Blog

Greg Gianforte, ‘East of Eden’

 Poster for the 1954 film of “East of Eden,” which made James Dean a star.

Poster for the 1954 film of “East of Eden,” which made James Dean a star.

Occam’s Razor is a philosophical principle attributed to the medieval English Franciscan friar William of Ockham that basically says that the simplest explanation is probably the correct one.

I couldn’t help but think of this with regard to the brouhaha over Montana congressional candidate Greg Gianforte body-slamming the reporter who dared question him about his views on health care. Everyone is up in arms about the disrespect for the First Amendment and the Fourth Estate and I, as a journalist, concur.

But, people, we are missing the larger point: No one should be body-slamming anyone unless it’s in some fake wrestling tournament. I myself observe personal space at all times. Someone steps into an elevator I’m in, I move over. Someone sits down next to me on a train, I move over. Someone enters the church pew in which I’m sitting, I scooch over – reluctantly, I admit it, because I like to sit on the aisle, a professional perk from my days as a performing arts critic – but I do it.

But then, I’m a woman. And when you’re a woman, you are taught that you are not of primary importance.

Much of male arrogance can be attributed to testosterone. It’s what has enabled men to build – and destroy – civilizations so they’re pretty much even and, thus, have  little to brag about. Still, hormones are no excuse. We have minds with which to think and channel our hormonal rages.

“A man has a choice,” Raymond Massey’s Adam tells wayward son Cal (James Dean) in the 1955 film of John Steinbeck’s novel “East of Eden.” “That’s where he’s different from an animal.”

Cal doesn’t listen until it’s almost too late.

We have a choice to control ourselves and respect others.

Before it’s too late.