Elliot: Light, dark, and sexual assault on the precipice of thought

Rick Perry’s brilliant idea to ending sexual assault? Male education? No. Candle-light vigils? No. Fossil fuels.



Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announces the suspension of his presidential campaign at the Eagle Council national convention on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015, at the Marriott St. Louis Airport. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS)

Beau Elliot, [email protected]

In the scribble-scrabble of now, how did we get to this point, where the profundities of a clown somehow rule the day?

Well, OK, maybe he’s not a clown. Maybe he’s a maniac. Or maybe not. Maybe he’s just a blowhard who got in way over his head.

Comforting thought, no?

The Trumpster? Naw. He’s a cat of a different color, and you could grow hoarse trying to describe him, as have many before you.

No, Rick Perry, our esteemed Energy Department secretary who once, during a Republican presidential-nomination debate, forthrightly said he would close down three federal agencies if he were elected president. Then couldn’t remember the third one. It was kind of funny, if you’re into schadenfreude, or embarrassing to watch him stumble around on stage trying to recall what his talking point for being elected president was. The GOP voters decided he wasn’t presidential timber or perhaps any kind of timber at all.

That third agency Perry couldn’t remember turned out to be the Energy Department, of all things, which he now runs. Or at least takes out for a walk now and then.

During one of those walks, apparently, Perry came up with a novel solution to sexual assault. Naturally, an older white guy would be an expert on sexual assault. Especially while strolling.

Perry’s brilliant idea to ending sexual assault? Fossil fuels.

Now granted, a certain segment of Texas officials, of which Perry is a member in good standing (or strolling), devoutly believe fossil fuels are the answer for everything from transportation and living closer to God to getting enough Vitamin C in one’s diet.

But really? Sexual assault? Fossil fuels? What’s next? We can turn fossil fuels into food, call it soylent black, and solve hunger in America?

RELATED: Laursen: Weinstein scandal highlights systemic abuse of power

Well, here is Perry in his own words, which apparently hinge on fossil fuels powering electricity (we think, and yes, we know that’s dangerous):

“When the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts. So from the standpoint of how you really affect people’s lives, fossil fuels is [sic] going to play a role in that.”

Um, yeah.

Let’s see, crawling through the syntax (which is not, apparently, part of the GOP tax gift for the rich, but who knows). Fossil fuels create light, and light stops sexual assault.

In light (so to speak) of Harvey Weinstein and the dozens upon dozens upon dozens upon — well, you get the idea — of more women calling out other men and their predatory sexual practices, that previous sentence obviously comes from some edge of fantasy land that most of us don’t want to visit. We hope.

The United States is the No. 1 user of fossil fuels for energy (or No. 2 to China), and that fuel use seems to have no effect on sexual assault. As we would have suspected.

And, of course, one doesn’t need fossil fuels to produce electricity, as Perry’s home state of Texas has proven (No. 1 or 2 in the country in producing electricity from alternative sources, particularly wind.)

And — well, the “ands” could go on almost forever. And so they do. The darkness of sexual assault doesn’t bear any relation to any availability of electric light, obviously.

It comes from a darkness of mind among perhaps many males. Particularly males in positions of power. Gee, most positions of power in this country are held by males, mostly white males. Who’d of guessed.

And that requires a light that no energy, fossil-fuel-generated or not, will solve.

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