Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Marriage - It's More Serious Than We Thought

 Recuse this, bitch!
From a piece in the New York Times Magazine, a profile of Robby George (D.Phil, Oxford University; JD, Harvard University; AB, Swarthmore College),  America's foremost homophobic deep thinker. Of course the following analysis by yours truly (Mt. Lebanon High School '71) is based on what some guy said about what another guy thinks. That's hardly fair to Guy #2. But, then again, I'm hardly a researcher:
"He admits the argument for marriage between a man and a woman can require “somewhat technical philosophical analysis.”
Go for it.
 It is a two-step case that starts with marriage and works its way back to sex.
I think he's got it backward.
 First, he contends that marriage is a uniquely “comprehensive” union, meaning that it is shared at several different levels at once — emotional, spiritual and bodily. “And the really interesting evidence that it is comprehensive is that it is anchored in bodily sharing,” he says.
Like a tapeworm.
“Ordinary friendships wouldn’t be friendships anymore if they involved bodily sharing,” he explained to me.
No, they would be conjoined twins.
 “If I, despite being a married man, had this female friend of mine and I said, ‘Well, gosh, why don’t we do some bodily sharing,’
Gee willikers, can I bone you?
 and we had straightforward sexual intercourse, well, that wouldn’t be friendship or marriage
How about if it was straightbackward sexual intercourse?
." It is bodily, O.K...."
 "...but it is not part of a comprehensive sharing of life."
"My comprehensive sharing of life is with my wife, which I just now violated.”
OK, you're a pig. So what?
 "But just as friendships with sex are not friendships, marriage without sex is not marriage."
I'm free!
" Sex, George said, is the key to this 'comprehensive unity.'He then imagined himself as a man with no interest in sex who proposed to seal a romance by committing to play tennis only with his beloved. Breaking that promise, he said, would not be adultery."
Tennis anyone?
"The second step is more complicated, and more graphic."
Now you caught my interest
 "George argues that only vaginal intercourse — “procreative-type” sex acts, as George puts it — can consummate this “multilevel” mind-body union."
Yay for the va jay jays.
" Only in reproduction, unlike digestion, circulation, respiration or any other bodily function, do two individuals perform a single function and thus become, in effect, 'one organism.'
Um, I think that would be 3 organisms in one orgasm. One - three, whats the dif? It's a Trinitarian view of the "Act".
Each opposite-sex partner is incomplete for the task; yet together they create a “one-flesh union,” in the language of Scripture. “Their bodies become one (they are biologically united, and do not merely rub together) in coitus (and only in coitus), similarly to the way in which one’s heart, lungs and other organs form a unity by coordinating for the biological good of the whole,” George writes in a draft of his latest essay on the subject.
I'm sorry, but this porn does not work for me. Neither does the analogy. I wonder how long he keeps Mrs. George waiting while he thinks this whole thing through?
" Unloving sex between married partners does not perform the same multilevel function, he argues, nor does oral or anal sex — even between loving spouses."
Maybe not multilevel but definitely multitasking.
Infertile couples, too, are performing this uniquely shared reproductive function, George says, even if they know their sperm and ovum cannot complete it. Marriage is designed in part for procreation in the way a baseball team is designed for winning games, he says, but “people who can practice baseball can be teammates without victories on the field.”
Kind of like the Pirates. Well, I know he's trying to dumb it down for guys like me with the baseball analogy but he fucking well lost me. Sex is "designed" for procreation. Marriage is about property rights.
"George argues that reason alone shows that heterosexual sodomy and homosexual sex are morally wrong, just as the Catholic Church, classical philosophers and other religious traditions have historically taught."
"Unlike marital union in his special sense, he contends, such acts treat the body as an instrument of the mind’s pleasure."
Invasion of the meat robots.
" As both a practical and a philosophical matter, he argues, the law should not necessarily police such things."
I agree.
" But the need for the state to establish a proper definition of marriage is a different matter, he says, because the law has always regulated it in the interest of parenthood and community. “Marriage in principle is a public institution,” he said. “I don’t think it can be like bar mitzvahs or baptisms or the Elks Club.”"
And there is no evidence at all that allowing gays to marry injures children or communities. And if there is a nugget of a premise buried under that big pile of bullshit, I certainly can't find it. Strange that all the countries that have legalized gay marriage have not collapsed in utter social disarray and that people in those countries are still having babies. Another big picture guy so worried about who's sticking what where that he feels compelled to leave behind this little worm casing of reason. And he hangs with Scalia - that's probably all you need to know.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I Don't Know Won't Help Me

It was right after If You Give a Pig a Party (which is along the same lines of If You Take a Mouse to the Movies - mice and pigs are both very needy) and I was tired and trying to delay reading Mr. Peabody's Apples for the 500th time (the child requires at least two books at night). So I asked her how her day went and she told me that her teacher got the incubator and an egg for everyone and that they were going to hatch some chicks.

