The Middle-Aged Genius’s Guide to Almost Everything 20 – Kavanaugh Past Graduation
October 8, 2018
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: You were a fake high school student for several years.
Rick Rosner: And a real high school student!
Jacobsen: This lasted until age 27 with graduation. You have lots of experience with high schools in the US.
Rosner: Yes, but none of the private fancy high schools like what Kavanaugh went to, my kid went to private school, though. My wife works at a private high school. But the high school s they have been involved in haven’t been filled with pricks for the most part.
Some of it depends on the individual class. I have been told at my daughter’s former high school. That she happened to end up in a good year with not too many jerks in the school. But other years have been worse
Her school did get hit with a scandal a year and a half ago involving a predatory teacher. But she happened to be lucky and have a great experience there, except for the misery of working her ass off as Kavanaugh claimed that he did.
But she does not know any better. I’ve said a zillion times. In the 70s, when I went to high school for real, it was pretty laissez-faire, which was one disservice to students. Now, it is crazy to get into colleges, especially the elite and super elite colleges.
They have slightly declining admissions rates because more kids apply and computerization made it easier to apply to multiple colleges; kids work harder to put together a good resume.
It is another kind of disservice to students. My high school years enveloped Kavanaugh’s high school years. He was class of 1983. I was class of 1978 and class of ’87 and another class or two in between. Back then, the traditional social structure of high school prevailed.
Jocks versus nerds, football players running the school socially and cheerleaders, I have assumed that with the coming of the internet that that went away. But that is probably wrong or it hasn’t gone away to the extent that I think it had.
In that, I saw a few movies on Netflix lately that present the issues faced by high school students, socially, as being the same but with social media complicating things. On the other hand, having that social structure still be in place makes it easier to write a high school movie, I had the idea that you need a lot of cluelessness and parochialness to have a good high school movie plot.
People trapped in their own high school world’s. I assumed the internet opened it up. I assumed the people who would be miserable in the 70s, whether social outcasts, or gay, or nerdy, would be less miserable now.
In that, you can build frameworks outside of your school via the entire world of the internet. I don’t know. When I am out in public, I see more teen couples who wouldn’t have been couples in my era, because they wouldn’t have been sanctioned to couple up.
Jacobsen: If you look at the situation setup via laws in the United States over the last few decades, you have the marriage equality laws. You can have ethnically mixed couples as a legal standard.
Then you can have media and sociocultural campaigns to make that more of a norm, part of the standard more of modern America. Same with gay couples and gay marriage as a marriage, still ongoing in terms of being more accepted.
In a similar way, with social media, it provides a basis for people who wouldn’t necessarily talk to one another to talk to the person to know what is going inside their mind, especially as a kid when everything is about appearances.
A downside is it can create tribalism.
Rosner: Yes, cyberbullying and stuff, I would guess overall that things are better but not that better, maybe 40 or 50 percent better. People are still relatively miserable in high school.
But the average level of misery is somewhat less. It would have been impossible during my era to be actively trans in high school. It could not have been done. Somebody who went from male to female or female to male.
That person would have been hounded out by students and parents, and probably faculty too.
Jacobsen: There are stories now, in the US and Canada.
Rosner: At the same time, the school my wife works at is a sophisticated city liberal school. There are quite a few trans students. I can’t speak for them. But what I hear and have seen, we have chaperoned a couple of proms.
There is a miniscule to a very low level of ostracism. I don’t know. Kavanaugh is a product of the old social structure, where he had and still has a high level of entitlement via his being a football player and doing other sports. He cannot shut up about it, in fact.
Jacobsen: I can’t deny what you’re saying. In fact, I agree strongly with what you’re saying about entitlement about certain individuals who will statistically identify with a group and will have a sense of entitlement within that group as a consequence of the identification.
However, I can people a day, year, or more from now may roll their eyes. So, to those who are more skeptical about entitlement, please unpack this for them.
Rosner: If you look like Kavanaugh and his buddy from the yearbook, you can see blowdried hair and necks as wide as their heads. I can tell you. I aspired a post-high school succeeded in getting a neck that big.
I got a neck 18-19 inches wide. It was at its widest when I got mono and all my glands swell up. It added half an inch to my neck diameter. I thought I was the coolest guy in the world.
I couldn’t breathe because my glands were choking me. But I finally had my cool neck. I borrowed my dad’s car and drove around with a jean jacket. We are looking at 1980. It is a couple of years before Kavanaugh became a big-necked sexual predator.
It was unquestioned that football players had a high social status. I know it will seem ridiculous now to people, because why should this grant people social status.
Jacobsen: It reflects another aspect of the entitlement description you’re giving.
Rosner: There have always been individual people in life and high school who have been able to give themselves high school status through highly developed social skills, by being charming.
