America has always been a hotbed of fads, conspiracy theories, and over the top reactions to perceived wrongs, injustices and abuses of power. None has been more compelling than the recent revelations concerning Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. Hundreds of women have come forward and have accused not only Mr. Weinstein and Mr. Cosby but other people and have leveled charges of abuse that occurred more than twenty years ago. For me the apex of this primal scream from women around the country was the WTF moment when some ambitious nobody accused President George H.W. Bush of sexual assault the other day because he played a little grab ass with her. How far are we going to carry this ridiculous scenario?

I get it that some guys carry their aggressiveness too far and come perilously close to rape and maybe rape itself but that is not what we have come to. We have come to an ex- president of the United States who is 90 years old in a wheel chair being accused of and apologizing for sexual assault because in his seated position he couldn’t put his arm around her waist and grabbed her ass instead.

When I was a young man, If a man wasn’t aggressive with a girl, she would never put out unless one established a long relationship with her. Women always liked the aggressive, confident bad boys over the stable nice guys and they still do. They had to be pushed into sexual relations because “they weren’t like that” or they were saving it “until they got married”. One of the heroes of my era was Clark Gable who would grab a girl like Scarlett Ohara and kiss her while she was fighting him all the way. After a few moments she would relent and throw her arms around him for a passionate kiss. Another was Errol Flynn who always played the affable rogue in his pictures. In his private life he was considered a womanizer and generated the expression “in like Flynn”. Is that sexual abuse? According to today’s definition I suppose it is. But some dumb fuck who looks more like Ernest Borgnine than Clark Gable or Errol Flynn and is less suave and less confident than Gable or Flynn who tries that gets slapped or yelled at and then accused of sexual assault.

Since 1968 and the sexual revolution, women have become more liberated and more open to sexual contact which would seem to give men more license to pursue women knowing that they probably do not have any reluctance to participate because of social mores. The conundrum now is that when she indicates that she is attracted to someone and the man starts contact and at any point before penetration she says no, then WTF is the guy supposed to do. When one is all fired up and ready to go, it’s awfully difficult to stop and cede to her protestations. She has come too far.

At any rate feminine power is beginning to emasculate men in our society and the effects of this sea change in the male-female relationship may be long lasting and may be a good thing and maybe a not so good thing. I think that our DNA does not really change. Men and women will slowly have to adjust to the new regimen. But in the meantime, destroying someone’s life and reputation for something that he did 20 years ago when this conduct was at least tolerated and in my day almost accepted seems unfair and unjust.

I remember Kennedy’s inauguration day very well. I was in my first year as a cadet (fourth classman) at the Air Force Academy and the entire cadet wing was sent to Washington, D.C. for the event, as were West Point, Annapolis, and the Coast Guard Academy. We all marched very proudly in what was to be a mythical presidency that ended early in one of the true disasters of our time. But for me, the only thing that I can really remember is how bitter cold it was that day and it seems we waited for hours to begin our march. When I say we waited, I mean standing in formation with our rifles either at parade rest or at ease. My feet were freezing and we had these thin white cotton gloves that looked good on parade but were useless as far as keeping one’s hands warm. All in all it was not a pleasant memory.

As we marched we had our rifles (the heavy M-1, not the lighter M-16 that was used later) at either left shoulder or right shoulder arms for the entire march. My frozen hand holding the butt of the rifle was slow to thaw out when we changed shoulders and sort of stayed in a fist while I kept trying to move my fingers. We also started with overcoats but as I remember, we shed them before the pass in review because they didn’t look so good on parade. This lack of clothing, of course, added to my discomfort and overall pissed offedness. I really did not want to be there.

The march itself was better because we were moving and apart from the claw I was developing from holding the rifle, it was a damn sight better than waiting in formation. The only other thing I remember as we passed the reviewing stand was Jackie Kennedy in her pillbox hat. Even at that distance I was impressed and always carry that image in my mind.

Years later, after the assassination, and listening to the historic speech from that cold January day fifty years ago, I am glad that I was a part of it. I feel that I was a small witness to history.

When Jackie died in 1994. The memories of that day came flooding back into my thoughts and I wrote the following poem. Although it doesn’t deal directly with the assassination, I thought it appropriate to publish it on this momentous anniversary.

Hello Again!

posted by frafish
Sep 6

I was caught sleeping, much like Obama in his first debate, and did not renew my site registration on time and lost my original site and most of my posts. Luckily I was able to register a new site with the same name after the name had been in the netherworld of web sites for a couple of months. Nobody picked up the name so I was able to recoup.

I haven’t written much during this election cycle because quite frankly the campaign is not as interesting as the ’08 campaign, and also I thought that Obama would win in a landslide of at least ten points. I still think he will win but he has made the election unnecessarily close by his puzzling performance in the first debate. If it had been a sporting event I would have said that he threw the game. He seems to be back on track but it is difficult to erase those first impressions, especially among women. Women like men who are strong, authoritative, and decisive and Obama came up short in that first debate.

Obama should do very well in the final debate and I hope he does because it will be his last chance to get things going his way again. Foreign policy is Obama’s strong suit but recent events will be a sticking point for him and Romney will certainly attack him on recent events in Libya.