By most accounts, GM's legendary designer Bill Mitchell — the split-window Corvette and the Buick Riviera are his, and that was just model year 1963 — was a Don Draper type long before Don Draper, his life a cavalcade of booze, women, ethnic slurs, women, and booze. TTAC examines the available evidence, which by contemporary standards would be considered damning. But Jack Baruth, of TTAC's editorial staff, demurs:

For all we know, if the current trend towards creating feminized, PC, low-energy, low-achievement men continues at its current pace, every corporate meeting in the country fifty years from now will start off with the board members each performing a ritualized suck-off of a basketball player while tearing up a picture of Steve McQueen and urinating on a piece of the True Cross. And we will all be demonized in retrospect for not having had the sense to voluntarily do that in the year 2011.

I hate to say it, since I'm not a WASP myself (duh), but this country worked a hell of a lot better and accomplished a hell of a lot more when racist, sexist, hateful white children of bigoted privilege ran the show.

The America of 1941 regularly marginalized Jewish people while simultaneously stopping the Holocaust. The America of 2010 is careful not to do the former but would never have the guts to do the latter.

Ed Welburn, who runs GM Design these days, probably wouldn't have had a chance under the likes of Bill Mitchell. To that extent, anyway, yay for inclusiveness; marginalizing the likes of Ed Welburn, a genuine car guy — if you need a new Camaro, it helps to have someone on hand who drives a classic Camaro — is just wrong, not to mention counterproductive.

Still, productivity is, if not central to Baruth's complaint, certainly not tangential: presumably we're catering to delicate sensitivities rather than getting the job done. (Three words: "Transportation Security Administration.") I don't think this is quite as big an issue as he thinks, though God knows dealing with the entrenched Discrimination Bureaucracy is a daunting task on the best days, and by no means are we anywhere close to the best days these, um, days.

Then again, a federal judge has put the kibosh on State Question 755, which passed with something like 70 percent of the vote, what with a Muslim gentleman claiming it subjected his religion to "profound stigma." The local right-wing noise machine has basically decided that this is yet another muddle-headed scheme by a liberal judge appointed by Bill Farging Clinton. I'm not buying that one: nothing in Vicki Miles-LaGrange's career on the bench suggests to me that she's the slightest bit muddle-headed. But judges take note of precedent, and we don't have a whole lot of precedent for the sort of profundity found in, for instance, Sir Charles James Napier's rejection of the practice of suttee in the British Raj, which went something like this:

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; [then] beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."

First "honor killing" we have to witness in this state — and on what basis can we possibly argue that "it can't happen here"? — I intend to bring this up.

It will make no difference, of course: we don't dare criticize anyone anymore for anything. Says Baruth:

I fucking guarantee you we will sit idly by when China permits their client state to ass-rape South Korea.

And while lots of subsequent commenters took issue with the other things Baruth said, hardly anyone disagreed with that. Gormlessness is the new guts.

The Vent

#703
  1 December 2010

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