Monday, June 05, 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.


Anonymous said...

I was once visiting friends in Vermont, not too far out in the country, but certainly in the woods. While driving to the house with one of my friends we heard a couple of rifle-shots in the woods, not unusual in the Vermont Autumn.

At the house house we mention this to hubby, a Scotsman. His response to our report also fits the people described in this post:

(in Scotch accent): Bloody Nazi's!

Anonymous said...

cue billy holiday's "ain't nobody's bizness if i do"

you can either be a Good Republican or a Good American, but you cannot be both.

keep hammering that home drifty.
(may i call you drifty? or is that too forward? it has come down to something that simplistic.

Anonymous said...

Great post, thanks again, Drifty.

Athenawise said...

Drifty, can I be your intimacy of choice? Perfect, just perfect.

roxtar said...

Brilliant as always. I have a different take, complete with Supreme Court backup, if I may be permitted a modest blogwhore.

Anonymous said...

Judging by your picture, I'm guessing you saw this today,

Lions 1, Christians 0.

Oh, and nice post.

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear!
That whole "marriage as sacred sacrament of the church and has been forever and ever" idea is total bullshit. The church didn't even "perform" marriage ceremonies for hundreds of years. (If I weren't so damned tired right now, I'd look up all the dates for ya.) Remember how men/women/sex/cooties were bad?
I think the idea to legalize gay marriage comes from the social benefits of marriage. You can write a will and leave stuff to your partner, but what about putting him/her on your health insurance? And many other daily things that would be so much easier to manage by your spouse instead of some quasi-legal maze that y'all has to navigate.
And the idea of gay marriage debasing straight marriage---I just don't understand it. My parents didn't get divorced over the idea of homosexuals. Come on. That's just crazy talk.
I've had gay friends and gay neighbors, and the only one that bothers me is my current neighbor. He's so damned loud. He opens his doors, then yells all the time. He is, honestly, such a bitch, I don't know how he keeps a boyfriend. But he's always got a man. And good for him.

Oh, one more thing. If you really, in your heart of heart, hate the notion of gay marriage, is it still necessary to amend the freakin' constitution? It is a "holy" document. It is usually only amended to give people rights, not to deny them. Chew on that idea for a while.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Bravo, Mr. Driftglass (because I'm not worthy to be familiar) Bravo. Bra-f*****g-vo!

Sometimes, when you don't post for a couple days, I get this feeling that something GOOD is a comin', and then, along comes something like this, that just...makes it all so plain.

I believe that messing with the Constitution in this way serves two purprses for the Christopaths and Fascists: First, they get to start proscribing our private lives BY LAW, in smaller and smaller behavioral circles; second, they trivialize the idea of changing the Constitution, so making America a Christian Nation, their own particular kind of Christian Nation, becomes so much more possible.

Anyways, Bravo again. If I ever meet you out and about, I'm buying.

Mister Roboto said...

however icky you might personally find the whole idea of boys kissing boys...

...You should definitely watch this video! No, it's not a video of two young guys making out! No, really, it's not! Scout's honor!

Anonymous said...


beautiful post man.

Anonymous said...

Like an old, wise person once said to me: Who cares who puts what where?

Anonymous said...

I can't believe they're dredging this up again. Does it really work?

Beautiful post, driftglass.

driftglass said...

Thanks. "When the only tool you have is a hammer..."


Thank you.

There's an over-18 login requirement, and since I never sign up for anything, nor watch anything that you wouldn't see on the Disney channel...

temporary costello,
Thanks. I never turn down a round at the well.


Thank you & blogwhore away.

But of course, darlin' ;-) And thanks.

stephen benson,
"If I may be...?" Jeez, when'd everyone get so starched and polite :-)

Anonymous said...

Shorter Drift:

"God doesn't give a rat's ass what goes in which hole."

Agreed. :o)

Anonymous said...

driftglass sweets ...

*reaches up and places a kiss on his cheek*

You, sir, are one of the few men I wish I weren't gay for (course, you had me at the correct use of 'quanta' at dinner saturday).

Sticky-Toffee puddings all around!

But seriously, I am having a hard time blogging about this, because when I start thinking about it in any depth (a requirement, normally, I find for writing about some such) my stomach churns, and I want to lash out with large blunt objects at random Christians (woman on the el this morning reading her compact bible was lucky), and I just see red and my fingernails dig into my palms.

I have gone over the same arguments time after time, like you state above, and yet the same shite returns to be trotted out like the old stud on his last legs, in the vestigial hope that some white gold will be milked therefrom, and when none such arrives, he is yet put back in his stall, contrary to every evidence, despite his yearning and deserved need to put out to pasture next to the black and white stallion, who had been sent out there decades past.

There are no reasons to oppose same-sex marriage aside from bigotry, regardless of what cloth it is covered in. Either we queers are equal members of society, or we aren’t. If it’s the latter, then you believe queers to be less than completely deserving, contrary to all the evidence, facts, and reality … and that’s bigotry.

I need to take you out for a beer soon driftglass hon :)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. I, too, would love to take you for a drink sometime.

Anonymous said...

so, if a box is too i get the same quantum effects if gay people place themselves in closets?

While i'm a big fan of mutual let-it-be-ness in general, i'm always a little troubled by the use of privacy rhetoric in regards to queer sexuality. Recognizing that gay people (unless fabulously attired for Pride Week) don't scare horses in the street is kind of a fary cry from say...actual respect and connection.

Mister Roboto said...


Yep, registration gates are a pain in the patootie. The only reason to bother with going through one is if you're a perv such as myself who really wants to see what's on the other side of the gate! :-D

Anonymous said...

