Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Schrodinger's Mo’s: Now More Than Ever

In honor of the United States Supreme Court finding that gay and lesbian Americans have the same civil rights as me, I am reposting this shamelessly TLDR piece of mine from 2006:

Schrodinger's Mo’s

No, you get in the fucking box.

Let’s lead off with this bit of Constitutional Horseshit hacky-sack from the Dear Leader via the NYT:
June 5, 2006
Gay Marriage Ban Is Short of Votes in Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush rallied support Monday for a ban on gay marriage as the Senate opened a volatile, election-year debate on a constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex weddings.

''Changing the definition of marriage would undermine the structure of the family,'' said Bush, who raised the issue's profile with an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Bush criticized judges who have overturned state laws similar in intent to the proposed legislation. ''Marriage is the most fundamental institution of civilization, and it should not be redefined by activist judges,'' he said.

Traditional marriage, Bush said, is the cornerstone of a healthy society and the issue should be put ''back where it belongs: in the hands of the American people.''

There was little chance of that in the near future. Neither chamber is likely to pass the amendment by the two-thirds majority required to send it to the states -- three quarters of which would then have to approve it.

''A vote for this amendment is a vote for bigotry pure and simple,'' said Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, where the state Supreme Court legalized gay marriages in 2003.

''The reason for this debate is to divide our society, to pit one against another,'' [Senate Democratic Leader Harry] Reid said in remarks prepared for delivery on the Senate floor. ''This is another one of the presidents efforts to frighten, to distort, to distract, and to confuse America. It is this administration's way of avoiding the tough, real problems that American citizens are confronted with each and every day.''

Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco, which in 2004 began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, on Monday denounced Bush's move as predictable and ''stale rhetoric'' aimed at rallying conservatives for this year's midterm elections.
''It's politics. It's pandering and it's placating a core constituency, the evangelicals,'' Newsom said on ABC's ''Good Morning America.''
I have neighbors I do not know and who in no way affect me except if their garbage piles up too high, or they play that devil’s music too loud on a Sunday morning when I’m trying to listen to “Lords of Acid” at 120 decibels in peace.

They do not disturb some invisible, trembling pellucid neighborhood ether with their peccadilloes.

They probably self-selected themselves into the area based on some combination of criteria that probably includes a degree of tolerance for people who are not like them, but frankly if they compulsively vacuum in nothing but pearls and heels, or nickname their pet potbelly pig “Mor-ton” and re-enact old episodes of the McLaughlin Group for kicks, what the fuck do I care?

I also have family I see once every few years at reunions.

They are a boisterous bunch, shot through with a lot of hardcore Rightwing Evangelicals. For a couple of days we tell marvelous, funny, poignant stories about relatives long gone, visit the old cemetery, and auction off family knick-knacks and heirlooms to defray the cost of meals and soda. Their bizarre cult beliefs roll off of me like water off a heathen duck’s ass, and I’m sure my vile humanist ravings never so much as raise a welt on their dense, Blood-O’-Christ ablative shielding.

I also have friends and family a few miles away and a half a continent away I can visit or call and talk to when I’m broken and sad: Those are my intimacies of choice.

And while I disagree with Rick Blaine [Casablanca] when he say's “The problems of the world are not in my department”, (yes, he eventually comes around) I profoundly agree with the idea that the personal choices and habits of the rest of the world are absolutely none of my god damned business so long as they keep their garbage off my lawn and don’t frighten the horses in the street.

Which is comical, because I am apparently soooo old that I actually remember sepia-toned days of $0.40/gallon gasoline, commercial-free public teevee and when keeping one’s snout the fuck out of other people’s business used to be touted as a granite pillar of the Conservative movement.

But that was before they sold their souls to Jerry Falwell in exchange for millions of obedient Christopath voters.

So this one is for my new physics pals from the Shakespeare’s Sister meet-up, wherein the estimable Mrs. Shakes consented to rope-and-ride a buncha Liberals to a movie (“An Inconvenient Truth” -- massively recommended) and dinner.
(“Trying to herd cats,” she opined.


