Aug 182017
 

I stalked a woman once.

Well, not really. That sounds like I followed her around and took photos or something, and I didn’t. I spooked her, though (regrettably).

She was a regular customer in the service department at Madison Books & Computers, bringing machines in for her employer. She was an attractive blonde, maybe a couple of years older than I was (so, 24 to my 22). I was nursing a shattered heart from a broken engagement, which made me behave erratically because the various parts of my emotional self were firing unpredictably, with different intensities and efficacies.

So, as part of figuring out how to date again, I decided it would be a good idea to write this woman (I’d give you her first name, but I don’t remember it) a few anonymous letters over the course of a couple of weeks, leading up to telling her who I was and inviting her to lunch in the last one. Great plan. How could she resist my verbal charms?

Now I don’t remember what I wrote, which is probably my memory protecting me from cringing so severely that my face might really freeze like that. I imagine that even in the gay old early 1990s, there wasn’t really any way to do what I did without the creepy factor being the overriding one.

What I definitely do remember is that I named the time and place for lunch, and made it clear that if she didn’t show, that would be the end of it. So if she wasn’t interested, she could simply do nothing. Instead, I got a phone call from someone who said he was her boyfriend, politely asking me to stop contacting her. I assured him I would, and that was the end of my stalking career.

That was a really odd time, between Tammy and Lea. I did manage to see some high-quality women for a while. I clumsily alienated some others. It was like I couldn’t quite remember the melody of a song, but then I’d get a piece of it, be much too relieved, and sing much too confidently, generating new nonsense for me to navigate. However good or bad the movie was, “getting your groove back” isn’t a bad way to put it at all.

And of course, none of this is a lament. I’m much happier today than I ever imagined was possible.

But I’m sorry I spooked you on the journey, blonde woman.

 Posted by at 10:02 am
Aug 162017
 

Say you’re watching a cooking show. If, in step three, the chef pisses in the mixing bowl, do you care what comes in step six or seven? Or even what he’s making at all?

And here we have the problem with the so-called “alt-right.”

“They” say some appealing things, frankly. They tend to be federalists. They support a strong national defense. They tend to favor lower taxes. (These would be analogous to steps one and two of the recipe on the cooking show. It’s easy to nod along with steps one and two.)

But then step three comes—the piss-in-the-bowl step. It’s something about the blacks and the Jews.

Oops.

And these alt-right people claim considerable common cause with mainstream conservatism. How many “UNITE THE RIGHT” signs were at that foolishness in Charlottesville? (You should translate those signs as “LEGITIMIZE US.”)

In the early days of National Review, William F. Buckley Jr. noted that he had similar “clowns in his house.” He used his nascent (but already influential) magazine to effectively evict them from conservatism.

President Trump faces a similar issue today. He must break conclusively and unambiguously with the alt-right, saying these are not our people. He must stress that alt-right support for him damages his agenda, not helps it. And finally, he must flush his administration of alt-right apologists and/or sympathizers. That means Steve Bannon has to go.

It is a considerable understatement to call Donald Trump an atypical president. And despite my refusal to support him, his brash unorthodoxy is something I have thought might be an effective weapon against the ongoing metastases of political correctness and identity politics. I hope it still can be.

But he must take this trash out first.

 Posted by at 10:34 am
Aug 142017
 

Sunday morning, my pastor told me he wants me to talk more. (Well, he told all of us.) He was specifically talking about the kind of talk I really don’t like—that which we do largely or solely because we’ve conditioned ourselves to be uncomfortable with silence. I don’t mean talking with anyone you see regularly, […]

 Posted by at 11:32 pm

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