Friday, November 20, 2015

Bodily harm greater than secret shame

According to Washington Post columnist Lonnae O'Neal, Charlie Sheen is a victim. Raised in Beverly Hills by the Hollywood set, sharing famous father Martin Sheen's movie star good looks, and success as an award winning actor with both a highly successful movie career (lead character in Best Picture “Platoon” (1986); opposite Michael Douglas's Oscar-winning performance in “Wall Street” (1987)) as well as being a one-time highest paid TV actor at $2 million per episode. Further, a previous marriage to fellow actress, former Bond girl bombshell Denise Richards wasn't half bad either. Indeed, by any rational standard, Mr. Sheen the younger, has led a very charmed life.

Yes, Charlie had the world on a string—and understandably millions would have traded places with him. Many brave souls among us probably still would despite Mr. Sheen's new public disclosure as HIV positive. After all, while not cured, there are effective treatments. Likewise, the very real terror of the disco era late 70's and early 80's and the stigma faced by Rock Hudson and Freddie Mercury is nothing compared to the educated and tolerant attitudes of today.

Per 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) figures HIV is the 6th leading cause of deaths worldwide at 1.5 million. So, the threat—same as the stigma—has receded, but remains real. Yet, Charlie Sheen should not be portrayed as a victim due to his poor personal life choices. With this wrong-headed assertion, Ms. O'Neal has missed the mark: the true victims here are Mr. Sheen's sexual partners—who did not know about his status—and may have contracted the virus from him. In the final analysis public health trumps “sick” secret shame every time.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A controversy full of beans

A plain, solid red Starbucks coffee cup as a veiled political statement?  Maybe it's simply a corporate printing cost-cutting measure?  Maybe it's a wink to China's Communist red?  This dynamic reminds me of surrealist painter Rene Magritte's The Treachery of Images.  This work clearly shows a smoker's pipe despite the fact that the artist wrote in neat French cursive beneath it: “This is not a pipe.”  Both above instances examples of mind-bending perception.  Real head-scratchers: Rorschach tests to ponder while sipping that $4 cup of morning Joe.

In today's hypersensitive society, it seems any minutia—even the absence of a snowflake pattern on a beverage receptacle—inexplicably rises to the level of a newspaper-reported “controversy?”  Even Freud acknowledged that sometimes “a cigar is just a cigar” and moved on.  The Washington Post should drink up and follow suit.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog

Monday, November 9, 2015

Race: from the eye of the beholder

Stop The Washington Post presses! One of their race-obsessed scribblers—their intrepid columnist Lonnae O'Neal—has begrudgingly admitted in print that she was wrong! She who previously has seen absolutely every black-white human interaction through that divisive prism—might have had a moment of clarity. A real rarity in political terms: a "come to Jesus" epiphany. Don't expect it to last as habitual race-baiting pays the bills. After all, unlike 93 million able-bodied Americans who can't find a job, Ms. O'Neal doesn't want to inadvertently find herself the latest casualty of Mr. Obama's “5%” unemployment rate.

Her new column, 'Why can’t we agree on what we see when we see race?' addresses her previous one: 'Was classroom arrest a case of excessive force? Just imagine it was a white girl.' Regarding the latter, the reader has not even gotten to body of the article (or the objective details of the situation) and Ms. O'Neal's bias is already in full flower in the title.

Fast-forward two weeks. Suddenly, that which she was so adamant about—that race was the causal factor—perhaps, after all, was incidental to the greater issue of a bullying cop wrongly manhandling an intransigent student. Although Ms. O'Neal is very late to the party of evolved and generally tolerant 21st century race relations, it is a real pleasure to extend a welcoming hand. If she lounges, she will find the waters more than fine.

Today, she sensibly sees video cop incidents, such as the above, as “'racial Rorschach test[s,]' [d]ifferent people seeing the same thing but drawing different conclusions.” In other words, scientifically, one's internal belief system automatically filters physical stimuli into a unique point of view. Therefore, by definition, a “racist” has nothing to do with skin color, but with a mindset that sees every societal ill as framed by a racial cause or consequence.

Is it any wonder 7 years into the most polarizing president in U.S. history who subverts the social order (“The cops acted stupidly”) and engages in race (“If I had a son he'd look like Trayvon”) and class warfare (“You didn't build that”) at every opportunity that attitudes would not be hardened? Indeed, how could they not be? Obama and the abetting MSM (which, of late, Ms. O'Neal has been an active participant) have spawned the Black Lives Matter Frankenstein monster.

Ms. O'Neal has finally seen the enemy that she acknowledges threatens to tear our divided republic asunder from within. Yet, same as our chronically responsibility-phobic president, she has still not realized she was looking in the mirror at the time.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog

Monday, November 2, 2015

Bad/good cops or unruly/innocent teenagers?

In the contest of the dueling Washington Post columnists Lonnae O'Neal and Petula Dvorak, both address competing viral police videos. In the first, Ms. O'Neal focuses on the negative view, highlighting the superficiality of ethnicity: a white officer inappropriately manhandles a seated black teen in a classroom. In Ms. Dvorak's, a white cop and a black teen have an impromptu dance-off which diffuses emotional tension, and causes spectator laughs and cheers. While O'Neal's subject is terrible and unfortunate, it thankfully is not Democrat Bull Connor's army of cops brandishing batons and attack dogs, barring the schoolhouse doors to minorities. On the other hand, Dvorak's “dancing” cop got her unexpected 15 minutes of internet fame while O'Neal's ill-tempered cop was fired.

In the final analysis which scenario truthfully depicts how 780,000 law enforcement officers generally interact with the public?

If we use MLK's enlightened standard of evaluating individuals by the content of their characters and not skin color, latitude should be given equally to cops and minorities. Indeed, demonizing either group compounds the disharmony MLK worked so diligently 60 years ago to overcome.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog