Sunday, November 12, 2017

What use is the Bible Belt if it can’t even keep a Republican’s pants on?

Judge Roy Moore, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate. If you see
him coming, lock up your daughters.

Years ago, somebody told me a joke. 

Q: What’s the definition of a virgin in Alabama?
A: “A fourteen year old girl who can run faster than her uncles.”

I used to think the joke was disparaging of Alabamans. It sounded like something out of a novel by Erskine Caldwell. But c’mon, Tobacco Road was almost 80 years old when I first heard the virgin joke. And Tobacco Road happened in a different state. Nice try, but the joke was based on out-of-date information.

These days, I’m not so sure.

Case in point: Roy Moore. Surely you’ve already read at least some of the dirt on  Roy Moore. He’s the ex-judge who was removed from office for defying a higher court's orders to remove a fifty-two hundred pound block of granite, inscribed with the Ten Commandments, from the rotunda of his own courthouse where he had ordered it installed. His refusal was in defiance not only of the higher court, but also of the establishment of religion clause of the United States Constitution. That Roy Moore.

This Bible-thumping Republican from Alabama is running for the Senate and whaddaya know! Turns out that during his days as a thirty-two-year-old prosecutor, he offered to babysit the fourteen-year-old daughter of a woman who was going into court for a divorce. The judge took the fourteen-year-old’s phone number. Not her pretty and about-to-be-divorced mother’s phone number. The cute fourteen-year-old’s number.

Yes he did call. And he took the fourteen-year-old child to his house in the woods. Not once, but twice. And the second time, reports the Washington Post, “she says, he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.
“I wanted it over with — I wanted out,” she remembers thinking. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.”
Now other women have come forward, telling stories about how Moore, when he was thirty-something, dated them or tried to when they were fourteen in one case, sixteen in another, and seventeen in the third case.  Does anybody besides me see a pattern here having to do with minor children?

What’s interesting is that Moore’s defense is all over the map on this matter. Moore himself is denying it. But while Moore, last I checked, was in effect saying all the girls are liars — Moore’s buddy, Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler isn’t denying it. He seems to be saying — read his words and draw your own conclusion — that what Moroe did is okay, because the Bible says so.
“He’s clean as a hound’s tooth,” said Ziegler. “Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist.”
So you see, there it is! Being a powerful older man who spirits a child off to his little love nest in the woods and starts taking her clothes off and feeling her up is a good thing because hey, next thing you know, she’ll give birth to a saint (assuming all those evil abortionists don't get their hands on her first.) And not only that.

“Also take Joseph and Mary,” Ziegler babbled on. “Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”

Umm, wait a second there, State Auditor Ziegler. According to the Bible, Jesus was the product of a virgin birth. So if you’re not committing blasphemy by lying about the contents of the Bible tin order to further your own partisan political interests, what does that mean? It would have to mean that either that the Bible is lying, or that Joseph was cuckholding God. Or that contrary to the fundamentalist churches of the south, Jesus was in no way the son of God. And if that literal interpretation of the Bible goes away, what's next to bite the dust of literal belief? Dinosaurs romping with Adam and Eve?

In any case, if, somehow, any members of ISIS are reading this, I do recommend that you put your arms around Moore and Ziegler and give them both great big hugs. Each of them in his own way seems in tune with all of you guys spiriting away teen-age girls and either raping or marrying them. Or maybe both. I thought this was one of the things we’ve been fighting to make stop, but no, according to Moore and Ziegler, it seems to be the American Way, too. Not to mention the Christian Way.

Oh, and this from ths Washington post, in which Ziegler adds to his defense of Moore:
Moore began dating his wife Kayla around this time, according to Ziegler. “He dated her. He married her, and they’ve been married about 35 years. They’re blessed with a wonderful marriage and his wife Kayla is 14 years younger than Moore.”
Umm, Auditor Ziegler? I think that’s part of the point all of us are making.

At any rate, I herewith suggest changing the old joke about Alabama virgins. From now on, I’ll be telling it this way:

Q: “What’s the definition of a virgin?”
A: A fourteen year old girl who can run faster than a Republian.

UPDATE: (November 14th): In addition to a fifth woman having stepped forward to accuse Moore of sexual misconduct since I posted this commentary, the New Yorker magazine today is reporting that while in his 30s, Moore's pursuit, often unwanted, of teen-age girls at a local shopping mall led the mall to ban him from the premises.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Student recruitment advertising that does more than recruit students

Could anything be duller than an ad that encourages you to consider a particular educational institution? You almost know what it's going to tell you: That its graduates do well. That there are tons of academic resources. That you'll love your professors. That the extracurricular activities are great. That the campus is beautiful. That everybody has fun. That....z-z-z-zzzzzz.

But then there's UC Hastings, the University of California law school in San Francisco. They've got something to say, not only about themselves, but about the world in which their graduates will function. That there are things going on in this nation that are an outrage. And that lawyers can do something about those things.

Here are three examples of someone presenting great reasons to go to law school, created with the help of their local advertising agency, Mortar. The ads make me want to ask, "Where do I apply?"