About a year ago, our Huntsville, Alabama newspaper had a spate of frothing, foaming Letters to the Editor about Protecting Marriage. So, I wrote a letter, much in the vein of this post, asking someone, anyone, to write back and detail for us all some specific, tangible effects of permitting gay marriage. I specifically called out a local Baptist minister who managed to get his mug in the paper by advising his congregation, from the pulpit, to not even dare to see "Brokeback Mountain."

cue chirping of crickets here......more chirping....very quiet now....

Nada. Zip. Bupkas. Not one single letter, not even from that cowardly fuck of a minister.

But as Savannah said in "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome": "Time counts, and keeps counting." The world turns, things change, and to use one of Sean Hannity's favorite phrases, the Protection of Marriage Amendment advocates are "on the wrong side of history." A few years back, two dear friends of ours, D and T, bought a rundown Victorian in the tony historic district here in Huntsville. Now, the interior of the house looks like something out of Architectural Digest, and the grounds have caused my wife to coin a new term: "gayscaping." It's fabulous.

Recently, D and T opened their house to the neighborhood for an Aids Action Coalition event. It was fun to sit on the porch and watch the elderly neighbors approach with some trepidation, only to go inside and find....... a couple of nice guys who love each other, fine citizens and superior neighbors. I prefer to think that I felt something shift that day, saw another crack appear in the wall.

We're getting there.....

Anonymous said...

Don't you know that family values is fermionic? That the only thing keeping nuclear families safe in their shells
is the Pauli Exclusion Principal? Sure, there's some gay tunneling, but what can you do about that?

But did I ever tell you that Conservative quantum mechanics is weird? That two, completely contradictory concepts can get entangled?

For family values is also bosonic! If you let too many excited gay unions out, the remaining faithful become subject to evaporative cooling. You absolutely can't let that go on for very long, for if it does, it will eventually lead to total collapse into a Bose-Einstein condensate -- and there ain't nothing more gay than that!

Don't forget that the wingnuts' innate fear of self-identification with teh gey is as much a cause of their hatred as any laws from the holy grand unified theory of quantum moronodynamics.

If this stuff is too weird for you to understand, don't worry. The Tancredo Eliminationist Principal will be coming to a House floor near you soon.

Karen McL said...

Ah...another masterpiece - Maestro Drifty!

Like're High on my *perfect* list -- just how I like my men -- as Brilliant Thinkers...but more in a Blue Gal fashion *wink*:

"Men who think intelligence is an aphrodisiac find me attractive. "The New York Times Crossword in bed is sexy" type. But nevermind, I'm the married with three kids type, too."

(and I'm prolly more on the side of like you're Way, WaY older sister!)

...but keep em coming and accept your well deserved accolades (and *flirty teases* - even if they slide right by like those hanging curve-balls smack at the corner, high inside on that plate!)


Karen McL said...

(Drat and yet another typo! Should be a *your* not a *you're*)

Ooops. My next blog is certainly gonna be called "The Queen of Typos."


Anonymous said...


Looks like the ladies are taking a likin' to ya, or at least wishing to buy you an ale. One is gay, one is married with kids, that leaves one possibly eligible LLL in the bunch. 33.3% ain't bad odds if you ask me ;-)

Political koan: What causes more harm- gay marriage or hetero sex outside of marriage?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Brilliant, as usual, driftglass. You've got another drink coming to you, should you ever have the misfortune to find yourself in jeebusland (Missouri)!



Karen McL said...

Now...Now...yer missing the *point*, Us Blues.

This is NOT about a *come-on* in any usual sense...but some wimmen is attracted to Brilliant Minds...a hazard in this dangerous internets world of give and take.

Anonymous said...

When the cultural Gladys Kravitzes on the Right

Nice! Funny & nice!!

Jesse Wendel said...

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.

Close. Actually, it comes from much, much further back. Like 30-50 thousand years, to when everyone lived in groups of 50 - 150.

The following links (in order - the second is better, but the first gives context for the second) do the best job I've ever read of explaining where/when fundamentalism literally originates.

Evolutionary Theology
by Digby
(scroll to: Sunday, December 5, 2005)

The Fundamentalist Agenda
by Davidson Loehr

Karen McL said...

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis:

Art is Long, Life is Short!


Anonymous said...

karen mcl- my buddy DG is certainly possessed of a brilliant mind, but he's no egg-head. Couple of beers and the fun starts. Of course, he does have a taste for Single Malt Scotch ;-)

Anonymous said...

Jesse- those floks are trying to blame biology for what may only be a product of agrarian cultures. My thesis is that back in the day the Shamans kept the warriors in line through their (the warriors) fear of the unknown and the spirit realms.

Only after settling in one place did the alpha males wrest control of the spiritual realm from the truly spiritual, subverting it towards a means of control. In doing so they sucked the life, mystery and psychedelics out of religious ceremonies. Which is why drugs, or at least the ones that make you question authority, are illegal today. And only after agriculture was invented did alcohol enter the pharmacopia, which remains legal cause it keeps people docile.

It's late, so in short I say that fundamentalism derives not from biology but from denuded spiritual traditions.

We now return to our regularly scheduled driftglass.

CAGary said...

"...I am apparently soooo old that I actually remember sepia-toned days of $0.40/gallon gasoline,..."

Shit, I remember 0.29/gallon! Getty Supreme, no less!

I second what terry says. The ONLY interest the state has in marriage is as a social contract, between consenting parties, that governs property rights, medical rights, etc. All else is religious bullshit. At base, it's pretty simple: If you don't like gay weddings, don't have one.


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