MEGYN KELLY

What to say about this woman? She had the best deal in TV news. She’s walking away with a lot of money.

Should she come back to TV? I don’t know. She’ll likely write a book or two, but they can’t be one of those – this happened, that happened, I’m kissing and telling nonsense – that go no where. Tell the truth!

And how is she leaving? Reputation under a cloud labeled racism. I will leave to others definitions of racism, and how to react. What I don’t get is why go blackface at all? Halloween? Other talk show hosts have done so, but in the end the effect and purpose of blackface is determined by entertainment standards of excellence. Robert Downey Jr. did blackface as an Australian actor making a Vietnam War movie, a true satire of Hollywood. They say Tom Cruise does his own stunts, but did he do his own dancing in Tropical Thunder?

Blackface for Halloween? Unless you’re a song and dance person, a premiere actor and with an imaginative role to play that night, blackface ain’t going to work. The character must be entertaining, not subjecting the symbol to ridicule, mocking and derision. It is easy to cross lines, borders and proprieties unless the character and act delight. 

One thing Megan Kelly is not – she is not an entertainer. She went to a party to surprise her friends. Maybe she should have gone as Adolph Hitler in drag. Too shocking? Try Joe Goebbels wearing lipstick. Kelly left news for a cross-over entertainment/news show. Somehow, I believe she has shortchanged herself. She has a lot of money. The change she needs is in her brains. Read a library; meditate; reflect; think; write. Short of improving herself, on her own, she should be wary.  

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RUDENESS & CIVILITY

John F. Kasson

This excellent history is a delight to read. There are references from the eighteenth and nineteenth century which apply today. Does ludicrous pretensions bring anyone to mind?

I cannot recommend this history enough so I’ll quote part of a paragraph from Chapter 3, 

in one of many telling texts in the book: 

“The more free the individual felt himself to be, 

the more isolated and lonely he actually became

until he craved to forsake his solitude in order to 

surrender his self to the new order of society itself.

Thus as authority drifted from the once-conscious

individual to the collective stupor of mass society, 

the whole idea of natural rights, the assumption of 

individual autonomy and freedom characteristic of 

the eighteenth-century thought, was collapsing in 

the face of nineteenth century [Twentienth century] 

[Twenty-first century] social realities.” 

The text does not provide answers. It tells that Americans and others have been in this state for a long time. If there is comfort in company, that is not the message. Recognizing the issues and the problems can lead people to develop answers to problems and to issues. Rudeness & Civility helps recognize the issues and problems.

 

PITCAIRN’S ISLAND

By Charles Nordhoff & James Normal Hall

The tale of mutineers taking control of the Bounty and Captain’s Bligh’s open boat voyage in 1789 are told in the first two books of the Bounty Trilogy. Pitcairn’s Island tells about the men taking HMS Bounty to this small island. After five years the story becomes a short revelation of a matriarchal society (about 50 pages) which survived the killings – men killing men and women protecting themselves and their children.

Pitcairn’s Island had no natural harbors and shallow beaches. Twelve (12) Tahitian women, six (6) Tahitian men and (9) nine mutineers came ashore. They took everything possible off the Bounty. For three years everyone got along with mild disagreements. 

Many of the sailors missed grog (booze). McCoy, a Scottish sailor learned distilling in his homeland and secretly began making a liquorish substance in limited quantities from a South Sea root, ti. He planted an area, which a Tahitian found and began harvesting. McCoy and about half the white men believed the island should be split up amongst whites only. The Tahitians would receive no land.

Upon hearing of the white plan in a day of racial cleansing the Tahitian men attacked and killed as many of the white men as they could. They missed two of the instigators. For the killings of their husbands, the Tahitian women killed many Tahitian men. The surviving men were cared for and returned to health; the Tahitian men were hunted and killed. 

For three years the still remained productive. The white men liked getting drunk, among themselves. The women turned the men out of the settlements and finally attacked the houses where the men lived. Two of the men survived. 

Stories from Pitcairn Island are adaptable into film or TV. The women have to sort thought racial hatreds, spousal abuse, murders, child birth and rearing, health care, substance (liquor) abuse, deaths of loved ones and finally taking command – long before women were ever considered capable of structuring a society and making it run. By the year of its rediscovery (1808) by Americans and later visits by the British, the island settlers were at peace and happy.