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HORSE RACING

August 7, 2008

Prince

There’s a Machiavellian Plot to Rule the World… In My Pants!
While Your Reluctant Bartender has a personal policy of stringent, non-partisan distrust of all Power Seekers, there is nonetheless bar to be tended. (Whatever that means.)

We could argue that it’s a case of fighting fire with fire against the acidic sexism displayed by the candidate himself, described by Herr Doktor Blume in this space just the other day. But no, when we at I Like [image of pie], Spot speculate about the status of John McCain’s private parts, we’re just cravenly playing the same game that has been played since that one time in the garden of Eden, when God gave Adam the penis bigger biceps than Eve. It’s a game whose rules were concisely recorded back in the early 15’s by Nicolò Machiavelli when he contrasted “effeminate and cowardly” unfavorably with “bold and brave” in terms of qualities subjects attribute to their rulers.

In the chapter entitled “That One Should Avoid Being Despised And Hated” of Machiavelli’s tome The Prince, we find this advice:

It makes him contemptible to be considered fickle, frivolous, effeminate, mean-spirited, irresolute, from all of which a prince should guard himself as from a rock…

Which our rulers today certainly take to heart, though not so much as a way to avoid being despised themselves. Rather, it seems they read the chapter heading as something more along the lines of “That One Should Ensure Their Opponent Cannot Avoid Being Despised And Hated.” Which in practice is fantastic for Waveland in terms of entertainment value, though on the whole, tends to make a farce out of concepts like “consent of the governed,” “will of the people,” “representational democracy,” …

While I confess we may have allowed ourselves at I Like [image of pie], Spot! to be prodded into pumping the story, it wasn’t here that the topic of John McCain’s genitals first came up. It was on no less a forum than Meet the Press, where no less than Tom Brokaw, (though quoting a third party, on the topic of Senator McCain’s solution for Social Security,) uttered the words, “This isn’t a flip-flop. It’s a sex-change operation.” Words which were rebutted by none other than Democrat Senator Joe Lieberman with the unequivocal rejoinder, “John remains all male. There’s no question about that.” Perhaps Brokaw’s complicity is part of a Waveland conspiracy to somehow recapture the dynamic that so enthralled the country during the Democratic primaries: ‘Obama is just black black black!’ vs. ‘She’s a man, baby!’*

We at I Like [image of pie], Spot! are only a tiny cog in this big, sexist machine. We regret any confusion that may have resulted from our actions. In no way did we intend to imply that Presidential Candidate John McCain has had a sex change. –Montag.

BONUS MATERIAL:

Where else, we might ask, can we see our current rulers’ misguided interpretations of Machiavelli’s admonitions on ‘effeminate-ness’ in action?

…when a prince acquires a new state, which he adds as a province to his old one, then it is necessary to disarm the men of that state, except those who have been his adherents in acquiring it; and these again, with time and opportunity, should be rendered soft and effeminate; and matters should be managed in such a way that all the armed men in the state shall be your own soldiers who in your old state were living near you.

Look, it’s the road map for success in Iraq!


*Oddly, ‘She’s a man, baby!’ seems to turn Machiavelli on his head: perhaps “effeminate-ness” isn’t the vice he thought it was, so much as the “icky-ness” when a Prince’s gender doesn’t precisely align with his or her anatomical dirty bits.

Machiavelli, Nicolò (Trans. W. K. Marriott) (1908). The prince. Retrieved August 7, 2008, from The Constitution Society Web site: http://www.constitution.org/mac/prince00.htm

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