Trey Radel was caught purchasing cocaine in D.C. through an undercover federal drug investigation on October 29th. But then…
[Radel] didn’t think to tell House GOP leaders of his problems. He had the gall, as the Naples Daily News reported, to go ahead with a $1,000-per-platefundraiser in Naples, Fla., on Nov. 5. He gave an interview Nov. 13 to The Post’s David A. Fahrenthold in which he actually talked about the need for Congress “to start making the adult decisions.” Please. But then it’s probably too much to expect self-awareness from someone who doesn’t see the contradiction between his actions and requiring drug tests for food-stamp recipients.
Only after he had no choice but to go public did Mr. Radel ’fess up. Then came the requisite apology, contrition to family, announcement of a “leave of absence,” donation of his salary to a charity and entry into rehab for substance abuse.
Too bad there is no clinic that treats abuse of the public trust.
When I first saw Lily Allen’s new music video, Hard Out Here, I was torn. Allen was obviously trying to point out the ridiculousness of other pop music videos: sex, objectification of women and minorities, money, drugs, the list goes on. My problem was that her video didn’t look all that different. I have issues with Lady Gaga for the same reason - how is she advancing equality when her music videos are so sexualized? Just because you wear untraditional costumes doesn’t mean you are liberated from pop culture’s sexist background. (Yes, I know that she is an amazing advocate for LGBT and other issues. Yet I continue to struggle to admire her.)
Reading the responses to Hard Out There, everyone was applauding Allen for her groundbreaking message. I went on with my day, wondering if I was just too prude to get it - as far as I could tell, the video sure didn’t look, or sound, like it was addressing exploitation, racism or sexism.
This article from The Atlantic (by Noah Berlatsky) put my discomfort into words:
Whether it’s Lady Gaga commenting ironically on fame or Britney commenting ironically on, um, fame, the videos are only popular if they adhere to the formula of the thing they’re satirizing, like a tamer Weird Al with more booty-shaking. And so, helplessly, Allen has reproduced Cyrus’s unpleasant racial politics without understanding what those politics are, or how her stated theme of sexual objectification might have something, somehow, to do with representations of black women’s bodies.
Berlatsky also points out what really drives Lily Allen’s image at the end of the day - sales.
There are things Allen could have done if she was really committed to skewering pop. If the idea is that the white guy is in control, she could have had him manipulating dancing puppets, with no real dancers anywhere in sight. She could have aging white guy asses shaking in slow motion, for that matter, while black women in business suits look on in appreciation/disgust.
But then you’re getting weird and maybe actually not sexy, at which point your status as marketable commodity starts to come into question.
To be clear, on a final note, everyone is free to dress, behave, and sing however they want. I have no problem with that. What frustrates me is that (in my opinion) if we want to have a real conversation about the prevalent cultural issues in our society, we need to remove some of the distractions for a moment. Watching people be objectified is not a great way to address objectification, etc. I wouldn’t expect people to take me seriously if I was twerking all the time. Maybe Lily Allen shouldn’t either.
It is an inadmissibly narrow conception of American constitutional law to confine it to the words of the Constitution and to disregard the gloss which life has written upon them.
It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.
My grandfather sent me this quote the other day. I’m taking a break from reading law textbooks to pick up a novel this evening, and it is such a great feeling to immerse yourself in another world for an hour or so.
Too Close to Call