plane when we were struck by the latest trifling national emergency.
“He apparently asked some women in the mayor’s office not to wear panties.”
“Is that illegal?”
“It’s considered sexual harassment.”
Yes, dear reader, you can barely read a newspaper or watch TV without finding an account of some man whose sex drive has run him into a ditch. “It’s horrible!” “It’s criminal!” “It’s sick!”, says the commentariat.
Psychologists explain it. Preachers rant and rail against it. Lawyers prosecute it. And everyone condemns it. One source we consulted warned that it has reached “epidemic” proportions. There, we have to challenge the reporter. When we were in high school, there was at least one in a class of 30 who was considered creepy. Magnify that onto a population of 300 million and there should be at least ten million creeps. But there are only a handful of reports of such kinky behaviour in the press.
What do we conclude from that? We don’t know, but it appears that, far from becoming a major threat, the creeps are thinning out… and losing their mojo. Only in the public sector do perverts seem to be on the rise, which has its benefits. A government employee who is harassing the women in his office is at least not doing his job. That is probably a good thing. And, for all its negative press, creepy behaviour is a whole lot cheaper in lives and treasure than drones or Obamacare.
Today, we rise on behalf of Ed Filner, Anthony Wiener, and perverts, deviants, and weirdos everywhere. We rise because someone needs to stand up in their defence. But we’re not about to bend over!
You can search the press yourself. You won’t find a kind word for a pervert in any major news and opinion outlet. Instead, he is considered either a laughingstock… or a criminal.
What’s happened to those good old days, we wonder? Remember when the only way to lose an election was to be caught in bed with a dead woman or a live boy? And if you were a pig – you could say something salacious to a co-worker and not lose your job? You could ‘reach out and touch someone’ and not go to jail.
Bill Bonner on markets, economics & the madness of crowds
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Those were the days when America was a kinder, gentler, more forgiving place. A jackass was just a jackass, not a felon.
Now women are coming out of the closets and getting on Ed Filner’s case. Sixteen have claimed to have suffered at his hands. And here come the billboards in East Baltimore: “Did your boss say something to you that wasn’t funny? You may be entitled to money! Call the Cochrane Firm.”
But we would like to return to the panty issue, if you don’t mind. Mr Filner’s defence, if we read it right, is to turn the blame onto the city’s human resources team. They should have given him instruction on sexual harassment, he says.
And yet, if you read the accounts, he didn’t seem to need it. Even without formal training, he was pretty good at it.
Still, we find his defence weak and cowardly. He should use more imagination (that’s the trouble with perverts, generally; they lack imagination… it forces them to ‘act out’). Besides, he was on the right track.
Mr Filner merely has to articulate a proper ‘anti-panty’ agenda, and he would quickly have the press and the public on his side. If a woman is properly covered up, with a heavy skirt well below the knee, she hardly needs panties. They are a waste.
How much is spent each year on unnecessary drawers? We did a little research at home. Based on our admittedly limited sample, we conclude that American women spend about $37bn a year on panties. By our calculations that money could feed 50 million starving people. Has anyone thought this through?
At a bare minimum, so to speak, America’s women could donate their excess underwear to poor women in Africa and Asia. Better yet, dispense with it altogether! Think of the energy savings. All the people now engaged in manufacturing the flimsy fabrics: stitching and sewing, packaging, shipping, retailing. All of it takes energy which could be liberated for more important things – like making alcohol-free beer or organising pre-teen beauty pageants.
There is also the environmental angle. How many gallons of fossil fuel are used making superfluous knickers? At some point, if you believe some of the climatologists, we’re going to reach an apocalyptic tipping point. Someone will burn a gallon of gasoline and the carbon dioxide released will tip the entire world into a doomsday inferno. There are, of course, good reasons for using fossil fuel and risking the ‘end of the world as we know it’, but just putting on a pair of $100 skivvies seems hardly worth it.
Bob Filner needs to take to the offensive: people, not panties!
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