Wow. I really could go on a tear today. I have a lot I could write about. I think I’ll start with Kellyanne Conway’s decision to step away from Trump’s re-election campaign. She says it’s “[her] voice and [her] choice”. Apparently, this is coming about due to her 15 year old daughter, Claudia, who has gone viral on TikTok criticizing Donald Trump and her mother’s support of him. Meanwhile, Conway’s husband, George Conway, is stepping down from his role on The Lincoln Project, a conservative anti-Trump political action committee. Why? Because these two folks have four children who are evidently going off the rails. Or, at least Claudia is… based on what I’ve read.
I don’t pay any attention to Kellyanne Conway myself. I thought she was laughable in the early days of the Trump nightmare and I never took her seriously. If she really is deciding to step down to be there for her kids, I think that’s a good decision. Better late than never, I suppose. At least we won’t see her sitting like a double amputee in the White House anymore. However, her poetic rhyming for the press could use a bit of shoring up in the wit department. Whatever she does, I hope it doesn’t involve a return to stand up comedy.
Next on the agenda… Jerry Falwell and his sex scandal!
I have not made it a secret that I was born and raised in Virginia, and that is a hotbed of televangelism. My own childhood was spent in the shadow of Pat Robertson’s empire out of southeastern Virginia. I grew up watching WYAH, channel 27, which was owned by Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network and had all kinds of censored sitcoms, cartoons, westerns, religious programming, and weird PSAs on it.
But in the southern central part of Virginia, there’s Lynchburg, home of Liberty University, which was founded by televangelist Jerry Falwell. I went to college at Longwood, which is about 55 miles east of Liberty. I used to drive through Lynchburg to visit my grandmother, who lived in Natural Bridge, Virginia. I remember getting the willies as I passed Liberty’s huge campus, remembering the religious vibes from my own part of the state.
But it seems that right now, the Falwell family is back in the news. Jerry Falwell Sr.’s son, Jerry Falwell, Jr., who looks like someone should put horns and a pointy tail on him as they hand him a pitchfork, is in the news right now because he and his wife, Becki, were apparently having an affair with a 29 year old business partner named Giancarlo Granda.
Falwell has been leading Liberty University since 2007, and it’s definitely grown under his leadership. However, Liberty students are required to adhere to a strict code of conduct which rules out sex outside of marriage between a natural man and a natural woman, drinking alcohol, and a bunch of other stuff that I don’t feel like looking up right now. Mr. Falwell was clearly engaged in activities that would not be tolerated from Liberty University students when he was recently photographed on a yacht with his pants unzipped as he drank some kind of dark liquid. He claimed it wasn’t alcohol, but it sure looked like it was.
Falwell took a leave of absence from leading the university when that photo started circulating. But then, more information came to light which prompted university officials to encourage Mr. Falwell to step down from his role as Liberty University’s president. Falwell initially agreed, but supposedly changed his mind, and now he’s throwing his wife, Becki, under the bus. All I can think is that Falwell is a pretty poor example of a Christian, but I think a lot of televangelists are pretty much charlatans, anyway. I have never been very comfortable with much organized religion, but I have been both fascinated and repelled by the religious folks I’ve seen on TV. There have been too many stories of these charismatic folks taking advantage of the poor and gullible who look to them for hope and guidance.
Of course, Falwell’s conduct should not be a surprise. His famous father, who started Liberty University in 1971, was not a whole lot better. See the below videos from 1987, during which Falwell Sr. was trying to defend the scandal that rocked the PTL network.
Like I said… I find religious types like the Falwells and their ilk fascinating to watch. Almost all of them are total hypocrites who are up to their eyeballs in shit. Falwell Jr. is kind of a handsome guy, in a devilish sort of way. I would never trust him, though, mainly due to his dogged support of Donald Trump, who is about as anti-Christian as a man can get. And now, it seems my instincts about Jerry Falwell, Jr. were dead on. He’s definitely a dishonest creep, at the very least.
It looks like the juicy thread I started last month about Erin McCay George in a Facebook group for Longwood University has reignited. Some more information has come to light about what went on back in the days when we were in college. I’ve heard from a former roommate of hers, as well as from a few people who worked with her on the college newspaper, for which she was editor in chief.
I was once myself briefly a Rotunda reporter. If I had continued with it, I might have had more insight than I would have ever wanted about Erin McCay George. From what I’ve read so far, she was not a very good person, underneath a veneer of superficial respectability. But then, that is often the case for people who commit crimes. Maybe it seems obvious that she wasn’t “good”, since she’s now in prison for 600+ years. But I can think of cases in which someone was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or got hooked up with someone who took advantage of them somehow. I don’t think that’s the case for Erin George. The more I learn about her, the more I think she has a serious personality disorder of some kind. I empathize with people who were in her sphere of influence, because I have an inkling of what that must have been like for those people.
More and more, I think that if only Erin had gone to jail for allegedly embezzling money from Longwood University back in the 90s, she would probably not have committed murder. If anything, her case is one that should show people that it’s important to hold others accountable when they commit crimes. But then, maybe if she hadn’t shot her husband for money, Longwood would have eventually caught up with her and prosecuted her for what she was accused of doing, back in the day.
It’s amazing to me how many people are interested in this case. Ever since I first wrote about it in 2013, back when I was still using Blogger, I’ve heard from all kinds of people who knew Erin at Longwood, knew Erin’s children in England, and even one of Erin’s children. People around the world are oddly fascinated by this story, and I’m not sure why. I even reposted my original posts about Erin George on this blog because a German requested to read them. I know the book she wrote about being in prison is being used in college courses, but I can think of a lot of true crime cases that would seem more interesting than Erin’s was.
Anyway… for all of the grief I get from social media, sometimes it really is useful.
Well, I’m going to sign off for now. Arran is jonesing for a walk and I need to practice my guitar. I’m glad to have a new topic or three for today. I’m sure if I could stomach watching politics, I’d have even more to write about. But I don’t really enjoy writing about Trump. I’d rather write about kooky religious shit. Maybe Falwell Jr. will give me an opportunity to do that.