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Re-Postings Prompted By The Dalrymple Review Of Hollander's "Personals"
Sunday, 28 October 2007
Triumph of the Lack of Will
What a dope Ford was [for having suggested that Bill Clinton should have checked into a clinic for his "sex addiction".] But his dopiness reflects a more general dopiness.
The very idea that behavior that has been going on since time began should be called an addiction and treated therapeutically, when it just the usual behavior of a large number of men -- the womanizer, tombeur de femmes, donnaiolo, okhotnik do bab -- annoys.
Not an "addict" deserving of clinical treatment or sympathy, Clinton was unseemly in his behavior, and cruel in his indifference to his victims, always chosen -- perhaps that was the best he could do -- from those far beneath him in status, and whose lives, or at least some of them, have been permanently ruined by him. That is quite unlike the womanizing of Kennedy, who picked on women his own size, women who knew what they were doing.
Ford's "sex-addiction" represents the Triumph of the Lack of Will, the Triumph of the Therapeutic. Back to Deep Biology and hormones, but that too is not an excuse, for not everyone behaves like Bill Clinton. Behavior is modified by civilization. Men -- and women -- learn to keep things in check, to make things more interesting, to slow things down, to make them part of an elaborate system. and, as well, for all kinds of reasons that make sense, to control their impulses, should they have them.
We need not mimic the cavemen. Instead of the club, or the palaeolithic come-on -- say, want to see my wall etchings? (see Lascaux, see Altamira), over time other ways have developed. In the Western world, romantic love. See Denis De Rougemont. Horace and Propertius. The troubadours. Cours d'Amour. Lancelot and Guinevere. Petrarch. Elizabethan sonnet-cycles. The 1930s tenor who rhymes "moon" and "June." The shy boy carrying the shy girl's books back from high school. The soda-fountain date, with the soda jerk watching Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. The tango, Argentinean, Polish, Russian. The Personals Columns: "Love long walks on the Vineyard. Weekends in Umbria and Normandy. Bouley and Nobu. Pachelbel Canon by candlelight." All of it.
Clinton was more like a caveman, that's all. A smooth-talking and plausible caveman, and apparently a crowd-pleaser, but a primitive caveman nonetheless. No need to consult the Handbook of Psychiatric Disorders. The language employed in, say, 1940, or 1840, or 1740, meets the case.
Posted on 10/28/2007 12:01 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Re-posted from July 7, 2005:
MWMM, financially secure, seeks SW aged 9 to 19, for fun and fourth wifedom, to make my family life complete. Friends tell me I have smoldering come-hither looks, and am incredibly handsome; wives unanimously insist I am Ghassan Massoud look-alike. Piercing brown eyes, nicely-trimmed beard, athletic and fit. Very careful about watching what I eat. South Tehran sincerity, North Tehran income. Widely-travelled (chiefly European capitals, including Vienna and Paris, but also within Middle East) in the past, but really prefer to stay at home with a good book (last book read: Qur’an). Enjoy halal cooking. Wives 1, 2, and 3 have all won pistachio-and-honey pastry bakeoffs. Hobby: haggling for bargains with the bazaaris and haunting old bookshops (last purchase: leather-bound Qur’an with silver metalwork from Meshed). Collect old tapes of Qur’anic recitation, also examples of Qur’anic calligraphy from Qom. Secret dream: being put in charge of redecorating Andalucia as long-term project on popular television series This-Old-Dar-Al-Islam. Outgoing, solid citizen, long-time member of Oversight Council for the Guardians of Virtue. Much-decorated Revolutionary Guard and Basij veteran. Accomplished hands-on former mayor of major metropolitan area, not a thinker but a doer. Proven track record of following through on special projects, from earliest planning stage to final execution.
Unpretentious, good father, history buff (special interest: 7th century Arabia). Solid Mideastern values. Grew up on a farm outside Tehran, like to think I retain that basic rural outlook. Still passionate about most large animals (Ayatollah Khomeini’s “How to Treat Your Barnyard Animals” was favorite bedtime reading during teenage years). Famous for my irreverent humor (jokes about the weather a specialty). Adventurous in spirit, yet thoughtful and quiet in manner, with a truly global approach to the world’s problems. Strong proponent of nuclear program as environmentally-friendly alternative source of power for Iran. Believe that family, tribe, and Umma come before all else. Successful, strongly motivated, never satisfied until all goals completely achieved no matter what the sacrifices.
Hoping to find that special someone of similar background, submissive and quiet, content to be good cook and house-cleaner, happy in her chador, who cannot drive and understands that for women, even more than for men, thinking is greatly overrated.
Pet peeves: sculpture, painting, music, wine, dogs, Infidels.
Marriage first, then possibly getting to know each other, just a little bit, later.
If interested, please send picture (eye-slit only), and contact information (if under the age of 11, please include parents’ contact information) to: Office of the President, Big White Palace With The Gold Leaf Domes and Carpets and Vases and Other Stuff Inside, Islamic Republic of Iran, Tehran, Iran.