Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wow! So much for picking up VA.

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It's almost as if Va. Senate candidate Jim Webb was reading Mark Foley's e-mails.

The press release, as provided by the Allen Campaign:


The Author’s Disturbing Writings Show a Continued Pattern of Demeaning Women

· Some of Webb’s writings are very disturbing for a candidate hoping to represent the families of Virginians in the U.S. Senate.

· Many excellent books about the United States military and wartime service accomplish their purposes, and even win awards, without systematically demeaning women, and without dehumanizing women, men and even children.

· Webb’s novels disturbingly and consistently – indeed, almost uniformly – portray women as servile, subordinate, inept, incompetent, promiscuous, perverted, or some combination of these. In novel after novel, Webb assigns his female characters base, negative characteristics. In thousands of pages of fiction penned by Webb, there are few if any strong, admirable women or positive female role models.

Why does Jim Webb refuse to portray women in a respectful, positive light, whether in his non-fiction concerning their role in the military, or in his provocative novels? How can women trust him to represent their views in the Senate when chauvinistic attitudes and sexually exploitive references run throughout his fiction and non-fiction writings?

· Most Virginians and Americans would find passages such as those below shocking, especially coming from the pen of someone who seeks the privilege of serving in the United States Senate, one of the highest offices in the land:

– Lost Soldiers: “A shirtless man walked toward them along a mud pathway. His muscles were young and hard, but his face was devastated with wrinkles. His eyes were so red that they appeared to be burned by fire. A naked boy ran happily toward him from a little plot of dirt. The man grabbed his young son in his arms, turned him upside down, and put the boy’s penis in his mouth.”

Bantam Books, NY, 1st Edition, 2001, (hard cover), page 333.
Quote is from para. 10,.Chap. 34.

– Something to Die For: "Fogarty . . . watch[ed] a naked young stripper do the splits over a banana. She stood back up, her face smiling proudly and her round breasts glistening from a spotlight in the dim bar, and left the banana on the bar, cut in four equal sections by the muscles of her vagina."

William Morrow and Company, Inc., NY 1991, 1st Ed. (hardcover), p. 36.
Avon Books, New York, 1992 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 35
Quote is from para. 29, Chap. 2 “The South China Sea,”, Section 2

– A Country Such as This: "[He] could see Jawbone and Ashley Asthmatic [two guards at a Vietnamese prison camp] napping together in the grass. They faced inward, their arms entwined. It looked like they were masturbating each other. It didn't surprise him. … It was common to see men holding hands, embracing, playing with each other. Some of them [the guards] had wanted him. He could tell in those evanescent moments between his bao cao bow, the obligatory deference when a guard entered his cell, and the first word or blow that followed it… Quick, grinding voices, turgid with repressed passion. An exploratory reaching of the hand near his groin…”

Doubleday & Co., Garden City, NY, 1983 (hardcover); page 396.
Bluejacket Books, 2001 (Trade paperback edition), page 396
Page numbers are the same in the Naval Institute Press (paperback) edition, 1983.
Quote is from fifth para, Part 5 “A Country Such As This,” Chap. 24, Section 1

– A Sense of Honor: “Nurse Goodbody, dark and voluptuous (Lenahan had forgotten her actual name, it was something long and Italian), was a bedtime friend to many of the doctors in Bethesda. She had hinted to Lenahan that she simply could not contain herself. Doctors tending to patients, she explained, aroused her. Morphine Mary (again Lenahan could not remember her exact name) was a thin, nervous drill sergeant type, a disciplinarian who did not allow her patients even to complain. Lenahan was convinced that Morphine Mary did not even sleep with her husband. She wasn’t bad looking, he mused again, staring at her thin frame. If she’d just get laid every now and then she’d mellow out and stop being such a damn witch.” (p. 164) (Lenahan brings Goodbody home with him and has sex, pp. 188-190)

Prentice-Hall, New York, 1981 (hardcover)
Bantam, New York, 1982 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 164
Trade paperback edition, Bluejacket Books, 1995, p. 164
Quote is from fourth para in Part 3, “Chapter 4:1600”

– Something to Die For: "[Fogarty] has been thinking of the firm, springy skin and the sweet smells of a young Filipina woman named Maria in whose bed he had spent three nights almost twenty years ago. . . . She was a deliciously bad young woman. . . . On the second night, he had brought her a box of Godiva chocolates . . . . he had awakened to find her in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet with her knees underneath her chin, eating chocolates and counting her rosary beads as she prayed."

