LENOX VOTES TODAY, PLANET COHOSTS “COLONIALS CORNER” on WTBR 89.7 FM TODAY; plus “THE DISCONNECT,” or “Erin, Go Braless.”
BY DAN VALENTI
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, May 9, 2011) — Decision Day in Lenox today, as voters go to the polls. Incumbents Kim Flynn and John McNinch are facing challengers David Roche and Eric Vincelette for two seats on the select board. The Planet has endorsed Roche and Vincelette.
We will point out that endorsements are not predictions. Our endorsements point to the candidates we fell will do the best job for voters. That does not always include the popular choice. Thus, we don’t endorse to “help” any candidate. We endorse to offer a qualified opinion to those who will go to the polls.
Polls in Lenoxology open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
THE PLANET ON THE AIR
Join The Planet as he sits in with Chad Cooper for “Colonials Corner with Chap Cooper and Dan Valenti, this morning, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. on WTBR FM, The Brace, 89.7 FM. This will be our third show with Chad, and we will cohost throughout the summer and into the playoffs.
On today’s show: We talk about the Colonials’ tryout camp, held this weekend at Beloved Wahconah Park as well as welcome C’s pitching coach, former Major Leaguer Chad Peronto, who last year led the Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA) in appearances.
“Colonials Corner with Chap Cooper and Dan Valenti” is presented each Monday morning beginning at 8:30 a.m. and runs the hour.
GROWING UP IN AMERICA: THE DISCONNECT
How large is the disconnect among young people between perception and reality? A ponderous gap, and it grows wider every day. We recommend a study to prove a hypothesis The Planet has on this disconnect. We have noticed it in contradictory speech:
Recently, in response to an assignment, one of my students, a 20-year-old woman, said: “I don’t believe in ‘The American Dream.’”
PROF. VALENTI: And what does that mean, specifically?
STUDENT: I believe in my dream, MYSELF, that’s all. Doing whatever I want whenever I want with anyone I want.
PROF. VALENTI: And you don’t feel any obligation beyond that?
STUDENT: Like, um, why should I?
PROF. VALENTI: Do you think you Could you act this waY in Saudia Arabia? Egypt? Or Poland, for that matter.
STUDENT: (PUZZLED LOOK) Uh, no? (she wasn’t sure what the question meant and so responded with a statement in the form of a question)
PROF. VALENTI: You are correct. No, you couldn’t. But in America, you can adopt this selfish attitude, which you mistake for freedom. Freedom is not license.
STUDENT: (ANOTHER PUZZLED LOOK) Well, isn’t that why America was founded? On freedom and liberty. …
PROF. VALENTI: And opportunity?
PROF. VALENTI: Yes, what?
PROF. VALENTI: By “opportunity” do you mean, the prototypical ‘American Dream.’ Each having a chance to pursue the life they want?
PROF. VALENTI: So you believe in The American Dream for your life?
STUDENT: Oh. Yes.
‘Gee, Prof. Valenti, I Can’t Figure Out Why I Didn’t Get the Job’ or
The Clothes Make the Boy, Don’t They?
You can also see it in the disconnect between actions and behavior. Another student, a young man of 20-21, dresses with what he calls “The Look” — tilted baseball cap, stickers still under the brim, bill completely straight; T-shirt over a sweatshirt, each silk-screened with indecipherable words that resemble graffiti, holes (of course), and in need of washing; black pants that are 10 sizes too large; chains dangling from the side; brand new $150 Nikes, not tied but with laces straight across like barring. Tattoos and body piercing complete the look.
The professor asks him about his summer plans. He says his parents have told him to find work so he can help them pay for his tuition. We ask if he’s applied for work. Yes, he says. He hasn’t received an offer (not even as a cashier). Then comes the key exchange.
PROF. VALENTI: Did you dress up for the interview?
PROF. VALENTI: Why not?
KID: That’s phony. That’s not me.
PROF. VALENTI: So you went there dressed as you are now?
KID: Yes? I’m not a hypocrite.
PROF. VALENTI: It’s not being hypocritical to dress according to the situation.
I ask if interviewers have brought up his appearance. He says nothing. He means yes. I explain that he’s starting out in the workplace. He’s not the CEO. He’s not the owner. He’s on the bottom rung. He’s got to pay some dues.
He needs to understand you can’t walk into society and expect to be taken seriously dressed this way. The boy then goes into a speech about the unfairness of it all. The professor asks if the boy can see a connection between his dress and adults’ perceptions of him, particularly adults who might entrust to him the responsibilities of a job. He keep saying it’s unfair. He cannot put himself into any other perspective. The disconnect.
We suspect the disconnect is the result of living virtual lives, controlled by screens and programmable to their level of immaturity and selfishness.
SLUTS OF THE WORLD, UNITE.
