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Walk, Roll, Run.

It’s that time of year, guys. It was warm enough today to do the ellipse in Oakmont. Exactly 30 minutes of brisk walking will get you all the way around. I’m hoping that in about a month, I’ll be able to run a little. Then who knows, by May, I might be able to do the Race for the Cure, provided it’s not still cancelled by pandemic.

Anyway, I did it. I feel pretty good.

Walk, Roll, Run mix started with this today:

Get out there.

Off Topic (not off topic): dehumanizing women.

Last night, I fell asleep right after the third episode of Farrow vs Allen. That was pretty disturbing, not only because of the accusations of child sexual abuse but because of Woody Allen’s vicious retaliation concealed by his neurotic film persona.

Then I woke up in the middle of the night and just for the heck of it, I watched Oprah’s interview of Meghan and Harry, because why not?

I don’t know, guys, but I think we have hit a critical mass here. Think back to the last year and let’s review the sagas of defamed women.

For instance, why is it that whenever Hillary Clinton writes an op/Ed or gives a speech, there is a chorus of media types and political lefties and Uber alles righties that tell her to sit down and shut up. I don’t think we have to review what happened to her during 2016 AND 2008. (Maybe Obama’s campaign had nothing to do with the sickening sexism but it sure did capitalize on it, didn’t it?)

More recently, the last season of The Crown showed us what was going on behind the scenes of Charles and Diana’s marriage and how the palace insiders gaslighted her while changing the sheets on the bed that Charles and Camilla had just trysted on.

Then there was the Free Britany documentary where clip after clip showed how journalists brought her to tears for being a grown up in training or following her around when she was trying to see her kids and generally looking like she was clinically depressed. She’s lost control of her life because of that. It’s now in the hands of a pretty ruthless father and legal conservatorship system. I mean, no one wants to see Britany Spears end up as another Lindsay Lohan but she is almost 40 years old. It should be her choice what she does with her money and her life. Something a lot less drastic than conservatorship should have been done a long time ago.

Mia Farrow went through the public image grinder when Woody Allen decided to use his formidable wealth to trash her reputation as a mother. He did it to distract from the very credible accusations that he had molested his adopted daughter, Dylan. He lost his custody battle in court but not before doing irreparable harm to Farrow’s family.

And now Meghan Markle has become Diana Spencer 2.0 at the hands of a brutal British press that cast her as the villain against Kate “pink of perfection” Middleton.

Is it all racism? Not quite, though there’s a significant bit at the core. More sinister is the entertainment value of creating a narrative of villainy through which all Markle’s actions would be perceived. That’s the real cruelty of the bait ball frenzy smear campaign.

It just works so much better against women.

This weekend, the Bernie Bros type lefties started trashing Kirsten Sinema over the minimum wage bill defeat. Yes, she did herself no favors with her defiant John McCain thumbs down gesture. I’m assuming she did it for the folks at home. And yes, it would be no skin off the working class nose in Arizona because they are already well on their way to $15.00/hour. But Sinema was only one of eight senators who voted against the bill. If she had voted yes, we still would have had to change the minds of seven other people.

The quick reaction and vileness of the comments thrown at Sinema was shocking and unnecessary. I don’t see anyone going after the GOP state legislators in Pennsylvania who are keeping their knees on the necks of workers here who try to make ends meet on $7.25/hour. You can’t imagine how embarrassing it is to type that number. Pennsylvania is not a third world country. We just pay poor people like we are. Even West Virginia has a higher minimum wage. But we’re not hurling disgusting accusations at the state senate president or party chairmen here.

We probably don’t do that because it wouldn’t stick. But getting on a woman’s case works very well. She either becomes a pariah, has close to a nervous breakdown or is villainized. And once you get painted with that brush, no matter how little it resembles actual reality, it is almost impossible to change. It could give you a heart attack in your sleep or cause you to jump off a bridge or lose your ability to direct your own life indefinitely or ruin your political career or destroy your family.

Until you’ve been the target of a smear campaign personally, you won’t have any idea how harmful they are. You won’t know how to defend yourself because those that indulge in it for entertainment purposes look for behaviors that validate their preconceived notions and narratives. It feeds on itself as an entity unto itself, completely detached from any semblance to reality. Eventually, the target starts to see the thing for what it is- a separate ugliness, a bait ball frenzy. Then the only thing left to do is to leave that thing behind and stop feeding it.

It comes with a cost, as all of these women can attest. Mia Farrow is still a mother and humanitarian, Hillary Clinton still speaks her mind, Meghan Markle is still going to work for global causes but she had to leave the Queen and her new country behind. Britney has decided to go on strike. Good for her.

It’s a good thing that most of these women have a strong support system. Britney has a whole movement even if it’s remote.

But there’s no reason to keep doing this to women. It goes deeper than racism. It’s something primal, it’s like living with the Taliban. Don’t conform to the behavior predetermined for you and the weight of those cultural norms will be put upon you until your back breaks. Or you will be used as a cautionary example. Or you’ll be used to sell content in tabloids or media sources.

The question is, who benefits?

**************

Anyone want to take a guess who made the remark to Harry about his and Meghan’s children and their skin color? I’m guessing it wasn’t the Queen. They like her and see her as just doing her job. It’s pretty consistent with what we have seen in The Crown where she gives in to the state interests.

It doesn’t sound like it’s William and Kate. They’re just driving themselves crazy trying to be perfect.

Charles? I don’t know. He seemed so helpful during the wedding. His most recent behavior, however, shows a manipulative dark side. Harry has a very pained look when he’s asked about his father. There’s something very wrong there. But if you’ve been watching The Crown for the past five years, that should come as no surprise.

Camilla? I can kind of see it. She’s not the nicest lady and Harry doesn’t mention her once during the whole interview.

Prince Phillip? Maybe. But you can chalk a lot of that up to the fact that he’s in his late 90’s. And they both seemed concerned with his health.

Andrew? Edward? I don’t know them that well though there doesn’t seem to be any love lost between Meghan and Andrew. It sounds like The Firm has been covering up for him while chucking her to the wolves.

So, I’m going with Andrew. Consider the company he kept. He was with Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump and there were fascist sympathizers within the royal family before. And it sounds like he’s got a lot to answer for.

****************

Who’s ready to see SNL skit on Harry’s green card interview?

INS: What special skill do you possess that an American can’t do?

Harry: I’m a prince.

INS: Is that a skill?

Harry: I’m a refugee?

INS: I see you have one child and one on the way. Are you planning to have your second child born here in the states as an attempt to remain here? Is your daughter going to be an anchor baby?

Harry: a what?

INS: How good is your English? Because you seem to have an accent.

Harry: You mean, do I say “I go to hospital”?

INS: {{furiously scribbling on form}}

.