William Morrow and Company, Inc., NY 1991, 1st Ed. (hardcover), p. 32.
Avon Books New York, 1992 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 30
Quote is from third para in Chapter 2 “South China Sea,”, Part 2

– Something to Die For: "We're on our way to becoming the world's recreational center, a nation [USA] not to be taken seriously. Where are we still the undisputed leader? Music. Movies. Fast food. Drugs. . . . the billboards fifty years from now as you come over the bridge and stop at the tollbooths outside Manhattan: A smiling beautiful naked woman, and the sign saying AMERICAN ASS IS OUR MOST IMPORTANT PRODUCT."

William Morrow and Company, Inc., NY 1991, 1st Ed. (hardcover), p. 199.
Avon Books New York, 1992 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 237
Quote is from para. 38, Chap. 13, Part 1, (five paras before Part 2).

– Fields of Fire: Snake (the protagonist) sees his mother on the bed: "She looked as if she were carefully attempting to re-create a picture from some long-forgotten men's magazine . . . . She was naked underneath the robe . . . . and the robe fell loosely away, revealing her. Snake shrugged resignedly."

Prentice-Hall, New York, 1978 (Hardcover, 1st edition), p. 8
Bantam Books "mass market [paperback] edition" published in Sept. 2001. p. 9.
Quote is from paragraphs 18-23, Part 1 “The Best We Have”, Section 1
(NOTE: Part 1 is after the Prologue)

– Fields of Fire: "He saw the invitation with every bouncing breast and curved hip. . . . He was thirteen. . . . She was fifteen . . . . In a few moments she drew him to her and he murmured in his quiet voice, 'I am still small.' 'You are large enough,' she answered. And he found he was."

Prentice-Hall, New York, 1978 (Hardcover, 1st edition), pp. 211-212
Bantam Books "mass market [paperback] ed." published in Sept. 2001, pp. 280-81.
Quote is from paragraphs 8-20, Part 2 “The End of the Pipeline,” Chapter 24

– A Sense of Honor: “… that is, if you knew who your sister was, Brustein, and if she’d been born with anything between her legs except an asshole, I’d be happy to bring some class to your low-rent name by knocking the bitch up.” (p. 223)

Prentice-Hall, New York, 1981 (hardcover)
Bantam, New York, 1982 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 223
Trade paperback edition, Bluejacket Books, 1995, p. 223
Quote is from 17th para in Part 4, “Chapter 7:1930”

– A Sense of Honor: “You wouldn’t have believed it, Swede. She just dropped her britches and lifted up her skirt and pissed like a man. Didn’t lose a drop, either. Not a drop.” (p. 183)

Prentice-Hall, New York, 1981 (hardcover)
Bantam, New York, 1982 (Mass-Market paperback edition), p. 183
Trade paperback edition, Bluejacket Books, 1995, p. 183
Quote is from 23rd para in Part 3, “Chapter 8: 2300”


Now if this is all true, there is no way the Democrats can pick up this seat, making it so they must now win the Senate seats in Missouri and Tennessee in order to pick up the Senate.

With the Ford campaign seemingly in freefall and the Michael J Fox add mobilizing the base for Jim Talent,in a few days polls may tell us that the GOP has a little bit less to worry about on election day.

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Anonymous said...

"Bear with me as I try to figure out this Jim Webb situation. Senator Allen and the mighty GOP cabal is making a big deal about several historical novels written by Jim Webb and endorsed by Senator McCain which depict the horrors of the Vietnam War. The horrors include sexual references and acts which many veterans observed in the war. This somehow proves Jim Webb's lack of character.

Am I getting it so far?

