Friday, February 25, 2005
Condi Rice is channeling Barb Wire rather than Neo to display power, based on the WaPo article.
[UPDATE: I've added Freeper comments at the end.]
I'll get to how this relates to "Jeff Gannon" in a minute...
Washington Post Staff Writer Robin Givhan has written a mind-blowing fashion piece on "Condoleezza Rice's Commanding Clothes". It's sexist on one level because, aside from Dick Cheney's infamous parka faux pas you don't see political leaders get this extensive a workover. (By the way, Givhan also covered that event as well). The more curious aspect of the article to me, since this is the "Fashion and Beauty" section, after all, is what this says about how powerbrokers in DC perceive and tie sex to power.
According to Brian Lamb on C-SPAN this AM (where I first heard about this), Givhan is a woman, btw. Read this incredible description of Condi:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived at the Wiesbaden Army Airfield on Wednesday dressed all in black. She was wearing a black skirt that hit just above the knee, and it was topped with a black coat that fell to mid-calf. The coat, with its seven gold buttons running down the front and its band collar, called to mind a Marine's dress uniform or the "save humanity" ensemble worn by Keanu Reeves in "The Matrix."
As Rice walked out to greet the troops, the coat blew open in a rather swashbuckling way to reveal the top of a pair of knee-high boots. The boots had a high, slender heel that is not particularly practical. But it is a popular silhouette because it tends to elongate and flatter the leg. In short, the boots are sexy.
...Rice's coat and boots speak of sex and power -- such a volatile combination, and one that in political circles rarely leads to anything but scandal. When looking at the image of Rice in Wiesbaden, the mind searches for ways to put it all into context. It turns to fiction, to caricature. To shadowy daydreams. Dominatrix! It is as though sex and power can only co-exist in a fantasy. When a woman combines them in the real world, stubborn stereotypes have her power devolving into a form that is purely sexual.
Rice challenges expectations and assumptions. There is undeniable authority in her long black jacket with its severe details and menacing silhouette. The darkness lends an air of mystery and foreboding. Black is the color of intellectualism, of abstinence, of penitence. If there is any symbolism to be gleaned from Rice's stark garments, it is that she is tough and focused enough for whatever task is at hand.
Countless essays and books have been written about the erotic nature of high heels. There is no need to reiterate in detail the reasons why so many women swear by uncomfortable three-inch heels and why so many men are happy that they do. Heels change the way a woman walks, forcing her hips to sway. They alter her posture in myriad enticing ways, all of which are politically incorrect to discuss.
Rice's appearance at Wiesbaden -- a military base with all of its attendant images of machismo, strength and power -- was striking because she walked out draped in a banner of authority, power and toughness. She was not hiding behind matronliness, androgyny or the stereotype of the steel magnolia. Rice brought her full self to the world stage -- and that included her sexuality. It was not overt or inappropriate. If it was distracting, it is only because it is so rare.
What kind of bullsh*t is this? I'm laughing out loud. No one is saying Condi can't wear boots and flash her kneecaps beneath a coat, but this kind of bogus analysis of her power being channeled through some sort of sex appeal begs the question -- do we need Chimpy gyrating around in a G-string to be effective on the world stage (bleh, the imagery)? Is she saying that the display of comfort in your sexuality in a passive way is what women need to get into the halls of power and to rise to the top? Who knows. Perhaps an anthropologist out there can pick over this story and share.
Maybe this says more about the juvenile nature of some of the men in power that they, according to Givhan, can be whipped into submission by a political "dominatrix", of sorts, because they are used to feeling dirty about their own sexual cravings and fantasies. Seeing black boots and bare knees must wake up the "other brain" and distract the primary brain from functioning. A sort of below the belt bait and switch, three-card-monty.
One hopes that our leaders aren't that hormone-driven, but I fear it's not far from the truth.
Now what does Condi's black boots have to do with Gannon, our cub reporter/rent-boy? Repugs think sex is dirty, forbidden and utterly enticing. It's the reason why the semi-closeted or completely closeted world of the gay GOP power structure wants this JG hooker sex-angle to fritter away as soon as possible. To talk about it means having to admit they are doing it (having sex). To be exposed in this mess will cause untold apocalyptic damage to the carefully crafted netherworld of shared secrets about carnal activities, a secret society right out of the days of J. Edgar Hoover, where blackmail existed for this sort of exposure.
