By Andy Weddington
Friday, 27 May 2011
"Look before you leap, for snakes among sweet flowers do creep." Proverb
Last week a guest analyst, a man, on a popular Fox news program commenting on the Schwarzenegger dallying passed along something he'd heard a long time ago, "All men are creepy. Men with power the creepiest."
He said those words had come from the lips of his mother. He didn't bother to expound.
A couple of other analysts, one a woman, and the male moderator sheepishly smiled, glanced at one another as if looking for reassurance, and ever-so-slightly nodded in agreement; a rare unanimous moment of thoughtless group think; or so it appeared. Though their innuendo--all men are philanderers--a false deduction.
Creep. It's an Old English word, a verb, traced back to Indo-European roots. I know, I know, roots creep. It was not an attempt at humor--not even subtle--just fact. As defined in the dictionary, creep means to crawl or to feel as though insects are crawling on the skin or to spread or grow over a surface like ivy. While creepy(iest) is defined as having or producing a nervous shivery fear.
Interesting, for the formal definitions, as offered by the distinguished Mr. Webster, do not capture the more common use of the word. That is, as a noun to describe a sleazy person that triggers those beware feelings of crawling skin or shivery fear.
While a college student more than a few decades back there was a guy on campus the girls called "Creeper." He creeped them out. Some of the guys, too. I spoke with him a time or two and concluded he was indeed one odd duck--a bit creepy. To this day, when I hear or think of "creep," he comes to mind.
So a creep, in some ways, is sort of like it being difficult to define pornography--you know it when you see it, and you know a creep when you see one. When in doubt, ask a girl.
Who could make this stuff up? I found the next under material while doing a little creep research creeping around the Internet...
"Stages of Creep...In the initial stage, or primary creep, the strain rate is relatively high, but slows with increasing strain. This is due to work hardening. The strain rate eventually reaches a minimum and becomes near constant. This is due to the balance between work hardening and annealing (thermal softening). This stage is known as secondary or steady-state creep. This stage is the most understood. The characterized "creep strain rate" typically refers to the rate in this secondary stage. Stress dependence of this rate depends on the creep mechanism. In tertiary creep, the strain rate exponentially increases with stress because of necking phenomena."
The play of words in that paragraph, when thought of in the context of Schwarzenegger, struck a chord. Hardening, thermal softening, tertiary creep, and necking phenomena--are you kidding! Funny? Damn right it's funny. Creepy? Sure--after all, it's about creep.
There was even a general equation, with unfamiliar symbols that made no sense to me, for calculating creep. Looked like something right up Will Hunting's alley--for solving on a university chalkboard while on break from buffing classroom building floors or maybe a co-ed in a dorm room. No, there was not a symbol for Schwarzenegger nor circle with attached arrow representing the gender male. Good.
Anyway, media, coffee shop, and watercooler talk agree Arnold Schwarzenegger is, among other things, a big creep. Dog and dirt bag and horn dog and idiot and moron have been mentioned more than a few times. As have other crude monikers that breach the civility of this forum therefore will not be noted. No reports, yet, on Maria's new pet names.
But what to say that's not already been said by all the perfect people--all the perfect people without imperfection tossing darts and chunking spears at Schwarzenegger; while sitting in judgement. You know the ones. Those having led a life without lapse of poor judgment much less a double life. And having absolutely nothing in their history that would cause embarrassment or a retired nun, not so sure about priests, to blush. They're everywhere. Yet they're no one.
For all the good Schwarzenegger has done in life his legacy will forever be that of a creep. In some ways, that's too bad. But here is no offer of defense. He lived in the public eye, made his fame and fortune in the public eye, and will therefore, right or wrong--fair or not, take his beating in the public eye. Live by the sword, die by the sword. Que sera sera. Whatever. He made his bed and now must sleep in it seems rather crass, but it's accurate. Oh well.
Some claiming to be 'in the know' suggest his wandering ways have yet to be fully revealed. More women. And more children. Really. Surprising? Not really. But what's surprising is that people are surprised. Why? Disappointing? Sure. Creepy? Certainly.
The players in politics and religion and business and sports and Hollywood and whatever walk of life enjoy a common interest--sex. It's a necessary human condition. It's a joy and makes the world go round. It can also be problematic and destroy worlds. So goes life. As with everything, there rests reward and risk and balance.
Speaking of religion, a preacherman and his nutty predicition momentarily snatched headlines last week but the world didn't end; again. So we move on whilst the distraught Judgment Day failed forecaster, Harold Camping, goes back to number crunching--though it's been reported he failed calculus. So who knows what date this creepy kook will next propose for our demise. Maybe Wednesday, 07 November 2012.
And speaking of politics, there's a presidential election looming. And it's already being billed to be the nastiest, dirtiest ever. That, too, comes as no surprise, for a struggling, oft times bumbling, president is going to try to retain power.
Tis the season, Hooray, Hooray, sniping within and across party lines is underway.
Some recognizable names in the GOP thought to have better than 50/50 odds of defeating Mr. Obama have surprisingly bowed out--gracefully. Expressing concern for family, over country, and protecting kin from evil the exit strategy of choice.
