Life in Postmodern Times II: Sleazy Men

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This week’s version of "Life in These Postmodern Times" features five men who deserve dishonorable mention. They range from those making unwise choices to actively vile curs, so let’s take a look at them in that order so you can prepare your stomach for the final lurch.

Ralph Fiennes is a very good actor, but he should stay on the set side of the camera. Not many people saw his 2013 actor/director turn in The Invisible Woman–an accounting of the highly inappropriate 13-year affair between Charles Dickens and ingénue Nelly Ternan. In this case, a tepid box–just $3 million worldwide–is a good thing. Let’s just say that Fiennes makes a much better Lord Voldermort than a Dickens, whom he plays as if he’s an amusing fishmonger. Bad choice, bad direction, bad film.

It’s sad to see David Ortiz morph from Big Papi into Big Prima Donna. First there was the financially lucrative, but artless and crass  ‘selfie’ he took on his Samsung phone with President Obama. Then there are the Ortiz homerun antics, where he poses, watches, and gestures in ways that would get a rookie knocked on his butt his next at-bat, followed by his ravings when he someone throws inside at him. (I’d love to see an umpire with the cojones to call a strike on Dive-in-David when gets plunked on an elbow that’s over the plate.)  Worst of all are the boorish hissy fits he throws each time one of his batted balls is scored an error instead of a hit. (Imagine–a major leaguer expected to field a tough ball! In the old days, if you touched it and didn’t make the play, it was an error.) Recently Ortiz blasted his own park’s official scorer with such vehemence that Joe Torre, baseball’s chief disciplinarian, told him to STFU. Ortiz apologized, but the Boston Globe piously intoned that Ortiz “had earned the right” to be more outspoken. Really? So the rules of sportsmanship don’t apply to Ortiz? Torre got it right. Big Papi should either STFU or change his handle to Big Asshole.

Wisconsin Scab-in-Chief Scott Walker, who poses as governor, survived a recall vote, but the clock is ticking on the indictment meter. Walker stands accused of coordinating with outside-of-the-state conservative groups to fund his own campaign and that of other Wisconsin troglodytes. Lest you think this is simply politics-as-usual in modern America, it’s not. Wisconsin law lacks the loosey-goosey loopholes commonplace elsewhere. Prosecutors are using the phrase “criminal scheme” to describe Walker’s behavior and it’s probably just a matter of time until Walker is arrested. Count me among those who want to see Walker served papers in the State House, cuffed by a union cop, and hauled off to a union-staffed prison.

Another Scott high on the "Putz of the Year" list is Scott “Carpetbagger/Special Interests/Faux Working Man” Brown. Back in 2010 Brown surprised Martha Coakley in a special Senate election to replace Ted Kennedy. He left the Senate in 2012, when Bay State voters discovered that his blue-collar pickup-truck-driving routine was a cardboard con job and Elizabeth Warren thrashed him. No worries–there’s always a place on Fox News for another sleazemeister. Then Brown decided to move across the border to New Hampshire to try to unseat Senator Jeanne Shaheen. Now things are getting hotter for Brown. Surprise! He’s not a blue-collar champion. Not unless you think blue-collar workers make $839,520 per year–his income in 2010. Many people are still trying to figure put how he made that much on a $174,000 U.S. Senate salary, or how regular guy Scott made $357,251 when he was in the Massachusetts Senate back in 2006. Maybe our blue-collar lad had some investments–like the fees he got from Wall Street firms with links to a shady “penny stocks” firm in Florida. Now word is that Brown may have over $3 million in assets that he's taking his good old (boy) time revealing. In other words, he could have bought a pick-up truck dealership if he wanted. Maybe Brown hasn’t done anything illegal and he stands an even chance of getting elected in the Granite State, but he can expect the scrutiny to get tougher. Brown is worse than a crook–he’s a fraud the likes of which wear out their welcome very quickly. Let’s hope it’s before November.

File this one in the reach-for-the-vomit-bucket category. Former Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair sexually harassed at least two women under his command, actions that included coerced sex. The Army agreed that General Sinclair was a naughty boy–so naughty they fined him $20,000 and busted him down to a Lt. Colonel. Outside the US Army we call his behavior “rape.” Sinclair ought to be doing twenty years, not paying out twenty grand. Why any woman would join the U.S. Army is a complete mystery. It’s not that Army doesn’t get it–it doesn’t care. The Sinclair case ranks among the greatest injustices of recent memory. Shame!

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