But that was not going to happen to me ever, really, to any extent until I was older. For me, if I had figured it out sooner because I didn’t go for high school football teams until I graduated and went back or if I had had an older sibling to clue me into how to gain social status without social skills, it was to be part of a sports team in your high school.
I could have gone out for football. I weighed 140 in my junior year. But there were kids ballsy enough to play at 140. I would have sucked. People would have teased me on the team. But I would have hung in there.
It would grant me not a great social status but one higher than the one that I had. There are other social strategies that people either attempt in high school or fall into by accident.
My buddies and I all joined the choir at our school because at Boulder High during that era choir had high social status. We had a super chill and cool choir teacher who allowed and encouraged kids, especially in Jesus Christ Super Star – which was daring and out there during that time.
Kids drank and made out every night. He was chill and cool. But he did not aspire to be chill and cool, and by being a part of the production. He got to make out with all these girls, my friend.
My other friends wanted to capture that magic. My friend accidentally had his social status raised. He was also put into an environment where people were making out. This would have been in 1977.
People who can’t believe there was this much drinking and making out within the regular operation of day-to-day high school were not in high school in 1977. At a lot of schools, there are groups who are popular within themselves and, maybe, ignored or scorned by the rest of the school with that group typically being band people.
Band people are looked at as nerdy by the rest of the school. You often find out as portrayed or indicated in the movie American Pie; they are getting busy with one another in the social group.
Also, I have talked about this a lot in the 70s and in high school. My friends and I were desperate to make out. It was the focus of all day and every day. How will we make out with a girl?
Jacobsen: How did that work out?
Rosner: Terribly, one day, I was out with Dave: a chill, cool, good-looking guy [Laughing]. He was good-looking to the extent that his daughter grew up to be a movie star. His daughter who looks like him quite a bit, fantastically good-looking and a good guy.
It is a typical high school pair structure. Often, there is one super cool guy and one less cool guy, also with girls. Sometimes, this can happen by chance. People will become friends by chance.
Often, what keeps a friendship in this situation, the nerdy guy gets to hang out with a cool guy and the cool guy gets to be cooler than the nerdy guy. It adds some extra glue to the friendship besides them liking each other.
We meet a girl version of this dynamic or this pair with the cool girl and the less cool girl. We went to a movie. Dave made out with the cool girl. I made out with the less cool girl. It was above the waist and not even past second base.
I was okay with that. But I was not okay that this was the only time during my senior year that was supposed to be full of making out that I got to make out with anybody.
Jacobsen: If you take the Kavanaugh early part of the conversation, and if we take your own, what makes his criminal and yours not?
Rosner: I never had the sense of entitlement that I could get away with forcing a girl to make out with me. I knew I was kind of gross and kind of nerdy. I assumed; it was not an active conscious assumption. It never entered my mind to force myself on a girl.
I would assume that didn’t enter my mind because I had a well-developed sense of what girls thought of me, and it was not because I was a cool guy. I wouldn’t even masturbate to people I knew because I have never able to do that.
I have always known how disgusted they would be if they knew I was doing that. The difference between me and Kavanaugh is that all of my sexual experiences have been consensual.
By the end of my senior year, I was pissed. I never got a girlfriend for the entire year. Twice, I slow danced with girls and angrily pressed my erection against them. It is a form of sexual assault and really creepy and gross.
But that was the most sexually aggressive I was in the most aggressive non-consensual move that I ever used, if you exclude begging and nagging my wife. But if you nag and beg, the person thinks, “Alright, fuck it.”
It is neither consensual nor non-consensual in any horrible way.
Jacobsen: Taking this plus the Kavanaugh case ongoing with Bill Cosby conviction, what are the lessons we can take from that? What are the bigger messages or takeaways in terms of changing the culture in terms of how you define, explicitly or implicitly, the entitlement of younger men?
Rosner: My buddy Lance and I are one year apart in age. Lance is conservative. He believes that you lose a certain magic when all sex or when all romantic contact has to be clear and negotiated.
He thinks that you lose the magical moments like when the guy comes in and takes the woman and kisses her.
Jacobsen: Does this not bring the issue to simplistic, Hollywood tropes?
Rosner: You say Hollywood. His dad was the greatest Hollywood comedy writer of the late 1950s, early 1960s. One year, Lance’s dad was nominated for two of the five best screenplay positions.
He won the Oscar. It was for Pillowtalk. It was a romantic sex comedy with Dorris Day and Rock Hudson. Lance grew up in a family where the sexual dynamics of the era were not only perfectly understood but were actually defined by his dad.
When Lance talks about the magic of male aggression, which, I think, also with the Mark Judge or Kavanaugh’s high school buddy, he wrote on his creepy Facebook page: that it was a real thing.