In this day and age, it's less about actual $$$ blackmail, but political blackmail based on the political constituencies the GOP has cultivated in its rise to power - the religious wingnuts, bigots and homophobes. Look at how Chimpy has tapped danced around them publicly when the Dobsons and Falwells started grumbling about withdrawing support over FMA. Look at his thinly veiled contempt (and fear) of them in the tapes made before his run for the Presidency that have surfaced. Maintaining that delicate balance, knowing that the American Taliban, the Freepers and the intellectually (and sexually) dishonest DC power-brokers are ready to pull the plug on money and organizing only deepens the need for the closet door to stay sealed tight. Without the secrecy, the nastiness and intense sexuality of the forbidden will be lost, anyway -- that protects that aspect of their self-loathing behavior as well. Even if they wanted to be out of the closet, they've signed deals with the devil of the religious right-wing.
Will we ever know the extent of JG's sexual activities and relationships with the White House and in the DC power elite? Who knows. What I do know is that Guckert's high profile of late is a wise move if he doesn't want to be, let's say, taken out of the picture. Better to take the fall and be discredited and humiliated, I suppose, than to rat out folks that won't wish you well.
So it doesn't matter whether it's black boots or dog tags, the games in DC revolve around sex and power will never be discussed as much as it was in that WaPo article. It was a real peek at what is behind the curtain that manipulates the Oz we call Washington.
You knew I had to do it...
Actual Freeper Quotes™:"Slick! Perhaps in saucier moments she should flip a black cowboy hat on as well. The left would go mad ;) he he he"
"Republican politicians's clothes and conservative reporters's sex lives, all the MSM seem to think about these days. I thought they were so interested in "substance"."
"Hmmmmmmm.... I bet her feet & calves could use a good massaging after a hard day's work saving the world from the "axis of Evil"! Volunteer here Condi.... freepmail me."
"FINALLY!!! I SO want Condi to get more fashionable. She could look so stylish and hot, as we see here. Stay away from those bland boxy suits like the one she wore at her swearing in. Stay away from Chanel. Get slick and look toward Versace, Prada accesories, and Ralph Lauren type 40's style pencil skirts, heels, and vest, jacket layering."
"Rice brought her full self to the world stage -- and that included her sexuality It also may be the result of a little shopping she might have done when she recently visited Paris.....We girls must shop!"
"Wow, the word sexy was NEVER used in describing this SOS"
"Condi is better than Hillery "I have no ankles(Kankles)so I can only wear pant suits"Clinton"
"As a person in their thirties, Condi gives me hope. I hope I look that good in my fifties. She could give Beyonce and J-Lo a run for their money!"
"Condi just reeks of power."
"I wish I could cut and paste a bullwhip into her hand!"
"Let's make it "President Rice"."
"the freeper gals are gonna love this thread. We freeper dudes will be checking it out too."
"I never thought I'd think of the SoS as hot. :) But then Madleaine Albright came along.... :P Those were probably "hot flashes"!"
"incredible traveling outfits."
"A song comes to mind..."These boots were made for walking and that's just what they'll do. One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you." Sounds just about right for Condi, eh?"
"Condi does need a new hair do,,I don't like hers at all. Just quibbling here."
"Cult of Clintonism raising its ugly head, these people are slaves to the religion of sex."
"the Wash Post was damning her with faint praise, trying to make her a cariacature. I hate them."
"Right,painting her as a oversexed black woman, racist article if you ask me."
"SHe's changed her style several times in the last few years.....My favorite is this one. I like her with a little length....Of course it may not be as easy to take care of with her busy schedule."
"There goes Hillary's worst nightmare."
"The MSM is digging. But Condi only comes off looking more favorable than she already was. People will just liker her even more! Bush has got it made with the First Lady and Sec. Rice. He has two elegant, smooth, smart, liked women at his sides.... No way to look bad with that."
I've also got a DKos diary up on this.