YOU’VE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR BRA STRAPS
This weekend, a group of equally discombobulated young women, Sluts, made the statement that they should be able to dress in bras and miniskirts, go club hopping, drink all the alcohol they want, and still have young, horny men — who have since the beginning of time been interested in a lot of things from young women but with one of them things atop the list — respect them.
Yes means yes, and No means no.
Of course, they are technically correct, in the abstract. But dating and getting together, flash against flesh, is not done in the abstract. Sex cascades over these younguns like titillating tsunamis. Sex saturates their popular entertainment. If infects their smart phones. They are walking adult book stores.
These young people need a serious lesson in the real world. If you say you don’t believe in the American Dream, you can’t say in the same conversation, a minute later, that you do believe in it and have your statement taken seriously. You can’t dress like a gangsta rapper and expect to get hired as a cashier. Likewise, you can’t dress in your undies, stick your boobs in a young man’s face, act like your “easy,” then complain you’re being treated like a sex object and absolve yourself from any consequences of your ill-chosen action.
Even Sluts must take responsibility for what happens to them.
Thus, we present this story of The Disconncent, an AP account of a ‘Slutwalk,’ here in the Commonwealth.
Mass. advocates join ‘Slutwalk’ crusade with march
Photo by Chitose Suzuki
Chanting “We love sluts!” and holding signs like “Jesus loves sluts,” approximately 2,000 protesters marched Saturday around the Boston Common as the city officially became the latest to join an international series of protests known as “SlutWalks.”
The protest movement, sparked by a Toronto police officer’s remark that women could avoid being raped by not dressing like “sluts,” came to Boston after advocates saw similar events – largely organized through Facebook and Twitter – pop up in Canada, England and other parts of the U.S.
“We wanted to do something to show our support,” said Siobhan Connors, 20, of Lynn, Mass., a Boston organizer. “We originally planned for a small event and expected about 30 people.”
But by the time the march began Saturday, about 2,000 people – some dressed in lingerie with the words “slut” written across their stomachs – were in attendance.
In January, a Toronto police officer told a group of university students that women should avoid dressing like “sluts” to avoid being raped. He later apologized. The officer who made the comments, Constable Michael Sanguinetti, was disciplined but remained on duty, said Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash.
However, advocates in Toronto held a “SlutWalk” to protest the officer’s remarks and to highlight what they saw as problems in blaming sexual assault victims. Since then, SlutWalks, organized mainly through social media, have been held in Dallas, Asheville, N.C., and Ottawa, Ontario. Organizers say the events also were held to bring attention to “slut-shaming,” or shaming women for being sexual, and the treatment of sexual assault victims.
“I had watched the Toronto walk happen from afar,” said Jaclyn Friedman, author of “Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape” and resident of Medford, Mass. “When I heard it was coming to Boston I just emailed the organizers and said, ’How can I help?’”
Organizers invited Friedman to speak.
Vanessa White, 33, of Somerville, Mass., also heard about the event through Facebook and showed up for the Boston event dressed in a pink jacket and fishnet stockings.
“For me … it’s an attempt to reclaim the word ’slut’ itself,” said White. “Because once you reclaim it, you take the power away from it.”
Before the march, a small group of counter protesters, wearing colorful cowboy hats with feathers and holding a boom box that played hip-hop and 1970s funk, walked around the gathering. Dubbed the “PimpWalk,” organizer Samuel Bilowski, 23, of Salem, N.H., said his group wanted to “get some numbers” and talk to attractive women.
“This is a pathetic attempt at a joke,” admitted Bilowski. “We’re just having fun.”
Still, White and a group of other advocates surrounded Bilowski and his group and yelled the word “slut” repeatedly. Others verbally attacked Bilowski for glorifying violence against women.
Bilowski’s group eventually joined the SlutWalk march around the Common.
Following Boston, SlutWalk marches are planned in cities including Seattle; New York; Chicago; Philadelphia; Reno, Nev.; and Austin, Texas.
INCIDENTALLY, THE PLANET BELIEVE THE TORONTO POLICE OFFICER WAS WISE IN HIS JUDGMENT AND CORRECT IN HIS OBSERVATION. POLITICAL CORRECTNESS DEMANDED THAT HE BE PUNISHED, BUT THAT’S THE WAY OF IT TODAY.
GIRLS, WE’LL PUT IT TO YOU THIS WAY: IF YOU DRESS LIKE A SLUT AND ACT LIKE ONE, DO YOU THINK YOU INCREASE OR DECREASE YOUR CHANCE OF GAINING RESPECT FROM BOYS?
What do you think, readers. Are “Sluts” removed from the consequences of their actions? Was the Toronto police giving good advice or did he deserve reprimand? Let The Planet and our readers know.
We leave you know, with bras and kisses for all.
“Open the window, Aunt Millie.”
LOVE TO ALL.