Mom? Dad? The DNC? MSNBC? The Hamilton Project? The Center for American Progress? The articles never say, exactly. So I have no choice but to let my imagination run wild.
What immediately comes to mind, totally unbidden of course, are the libertines of De Sade's 120 Days of Sodom. These depraved characters have the persistent habit of assaulting, in a variety of ways, the young people whom they've kidnapped and imprisoned in a remote luxury resort castle. The violations commence only after a very rigorous grooming regimen in which the victims are transformed into compliant and trusting objects who never exhibit even a whimper of protest, let alone display any emotions or original thoughts. The grooming has a profound deadening effect upon them.
That De Sade's predators hailed from the highest echelons of the church, the nobility, and academia would prove all too realistically prescient. But that's a blog post for another day.
So anyway, once I manage to get those horrid sadistic images out of my head, the next thing that occurs to me is what an insult it is to use the word "grooming" about an already hyper-educated and impeccably put together woman like Chelsea Clinton. How much more grooming can one living picture of perfection even stand?
The publicists planting all these stories about her solo debut on the public stage are, I assume, getting paid top dollar by Clinton World. So isn't it a bit degrading to keep using this "being groomed" trope about Chelsea, as though she were a dog or a horse? Not only is the phrase demeaning, it robs her of her own agency. It implies that she needs lots and lots of expert help to maintain her position in life. And we all know that Chelsea only got where she is today by virtue of her own grit, talent and persistence.
She's even written a new book about these unique qualities, directly
Notice that Chelsea didn't quite get to the level of "no drones, no bombs, no wars."
Chelsea's mom even got into the act, tweeting about Warren, the woman she'd only recently spurned as a running mate: "She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless she persisted. So must we all."
And thus was a whole Persisterhood industry spawned. What - you thought this was democratic socialism? There are She Persisted energy bars, and She Persisted fashions, and even a She Persisted online store with products designed for the "woman warriors in your life." If you are a persistentrepreneur looking for product placement, there are experts to help you market your stuff. They will even send you a monthly inspirational story to help you get marching all the way to the bank.
|A Movement Can't Go Ka-Ching If It Ain't Got No Bling|
So what better time for Chelsea Clinton to rush out another book, and call it (surprise) She Persisted?
Given that she's probably only had a few weeks to cobble this tome together, with little to no time for original academic research or multiple revisions or relentless editing, Chelsea's publishers are marketing it direct-to-children - or what she adorably calls "tiny feminists, mini activists and little kids who are ready to take on the world."
Expose the nursery school set to neoliberal Clintonism while they're still too young to resist. Groom them early, groom them often.
According to the helpful plug planted in the New York Times:
The book will share the stories of 13 historical women who relentlessly pursued their goals in the face of opposition, including Harriet Tubman, Nellie Bly, Maria Tallchief and Oprah Winfrey.Now hold it right there, and I'm not talking about the gratuitous addition of billionaire Oprah Winfrey. I'm talking about the need of Chelsea's publicist for a copy editor of her own. These women are historic, not historical. The word historical applies to all women and to all the humans and events of the past. They existed, therefore they were. Historic, on the other hand, correctly connotes that these people were unique or highly influential in their fields. Plus, since Oprah is not even dead yet, it is highly insulting to call her historical.
So somebody needs a little grammar-grooming here, no? And puh-leeze -- shouldn't these lucky 13 ladies be termed Herstoric? If it can't be politically correct, then what hysterical good is it?
If you think this is too cute by half already, wait a minute, because we're not done yet. According to the Times puff piece, you'll have to hold your breath until She Persisted reaches bookstores on May 30 for "a cameo that is yet to be announced."
I'm not exactly sure, but I think that what Chelsea teasingly means is a bonus chapter featuring one of the most relentlessly persistent people around. You'll have to buy the ticket before the big reveal, though; did you really think she'd be giving this book away? Hah! It'll set you back $17.99 for all 32 pages of it.
Anybody want to take a wild, wild guess as to the identity of Secret Cameo? Hint: her own last book was titled Stronger Together. Published in September last year, its first week sales were so awful, it should have set off an immediate persistent cacophony of alarm bells.
In a truly democratic country, the political life of this Mystery Cameo person would be considered historical - as in The Blessed Past. But now that she is reportedly being groomed to become the next mayor of the Income Inequality Capital of the World, I think we can safely say that it when it comes to this family, the chutzpah alone is of truly historic and earth-shattering proportions. It's been consequential, to say the least.
|It's Surreal: The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali|