Posts Tagged ‘Morris Dees’

The Times They Are a-Changin’

April 7, 2019

News stories contribute to history, and history sometimes forms patterns. These patterns, in turn, may or may not be recognizable or even sensible. Interpretation of these patterns comprise much of analysis. Interpretation can come in many forms. Some of the news of the recent past forming a pattern, of sorts, would include, but not be limited to, the social interrogation of the behavioral interactions of Joe Biden, the recent heart surgery of Mick Jagger, the firing of SPLC founder Morris Dees, and lest we forget, the family reunion of Rupert Murdoch. A pattern? Other than being a bunch of hyper successful white guys from roughly the same generation there doesn’t seem to be much else they have in common. Biden is under the scope for having a squeaky clean reputation of going home to his family on the train to Delaware every evening from the senate. Though not being accused of philandering, his touchy feely mode of “pressing the flesh” is considered discomforting today, a violation of personal space. Mick has been strutting his personal brand of sexuality on stage for over a half century. Prepping for more of the same, reportedly up to twelve miles of walking around on stage per performance, his heart gave out. He is projected to continue performing after heart surgery. “Dees, 82, was fired last month for unspecified misconduct, igniting a rush of speculation about what had come between him and the organization he built into a legal and fundraising behemoth. The nonprofit said that Dees had acted in ways that did not reflect “the mission of the organization.” Internal documents reviewed by The Post, along with interviews with current and former employees, suggest that the celebrated civil rights organization had been bitterly at odds with its founder for several years. Those battles have centered on his refusal to retire, his behavior toward women and his comments regarding race, according to the documents, the employees and Dees himself.” (Years of turmoil and complaints led the Southern Poverty Law Center to fire its founder Morris Dees, Washington Post, Neena Satija, Wesley Lowery, Beth Reinhard, 4-5-19). And Rupert? Big family reunion celebrating the recent partial sale of Fox to Disney amidst his global media empire, etc. (closed to the press, of course). OK, his fourth wife was one of Mick Jagger’s lady friends but that wouldn’t involve Dees or Biden. Not much in common with these geezers, other than being geezers. A teleplay by Rod Serling would indicate otherwise. Like most of Serling’s work, it says more about the viewer than the viewed. The 1956 award winning teleplay (later made into a movie) was entitled Requiem for a Heavyweight. In a nutshell it was about a heavyweight boxer, not exactly a contender, who was presented with an alternate possibility but in the end returns to contention as a wrestler (fall guy). Of course there is more to it than that, but getting beat up before a crowd is all that Harlan “Mountain” McClintock knows. The similarity to our four candidates is that they, in turn, continue with the pursuit which is “all that they know.” It is hard to imagine, especially in this age of click bait “how to retire early,” that any of our hyper successful four didn’t entertain alternate possibilities after achieving success. But the crowds love ‘em. What is it that the crowds love? That’s not readily apparent in the disparity of our four. Maybe to the critical reader, but to the crowd it is akin to the old Willie Sutton quote about bank robbing –“because that’s where the money is.” Biden, Jagger, Dees, Murdoch, and others are the producers of success, the mega million lottery winners. Like with Harlan McClintock, the crowds pay for admission to follow the action in the ring, win or lose. But “the times, they are a-changin’” (Bob Dylan, another old curmudgeon who actually chooses alternate possibilities). Is the crowd changing?