Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.
Andy Divine opens his latest three act melodrama with this:
A long time ago now, I came rather abruptly face-to-face with what being a man means.
A telling bit of male arrogance? Or in Andy’s case the hubris of a ‘pundit’ who feels himself to be entitled?
But the key to his revelation is his suffering from AIDS and its effects on his ‘libido’ as a central fact of his ‘being’ as a male. He then employs his ‘revelation’ in the wake of hormone therapy, to attack the #MeToo Feminists and their use of Patriarchy as persistent destructive cultural phenomenon . It is impossible for Mr. Divine, a devout believer in a Catholicism steeped in patriarchy , to conceive of the power and persistence of those Patriarchal Attitudes, Eva Figes book . But Mr. Divine attacks Michel Foucault’s idea of ‘social constructs’ as the master idea that is the root of Feminist Mythomania. What shall the reader make of Mr. D.’s political model Michael Oakeshott, his support of Thatcher and Reagan, The Bell Curve, his support of Republican candidates from 1980 t0 2000? His support for the 2003 invasions of Iraq and the ‘War on Terror’:
Sullivan supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States and was initially hawkish in the war on terror, arguing that weakness would embolden terrorists. He was “one of the most militant” supporters of the Bush administration’s counter-terrorism strategy immediately following the September 11 attacks in 2001; in an essay for The Sunday Times, he stated, “The middle part of the country—the great red zone that voted for Bush—is clearly ready for war. The decadent Left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead—and may well mount what amounts to a fifth column.”[57
Mr. D.’s Anti-Left hysterics are as persistent as they are mendacious! What can the reader make of this record of not just bad judgement? but a kind of self-righteously proclaimed political independence, that expresses a cantankerous conformity to the accepted and legitimized narratives: respectable bourgeois conformity.
Then Mr. D. offers an alternative to the #MeToo Party Line, which consists in a collection of cliches about male sexuality: men are naturally predatory and aggressive. But he shifts into a description of challenges that ‘young men in this environment’ and ‘the fact of natural sexual differences.’ Mr. D. is the New Philip Wylie whose ‘Generation of Vipers’ propounded the idea of ‘Momism‘: except that being a Philosopher whose specialty is Male Sexuality and Patriarchal Apologetics, in this essay, demonstrates that the #MeToo Movement is attacking ‘young men’ . Being that Mr. D. is by ‘nature’ an inquisitor, and a person who proves that the Christian Myth of ‘unmerited suffering being redemptive’, in a probably irrelevant political sense to that Christian Mythology, yet the reader is confronted by the fact of the pronouncements of a Zealot against the Heretics: the usual Andy Divine moral/political position. My apologies to my readers, for the brevity of my comment on Mr. D.’s usual three act monologue, my tolerance for this writer’s chatter has reached its end!