Okay. Well maybe. But any seasoned cynic worth their salt concludes there's more to their hesitancy. Perhaps something or some things unflattering. Maybe something to do with women. Maybe children. Something that would expose them as a creep.
And where might those revelations come from? Their opponent? Their opponent's callous machine? The cheering creepy media?
Politics has always been a rough game, and the Obama brand has shown they know how. Some refer to their methods as no holds barred thuggery--Chicagoland style. And that assessment reinforced by the Oval Office actual a few weeks ago at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Adhering, selectively, to his campaign promise of transparency, Mr. Obama, under the facade of humor, delivered, to one of his potential challengers, a not-so-subtle nor not-so-funny nor not-so-presidential-like warning. Though a big boy and capable of self-defense, Mr. Trump, seated in the crowd, had no choice but to silently endure the tacky assault. In short order, days not weeks, he folded--while hugging his TV reality show. His recent hint of return silly.
And, oh by the way, precautionary excavation is underway on another potential challenger--the popular governor from New Jersey; Christie.
Fact is, America is feeling, painfully, Mr. Obama's ways are not working and evidence piling he simply is not up to the job. The spectrum of domestic and foreign affairs alike not so impressive--an understatement. And then there's our econony, stupid. He's scrambling. When you can't run on success, raise and throw more money at the problem. There's talk of a $1B this time. That, too, is kind of creepy.
With that, another quote from a fine leader during my lieutenant days comes to mind, "Don't Confuse Effort With Results." There's no ambiguity in that gem.
Those aspiring to Mr. Obama's job need not only attack his failing policies and politics. With all this 'don't run on achievements but besmirch the opposition' nonsense, enough of the tiresome superficial gentlemanly lip service paid to staking claim to the noble highground. Pardon the language lapse but it's crap--all of it. It's no secret what really goes on. So down and dirty it is. President or not, turnabout's fair play. Nasty and dirty is simple. Look to Schwarzenegger et. al. for example.
Per the opening logic, false innuendo or not, and Mr. Obama being a man of power and among the creepiest, the question is, "Are there women?" Look. Closely. Dig. Deep. Far. And wide.
Ah, "Dirty politics!" Obamawogs charge.
And the ho-hum yawning counter, "Your point?"
Though distasteful, don't we all benefit from the dirt and cleaning? Remember John Edwards? Tabbed "the Breck Girl" by Mr. Limbaugh, he was revealed a creep of the first order (a fact most Carolinians already knew), and summarily dismissed from the game; with any luck, for good. Some "house time," though not White, looking quite probable for him. Justice. And to think, in theory, that creep could have been president or vice president. Imagine. Good grief.
And less than a handful of years ago there was talk of a Constitutional amendment allowing Schwarzenegger, or someone foreign born, to run for president. Know there are more than a few congressmen relieved they didn't pursue that effort. Yet some of the citizenry believes the red tape of passing an amendment proved not necessary after all.
And still there will be other creeps. Who?
We await--disclosure inevitable.
In closing, the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, has been criss-crossing the country these past few weeks delivering University commencement remarks. His stump speech tailored a bit here and there to personalize for each audience. In all, he ends with the following...
"I will close with a quote from a letter that her [Abigail] husband, John Adams, sent to one of their other sons, Thomas Boylston Adams. He wrote: "Public business, my son, must always be done by somebody. It will be done by somebody or another. If wise men decline it, others will not; if honest men refuse it, others will not."
To this I would add: if America declines to lead in the world, others will not. So to the Notre Dame class of 2011, I would ask the wisest and most honest of you to find a way to serve and to lead our country to new greatness at home and around the globe."
Fitting thoughts from the Secretary. And with that, how about a little current events smithing of Mr. Adams' words: 'Public business, my son, must always be done by somebody. It will be done by somebody or another. If wise men decline it, creeps will not; if honest men refuse it, creeps will not.'
Implied by Secretary Gates in his call for the wisest and most honest amongst the class of 2011 to serve and lead our country...
'Creeps need not apply.'
Public service is honorable. But what an irony, and tragedy, campaigns are not, and never have been, commensurate with the glossy image of the prize. That is, there's something inherently wrong with condoning victory at all costs yet there's expectation of, and demand for, service centered around prinicples, morals, and ethics of the highest order. Never mind the oversight--typically shameful inconsistency characterized by winks, nods, backslaps, secret handshakes, and "drug deals." The greater question being how the hippocracy is resolved by the(ir) conscience? I've no idea. Perhaps John Adams knew. Too bad he's not around to enlighten us.
But might Adams have simply said, "Clearly, the seemingly perfect imperfect."
A woman elected president in 2012? Who knows. Fiscal conservative a requirement. "Marine" highly desired.
As Memorial Day approaches I'm reminded, yet again, some in office, and some so aspiring, hardly merit the privilege of leading fellow citizens who voluntarily don a uniform and march to war knowing they may die for their country. And many a warrior, past and present, have paid that high price. As some will "tomorrow." Lest we not forget it is they we solemnly and respectfully pay tribute to Monday--celebrating honor and duty and courage and sacrifice with our freedom the cherished gift. Let their selflessness not be in vain. Think, carefully, about who we entrust to lead. Such is a sobering responsibility and civic duty of all privileged to vote.