Herding fireflies with a firehose is more like it. I should know; I’m one of the worst of the bunch.)
So let us imagine there’s a box in, oh, say, Massachusetts or Oregon or Iowa.

A big box, and in that box are the following items:
1. A Bible.
2. A preacher.
3. A gay couple.
4. A straight friend.
5. Enough consumables and comforts to last a lifetime.
Sort of a Biosphere II, but with vastly better feng shui.

And you’re living la vida no-neck in some high-toned, melanin-poor gated exurb, or in some scruffier digs where the “gate” is a gaunt, three-legged pit-bull named Bobby Lee tied the rusted hulk of an El Camino up on ancient blocks.

Now at some point over the course of years, the gay couple may ask the preacher to pick up the bible and, with their straight friend standing witness, get hitched.

Or they may not.

In fact, they exist only in a cloud of quantum connubial possibilities until you bust the box open and demand to know just what in the fuck they’re doing in there. And how can they have amassed such a formidable stockpile of really spiffy antiques without ever having left the box!

It is only when you kick the door down and intrude on their private business that the haze of potential outcomes collapses into a single, nuptial certainty.

So the question is, when exactly -- over the course of, say, forty years of leaving the box intact and letting them be -- did their status inside the box destroy your marriage outside the box?

When was it -- precisely -- during those four decades that this single detail of the lives of strangers who live so immensely far away from you in every meaningful way managed to intrude into your life so violently that it ruined your relationship with your spouse and debased the value of the love and mutual commitment you share?

So much so that the only possible solution is to amend the foundational documents of our democracy?

Because if you cannot identify the specific, quantifiable harm that such a union would have on you and yours, then shut your fucking hole.

And if the only rationale you can conjure is the oldest and most despicable of the “pellucid ether” arguments -- that it would be an affront to God [or his Divine Beard, “Traditional Values”] by asserting, as the Dear Leader just did, that “Marriage is the most fundamental institution of civilization, and it should not be redefined by activist judges” -- then I commend to your attention the opening lines of the June 12, 1967, Loving v. Virginia decision, which gets referred to a lot in Left Bloggylvania, but not cited verbatim nearly often enough for my tastes, because here is how it begins (Emphasis added):
"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."
The law in Virginia as it read provided...
"Punishment for marriage. -- If any white person intermarry with a colored person, or any colored person intermarry with a white person, he shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by confinement in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years."
And the penalty for leaving the State to evade the law was...
...If any white person and colored person shall go out of this State, for the purpose of being married, and with the intention of returning, and be married out of it, and afterwards return to and reside in it, cohabiting as man and wife, they shall be punished as provided in § 20-59, and the marriage shall be governed by the same law as if it had been solemnized in this State. The fact of their cohabitation here as man and wife shall be evidence of their marriage."
What more needs be said?

When the cultural Gladys Kravitzes on the Right stomp into the public square dragging Gay Marriage along behind them, this is what’s really on the menu: Their insatiable appetite to impose their witchbag of hate, squeamishness and childish idiocy on everyone else in the Universe for no reason other than they are hateful, squeamish, childish idiots.

And since there is absolutely no quantifiable harm they can point to (In Loving, the “harm” cited was found in the language of Naim v. Naim which “concluded that the State's legitimate purposes were "to preserve the racial integrity of its citizens," and to prevent "the corruption of blood," "a mongrel breed of citizens," and "the obliteration of racial pride”…), time and again -- from slavery, through Jim Crow, through “Loving” and now with Gay Marriage -- you see the same democracy-loathing Red Statists thumping the same Bible, from the same pulpit, to the same squealing mob of culturally malnourished knuckleheads.

Generation after debased generation the disease is passed on, because regardless of where this moral cancer has geographically metastasized over the years, the continuous line of divinely-sanctioned White Male Christian Supremacy that runs from “God, Nooses and Negroes” to “God, Guns and Gays” comes straight out of the spiritual heart of the old Confederacy.