How long does that take - 21 days?

No, Miss Hockensmith said April.

Oh, did you know that chickens are dinosaurs?

Chickens aren't dinosaurs. That's silly.

Yes, some people think that the dinosaurs never died out and one type evolved into birds - there were feathered dinosaurs, you know.

Oh, were there puppies then, too? (to Jasmine puppies are not only cute, they are eternal)

No, I think dogs have only been around about 10,000 years. They came from wolves.

No, I said puppies, not wolves. Was that before God walked the Earth?

(Uh, oh) You mean Jesus, yeah, I think so. Some wolves hung around where people lived and they got used to people and people got used to them and after a while they became dogs.

And had puppies?

Yeah, they also warned people when there were dangerous animals around. (Not to mention the fact that puppies were probably handy for snacking on - but I didn't say that). You know life has been around for a long, long time, like 3 and a half billion years and first there was bacteria, then something like worms, and fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

And puppies? What are bacteria?

Well, ahem...ah... well they're tiny little bugs too small to see all around us and they live in us and help digest our food and live on our skin and....

Fortunately she nodded off before I went on to embarrass myself further. Nothing tests the limits of what you think you know better than having to explain it to an 8 year old. I would give my right nutball for a certain clarity of thought.  One good thing - even my second grade granddaughter is too smart to ask "If we came from bacteria, how come there are still bacteria?"

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dim Bulbs

This shall not stand. Reps. Bachmann and Barton (R-combined IQ 74) have sponsored bills to repeal the mandated federal standards for allowable light bulb wattage. Barton, if you will remember, is the Congressman who felt the need to apologize to BP for the Obama Administration forcing them to put up the money to clean up their own mess and Bachmann is the Congresswoman who is terminally, irretrievably batshit crazy.  These regulations are just another example of federal overreach leading to socialist enslavement. Why have any kind of standards? The Founders would be aghast at the world we live in, full of federally mandated energy efficiency standards. Far better to split a couple of atoms or shave the top off a mountain or kill a few brown people than to rob us of our God given choice to be stupidly energy inefficient. Sen. Paul (R - Kenfucky) agrees. Not only do the light bulbs piss him off but he's been having problems with his toilet. Evidently it doesn't flush well enough to dispose of his "business". After seeing John Steward gently deconstruct  Paul's inane political philosophy I get the feeling the problem is not with the toilet.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Here Come De Judge

Attempts by the Church and its apologists to make sense of human sexuality reminds me  of a great scene in Pillars of the Earth. The witchy woman consort of one protagonist and mother of another is captured, bound and brought before the evil Bishop and his toadies. Not only has the Bishop betrayed her trust as her confessor and tortured and killed the father of her son but he continues to persecute her current lover and her son. Well, she's had it. She cuts her bonds with a hidden knife and the monks shrink back, murmuring of witchcraft. She strides along a long table toward the Bishop, seated at the end of the table, and when she reaches him she hikes up her skirt launches a stream of piss right at him. The clerics shrink back in horror as she contemptuously turns and stalks out of the dining hall.

And so it is with the Church, looking too hard into the mystery of our beginnings and ending up with a face full of piss. Using a blinded interpretation of natural processes to underpin scriptural precepts and make sense of the chaotic complications of human sexuality. The idea that all right thinking cultures will come to the same basic concepts of good and evil because they all share a sense of the moral order built in to the framework of the universe. The idea being that certain behaviors are intrinsically wrong because they are unnatural. Behaviors such as homosexuality, abortion, contraception, pre-marital and extra -marital sex, polygamy, etc all contravene some sort of Natural Law, that they are counter to our god given natures. How this squares with the Christian idea that we are born fatally flawed, I do not know but all Catholic theology seems based on ignoring the contradictions. Even a cursory examination of nature and human history proves the Natural Law argument bullshit. Your dog humps your leg, Jacob had 4 wives, the new king of the pride kills his predecessor's cubs, nobody was too anxious to tell Alexander that he couldn't have a boyfriend...Jeez, just a look at our plumbing gives the lie to some sort of natural monogamy in the human species. I suppose Natural Inclinations sounds a little too weak on which to build a whole moral code. But there is no such thing as Natural Law, not even a Law of Replication. Natural Inclinations, maybe.  Well, there is one Natural Law - Everything Dies. I don't need a Cathedral to remind me of that.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Criticism for the Common Man