Good. Let's continue.

Senator Allen and many of his fellow right wing parrots never served in Vietnam or in any war for that matter and one of the only Republicans who did in fact serve in Vietnam is actually on the record claiming the book is a vivid depiction of the some of the war's atrocities.

Got it. But wait...

Senator Allen, meanwhile, made a cameo appearance in the awful movie Gods and Generals (in the interest of fairness, Stephen Lang, who played Stonewall Jackson, was brilliant). Gods and Generals, apart from being a preachy love letter to the Confederacy with an editorial pace making it seem only about two minutes shorter than the actual war, contained repeated instances of the word "darkies" to describe African-Americans while glorifying the generals who engaged in what technically amounted to an organized military and political insurrection against the United States. Senator Allen is seen in the movie singing the Bonnie Blue Flag lyric, "Hurrah! Hurrah! For Southern rights, hurrah!" implying, in part, the right to own slaves. Senator Allen, when you boil it right down, portrayed a traitor against the United States. An insurgent, if you will.

Yet few would be insane enough to indict Allen for this, other than his taste in writer/directors. It was a movie about actual events and actual behavior in Virginia during the American Civil War. He was involved in a production which fictionalized actual historical events -- events which included the ugliness of American war. Even after repeated allegations of racism, no-one I can think of has actually made an argument against Allen based on his Gods and Generals appearance. If anything, the Republicans could've made a gigantic hoohah over the fact that Allen appeared in the same scene as "far-left secular progressive" Ted Turner who, by the way, financed the movie and portrayed a Confederate officer.

That said, Senator Allen has again exposed his own lack of character and, more than anything, his myriad of political weaknesses in this latest desperate smear of his opponent. Allen dressed up in a mustache and butternut uniform and performed in a theatrical account of the Civil War which dramatized, in part, some of the ugliest truths of that era. Webb actually served meritoriously in the Vietnam War and wrote about the ugly truths he witnessed in wartime and its aftermath. Allen pretended to be a soldier, which is as close as he ever came to actual military service, while Webb served bravely and honorably.

Now tell me -- because maybe I'm missing it -- do Senator Allen and his chickenhawk supporters in the wingnut media have a leg to stand on? Does Lynne Cheney, who has written salacious books and whose husband received five deferments from the draft during Vietnam ("Dick did not"), have any right to impugn Jim Webb on CNN? Do the hypocrite roll call. It's not too difficult. Check out some of Arnold's movies. Check out what the president and others did while members of Yale's Skull & Bones society.

At the end of the day, the Rove Republicans have once again highlighted how shameless they can truly be. Not only have they brazenly and without remorse attacked the patriotism of decorated veterans like Max Cleland and Senator McCain, but now they're attacking a decorated veteran who wrote about the war. They've ripped these passages out of context for the easily led masses and posted them on Drudge. Then, in the most ridiculous strategic move in this outrageous stratagem, they pooped out Lynne Cheney and dumped her in CNN's lap to perpetuate this trumped up outrage against a Vietnam War veteran.

Now Jim Webb, a well-vetted Reagan appointee, has been forced to defend his stories of the war. Likewise, Michael J. Fox has been forced to defend his Parkinson's symptoms. What kind of party is this which controls our entire government and most of our media right now? It's surely a party which hasn't deserved a single second of that kind of success. And the only reason why they've managed to attain this power is very simply because they're good at "one thing," as Karl Rove quoted from City Slickers this week. That one thing is manipulation. They manipulate you and everyone they encounter through fear, deception and ignorance of the truth. They manipulate good people into defending themselves when no defense would otherwise have been required.

I think I've grasped this now. Thanks for your patience.

A final note to anyone who's written about the atrocities of the Iraq War and who plans to one day serve in politics. Delete now -- especially if there's a chapter about Abu Ghraib containing the phrase 'naked men smeared with feces forming a human pyramid.' Who knows what brand of futuristic cyberwingnut will try to nail you on it."

Anonymous said...

You also forgot to mention that Webb's book Fields of Fire is reccomended reading by the U.S. Marine Corps.