And because there are no tangible, measurable negative consequences, when you take it upon yourself to tell two consenting adults who and how they may marry you will always end up playing the “Almighty God”-card. Either explicitly, or by cowering behind such hollow, bigot-coded and patently ridiculous threats as, "Changing the definition of marriage would undermine the structure of the family."

On this issue -- however icky you might personally find the whole idea of boys kissing boys or girls canoodling with girls -- you can either be a Good Republican or a Good American, but you cannot be both.

Because when you insist that your perverse view of the Bible gives you the right to smash open Schrodinger's box and dictate who and how two consenting adults may marry, you will always end up standing on the gibbet, slipping the “Loving” rope around Liberty’s throat.


And that is no place that any decent American would ever want to be.

Seven years later, Charles Pierce reminds us that there is still plenty of stupid to go around, even deep within the limpid, Libertarian pools of Senator Rand Paul's dead, doll eyes:
Rand Paul, Liberal Lion, Thinks You'll Marry A Squid
By Charles P. Pierce
at 4:55pm

Brogressives who fell madly for Senator Aqua Buddha who, as we know, stood bravely alone against the forces of a president bent on droning us all into small piles of ashes, are going to have to have a long chat with the fellow now that he's unlimbered himself on the topic of marriage equality.
"I think this is the conundrum and gets back to what you were saying in the opening -- whether or not churches should decide this. But it is difficult because if we have no laws on this people take it to one extension further. Does it have to be humans?
I dunno, Rand. Is there a comely ruminant that's caught your eye?


Anonymous said...

When I brought this up a few posts ago, wasn't it called a straw man argument?

Anyway... The Right *knows* they are right, and so they *must* be right. The most dangerous thing to a fundamentalist, religious or political, is a question. Therefore, gay marriage causing Mandatory Sodomy Sundays and Jesus throwing flaming squids a people from His cloud Must! Be! True!. If it looks like Reality is going Liberal, than conservatives must intervene to *make* it true, or it must be wiped from collective perception. Otherwise, the worst question can arise: "If we were wrong about this, what else?"

This is why when other countries legalized same-sex marriage, we heard a torrent of crap about how Jesus was stockpiling a huge pile of burning squid and stretchering His throwing arm, but when Jesus was a no-show, the whole situation stopped existing.

Same-sex marriage in this country, though, will be different. I think Dan Savage is exactly right when he says "This isn't the next 'Civil Rights', it's the next 'Abortion'." They were wrong about abortion, but they just keep doubling down on the hate and lies. They have armies of people who believe that Big Gubmint and a cabal of doctors are suppressing "the truth" that abortion causes depression, mental illness, breast cancer, infertility, and, to be honest, they probably think that's where science books come from. They think the government wants people like Gosnell to "thin the herd".

Unless we have a series of major natural disasters on which we can blame Teh Gay, that is the future of same-sex marriage. Gay wedding agencies will be bombed. Churches will be protested. Same-sex marriage will be blamed for cancer and depression and autism and schizophrenia and science books.

Their only options are to wish it away, or intensify the hate and crazy. Since this is here at home, it cannot be ignored. The only other option is far to dangerous, as their followers may ask what else their movement was wrong about.


Anonymous said...

"however icky you might personally find the whole idea of boys kissing boys or girls canoodling with girls"

And then there's that.

You cannot think of "sex" as a modern person would. Think more like Greece and Rome. Sex is between a "penetrator" or "lover" and a "penetrated" or "beloved". The penetrator holds power, receives or may forcibly take pleasure, and may give pleasure or pain. The penetrated's role is to be passive and provide pleasure, with a good submissive penetrated being given some pleasure in return. Or, in less ætheric terms, it's the job of the bottom to provide holes for fuckin'.

Gay men are a threat because it challenges that assumption. Worse, it is a reminder of the threat of being overpowered rather than holding power. Gay sex debases the power of masculinity and patriarchy. It is men acting like women.