Ah, Oscar night. Another award show I did not care to watch full of films I do not care to see. The King's Whatever was the big winner. Another period drama for those who have periods. Like I'm supposed to give a shit about some royal twit's stuttering problem? And why the American obsession with English royalty? Do we really need to concern ourselves with the romantic entanglements of a marginalized group of inbred dweebs? Next years Oscar contender -

The King's Enema
Can an impudent Page of the Back Stairs ease His Majesty's impaction before the annual royal fox hunt on St. Swithen's Day?  

"Is the water too cold, your majesty?"
"Do you dare to sit on the King's Throne!" 
Now I'm sure the King's Whatever was quite inspiring and I'm sure the costumes were correct down to the last button and the accents were spot on but this stuff is really not my cup of tea. It's not even about the interesting  King George. I probably won't bother with it unless forced into it by my life partner. Inception was pretty good and I'll definitely catch True Grit but a film about fighting brothers and their over bearing mother. Nah. I know all about that. I'm a simple man with simple tastes. Toy Story 3 made me cry. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. And it wasn't just because of  Randy Newman's music.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Wherein Scripto Feels the Need to Explain the Joke

Sometimes I feel as though my attempts at whimsy fall on deaf eyes. The following exchange was posted in the comment section of Ironicus Maximus:

"Good question your Pradaness, but here's a better one: If all humanity wasn't present to clamor for appletinis when Eve ate the apple, how come we all have to pay for original sin?
scripto said:
All humanity was present. All both of them. Read your Bible you apostate. 
6:19 PM
Anonymous said...
"All both".....priceless!
7:55 PM
Now you may not be able to tell by my literary efforts that my mother was an English teacher so I am well aware that the elites consider "all both" to be bad form. Now, in my defense, I did give that comment careful thought and boiled it down to two questions:
1. Did I think Ironicus would get the joke?
2. Did I care if I looked stupid?
My answers were yes and no. Now it is possible Anonymous did get the joke and thought that my comment was priceless in a brilliantly humorous way. In that case I look even more stupid. And yes, that is possible. And no, I still don't care.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Charlie, Charlie, Charlie

 Party like a rock star

Poor Charley

"Tiger blood and Adonis DNA"

More like Narcissus DNA. But Adonis or Narcissus, both stories ended badly. Normally the doings or mis-doings of celebrities don't interest me much but I couldn't stop watching Sheen's train wreck interview with Jeff Rossen. It struck a chord with me as I have some experience being on both sides of the addiction divide and while my misadventures were only "epic" on a seedier scale, I certainly can relate to trying to convince the world around me that I wasn't an alcoholic and that things weren't spiraling out of control. At one time I was even going to go to court to prove I wasn't an alcoholic. And if self obsession translated into self awareness Sheen and I would both be Buddhas. The "drug tests don't lie" mantra repeated during the questions about whether or not he has stopped using rings a little hollow. Besides he didn't really answer the question. And he didn't look all that healthy. If he didn't have the bucks to buy the good stuff I'd almost peg him as a low rent meth and booze hound.  A really fun combination, by the way, and despite my hippie libertarian leanings, one that I believe should remain illegal in the interest of domestic tranquility. Especially in a country where it's easier to buy a gun than a beer.

The one honest thing he said was that he took drugs because they "worked". It appears that they have stopped working, at least in the way he wants them to. After a while you feel good for a shorter period of time and stay sicker for a longer and longer period of time. Common to guys like us is the feeling that we are in control even when we realize we are out of control, the sneering condescension for those who have gone before and died with their boot on. The feeling that increased tolerance translates into increased knowledge and you can tip toe around death because you know what you are doing. The bone yards are full of experts.

And Sheen sure has a curious hard-on for AA, characterizing it as an ineffectual program written by a plagiarizing loser. Well, it saved my life. My guess is that someone hit a nerve with poor ole Charlie, someone called him on his bullshit and he knows it. Now the defenses are back up and he's cured himself through the power of his own mind. Sure he did. But I think Charlie is about ready to start to get better.