I don’t think it is one of the things that people regret going away. It has remained for some people but decades afterward. A real man, Don Draper, takes what he wants. Maybe, Draper gets slapped 1/4 of the time, but 3/4 of the time Don Draper being Don Draper gets what he wants.
Jacobsen: I heard this argument recently. It was the idea that it was a different era. It was a conservative religious argument. I can see a validity to the argument.
Rosner: It is the same argument that you cannot feel contempt for George Washington because it was a different time, when he owned slaves.
Jacobsen: I would make a dial argument there. In the sense that, here are people still alive, people who had their lives affected by it and are making claims against the people who negatively impacted their lives.
It is not arguing against the crimes of the long-dead like Genghis Khan.
Rosner: There is no referee who can say that you can’t have contempt for the FounderFathers who owned slaves. You can understand the historical context but still think Jefferson is creepy for banging his slaves.
You can hope for Founder Fathers who were better behaved. If you will bang and be in love with Sally Hemings, maybe, you can make her less slavey and then have regrets for history.
In fact, that is the way Kavanaugh could have played his own gross sexual history, instead of lying about it. There is no doubt in my mind he is lying. He lied about little stuff and lied about big stuff.
Jacobsen: The vast majority or rape claims are real. It is believed in the sense of high statistical probability.
Rosner: I am not a police detective. But I worked in bars for 25 years trying to catch people with fake IDs. For hundreds of thousands of people, I tried to create a fact pattern to see if they were either telling me the truth or they were lying.
In well over 99.9% of the cases, within 10 seconds, I could tell whether someone was lying or not with a high degree of accuracy. Because we are talking about someone’s idea of being legitimate or not.
In the bars I worked in, only one person in 90 had a fake ID. That is actually a pretty high rate. But most people are going to quickly show themselves to be legitimate, most people with fake IDs are going to show themselves to be lying.
There were only a tiny fraction of cases. Only less than 1 in a 1,000 when the fact pattern failed to resolve into them telling the truth or them lying. It took 10 seconds. If I took too long, my bosses and the customer would be pissed.
I developed a Bayesian system of splitting people into sub-groups that were more likely to be telling the truth or to be lying based on simple questions: birthdate, star sign, parent’s last name, and so on. Basic facts with a basis in probability.
With Dr. Ford, you have a pattern of fact with her telling the truth and him lying. Fox Online Magazine published the number of times that Dr. Ford dodged a question versus the number of times that Kavanaugh refused to answer a question or gave an irrelevant question.
She dodged zero questions. She answered the 100 or more questions. Kavanaugh of the 80 or so questions dodged questions like 60 times and then lied about stuff, like what the Devil’s Triangle is.
I never heard about it before. It is not a drinking game. It is a sex thing. Not that he ever did it, but being a football dick head, he would have talked about it, ‘I want to do Devil’s Triangle or the FFFFF Club.’ It is a find’em, fool’em, finger’em, fuck’em, forget’em, or something like this.
The Renate Alumni, a bunch of the football players. Every person at that school. Some had a big slug of copy; big description or a list of activities during high school. Some yearbooks have just your name.
This one for the seniors had the activities in which they were involved. Apparently, the kids were allowed to compose their own lists. The people slid in these lists including Renate Alumni.
18 football players had this in the words that went with their senior pictures. The connotation is that they go with Renate or this girl at another school. Kavanaugh yesterday said, “It is a gesture of respect for Renate. We thought she was a cool girl.”
But it is obvious: no. They all claimed to have gotten with this girl Renate who was slutty. To finish, Renate was one of the 65 women that claimed to know Kavanaugh during high school and thought that he was an okay guy, put their names on a list in support of him.
This grown woman, once she found out about Renate Alumni: she said this is disgusting and then took her name from the list. She understood this as slut-shaming.
It was still objectionable 35 years later.
[End of recorded material]
American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
 Four format points for the session article:
- Bold text following “Scott Douglas Jacobsen:” or “Jacobsen:” is Scott Douglas Jacobsen & non-bold text following “Rick Rosner:” or “Rosner:” is Rick Rosner.
- Session article conducted, transcribed, edited, formatted, and published by Scott.
- Footnotes & in-text citations in the interview & references after the interview.
- This session article has been edited for clarity and readability.
For further information on the formatting guidelines incorporated into this document, please see the following documents:
- American Psychological Association. (2010). Citation Guide: APA. Retrieved from http://www.lib.sfu.ca/system/files/28281/APA6CitationGuideSFUv3.pdf.
- Humble, A. (n.d.). Guide to Transcribing. Retrieved from http://www.msvu.ca/site/media/msvu/Transcription%20Guide.pdf.
License and Copyright
In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com and www.rickrosner.org.
© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.