Lesbian sex is titillating (see what I did there?) because the women are trying to "play at" being men. However, the ultimate role of a woman is to have a man's penis plunged into her. Thus, lesbian sex culturally becomes a sort of foreplay. Women get heated up, but then "need" a man to come along and skewer them so they can finally be satisfied. A woman may be able to make another woman really horny, but ultimately, they don't have penises to plunge into each other, and thus they will end up "needing" the first man who comes along. This is the reason behind the popular myth that all women are bisexual. Women surely love to play with titties, because men sure do and so why wouldn't women?, but ultimately they need a good dicking.

I think this is one of the most R-rated posts I've ever done here... I was such a nice boy before I started reading Driftglass....


Hamfast Ruddyneck said...

*sigh* I do wish Paul of Tarsus had not guessed wrong all those years ago. He put the Mosaic Code's prohibition of consensual homosexual behavior in the category of the Moral Law (rules like "Don't steal"), when he should have put it in the category of the Ceremonial Law (rules like "Don't eat pork").

Also, "The Flaming Squids" would be a great name for a rock band. :D

Also, George & Brad forever! May they live long and prosper! ^_^

Anonymous said...

Hamfast, it's my understanding that the understanding in the original Hebrew is actually a social code, and not moral. The very good book "What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality" (HIGHLY recommend! I've read both first and second editions) lays it out that the best translation of the old Hebrew texts would be: "A man shall not lay with a man as with a woman, or he has done a disgusting thing. He will be as a corpse before God. His blood shall be upon him."

Those last to lines morphed into "shall be made a corpse" to "shall be made as dead" to "shall be put to death". However, the words used in Hebrew and old Jewish Aramaic versions talk about something vulgar or disgusting. Also, the second half is not read as a punishment. If you touch a corpse, or if you get blood on you, the Jewish part of your soul (Naimesh?) is sullied. You cannot enter Temple or participate in Tradition until a full lunar month passes, or you perform a mitzva (either the hot-then-cold bath in running water, or a good deed).

It is important to note that this same verbiage is also used in some of the dietary laws, like eating shellfish. So, eating a bowl of clam chowder gives you the same Jew-soul-taint as buggery.

It is also important to note that the Jewish soul-bit was infused into the Jews at Mount Sainai at the Covenant. That, which is inherited from the mother, is what makes one Jewish. It marks a person in God's eyes as being one of the Chosen. Kosher laws are designed entirely around not staining your Jewish soul-bit. What is important about that is that, unlike moral law, Kosher law is *only* for Jews, and does *not* apply to non-Jews. Jews may think eating shrimp or pork is icky (and if you don't eat pork as a child, you may have digestive issues with it as an adult), and may think it proper for married women to cover their hair, and may think it proper for men to grow a beard, but *none* of these are moral issues.

I also remember reading years ago, in the area of textual reconstruction (trying to "rebuild" the original from existing documents, knowing the most common scribal errors), there was evidence which really changed that part of Leviticus. Apparently some believe that the original word was not "lie with", but had the prefix "ma-" for "roughly-" or "aggressively-". This variation is not used for "and she did not lie with a man", but instead is used as a euphemism for rape, and is the same verb used in the law discussing rape.

The difference that would make cannot be understated. The laws about a man raping a woman involve property. It is a property crime involving a dowry, unless it can be blamed on the woman. If the same reading is correct for two men, "You shall not sexually take a man as a woman" means male rape cannot be blamed on the victim, is icky, and the rapist cannot be Jewish for a month for his actions. Given that rape was often used as a form of subjugation and humiliation, this reading would make perfect sense.


Hamfast Ruddyneck said...

Thanx for the suggestion, Mike. Maybe I can find that book, and time to read it, some day.

Anonymous said...

Back when I had spending money, that is a book I would buy three at a time. Instead of lending it, I would just give it away. I think I've given six copies so far. (It's paperback, and actually not expensive.)

Also, the second edition has some more information, but the information seems stuck in with less quality editing. If you find poor editing to be a problem when you read, go for the first edition, as a few parts will seem a bit slapdash. Otherwise, go with the second, and know some parts will seem a bit less tightly edited.


marindenver said...

Mike K.
I'm straight but I can assure you that women's trigger points can definitely be sprung without having a penis "plunged into her". As a member of the female persuasion I think you can take this as fact. ;-)