Saturday, November 18, 2006

Frootbat spotting

Kind of a cheap hobby, particularly when you let someone else do the dirty work for you, but what the hell: sometimes, it's what you crave. In this case, Kyso Kiasen links to a few gems. Here she fisks a piece from one of my favorite sites EVER, Ladies Against Feminism. "Rearing Lords and Ladies." Key word here: "dominion."

The frenzy to prevent people having dominion

The media tell us to worship the earth, to conserve and preserve it at all costs to humans, to let the wilderness that our Christian forebears fought so hard to drive back overtake us.


Yes; that is the biggest problem facing us today. It's too much wilderness that's threatening human extinction. Depopulation, on account of we not only aren't having enough kids but apparently also we're all too busy getting eaten by bears. Because clearly, if something was once a problem, it's always a problem, exactly as it was; certainly it's not possible to go so far with the "cure" as to go entirely overboard.

"Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore, riding through the sward..."

As KK puts it,

No, the media tell us to consume things at an unsustainable pace. And the wilderness will overtake your ass pretty quick if you don’t take steps to conserve what you got. If we fish until no fish swims in the ocean, we’re fucked. If we cut down all the trees or burn all of the fossils, we’re also fucked. We’re so dependent on corn here that if anything were to happen to the soil’s ability to grow more corn, we’d be so very, very fucked. There is a limited amount of space available on this planet, it is wise to not salt the earth, piss in the water and torch the forest as you sweep across it just to prove you can, because eventually you’ll have to come back and try and live on what your wasted. Being interested in keeping resources around for the next generation is not restricting your dominion. My parents aren’t going to torch their house before they die so that my sisters and I can’t live in it, and I’d appreciate it if you’d show the same basic level of courtesy and estate planning towards the earth.

Then again, I'm not sure maintaining a "reality-based community" is that high up on the priority list for the Dominionists. It's sort of mundane, really, compared to the glory of being Lords and Ladies and God's Own Chosen Rulers of Everything. I mean, okay, keep the planet alive; but where's the specialness in that? Hm? Clearly, if God didn't want us to dominate the planet, He wouldn't have created the oil industry.

Anyway, you might think that in this worldview, the "ladies" kind of get short shrift, dominion-wise, but you'd be wrong:

Take dominion and subdue the corner of His world which God entrusted to you
Clean out your closets or garage; organize your books, desk, or kitchen; pull the weeds in your garden. After you have set this example, require your children to be responsible for their schoolwork, their possessions, and their appearance. We can't subdue the earth if we cannot subdue ourselves by His grace first.


You see? You may not be able to conquer virgin forests; but by God, you can conquer the mess in the garage. One step at a time, lords & ladies. One step at a time.

In passing, KK also notes with fond nostalgia a fine piece of cultural critique from World Net Daily.

Fascinating; the author, one David Kupelian, is a rather extreme rightwinger, and he ends up quoting Mark Crispin Miller, who's rather far to the left, to make (some of) his points. Or well, Crispin and Rushkoff's points are basically that power is increasingly consolidated under a smaller and smaller number of corporate megaconglomerations. Presumably being an isolationist and paranoiac of the old school, Kupelian is also agin' sinister megacorporations taking over the WORLD, PINKY! (hey, who isn't? i mean, besides the people who actually own the sinister megacorporations). However, he also reaches some conclusions that i rather think Miller at least wasn't really going for:

The fact is, what has risen "out of the pit" in today's world bears a striking resemblance to the ageless spirit of defiant paganism, a spirit now inhabiting millions of people "freed" by trauma (drugs, illicit sex, bodily mutilation, etc.) from the pain of their own conscience – which is to say, freed from God and the divine law written deep down in every person's heart. Why? Same reason as always: so they can be their own gods and make up their own rules.

...In past eras, if parents were very imperfect or even corrupt, their children still had a reasonable chance of "growing up straight," since the rest of society still more or less reflected Judeo-Christian values. The youngster could bond to a teacher, minister, mentor or organization that could provide some healthy direction and stability.

But today, because of the near-ubiquitous corruption "out there," if parents fail to properly guide and protect their children, the kids get swallowed whole by the child-molesting monster we call culture.



And that, there, in a nutshell, is the reactionary-to-fundamentalist--I mean any kind of fundamentalism--position:

1) There is much corruption and confusion in the world (all demonstratably true)

2) much more than there ever was before (that one's more debatable)

3) Clearly the solution is going back to the way things used to be. Even if how things used to be actually weren't.

also:

4) Generally speaking, people are not to be trusted. Not ourselves, and certainly not (most) other people.

5) This is because of Sinister Outside Forces corrupting and confusing; it is also
because of our own inherent weakness.

6) What we need is to get ourselves under control. Control, control, CONTROL.

7) so that we may purify ourselves of the culture's corrupting influence.

8) When we are sufficiently pure inside (obviously we can never be perfectly so, even though some of us will be farther along than others; this is a fallen world), we can begin the task of cleaning up the external filth.

9) It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it.

10) Did we mention the part about how this is really, really urgent, and if we don't clean up and straighten out right quick we're all DOOMED?

11) Well, it is.

12) Here is a pamphlet, that you, too, may open your eyes...

21 comments:

Rootietoot said...

2) much more than there ever was before (that one's more debatable)
~I don't agree with that, I think we know more about it because of the open nature of our culture-information is so easily dissiminated. Evil has always existed, and always will, as long as humanity has the ability to do as it wishes.

3) Clearly the solution is going back to the way things used to be. Even if how things used to be actually weren't.
~Doing things the way we used to is what got us here in the first place. Perhaps if we could figure out what actually worked and what didn't, and modify the way things are doing that way, instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

also:

4) Generally speaking, people are not to be trusted. Not ourselves, and certainly not (most) other people.
~There is always a certain degree of trust. You walk down the street trusting that the people around you won't go bananas and start shooting. Or drive the freeway at 90mph assuming everyone else will continue doing the same instead of stopping in their tracks.

5) This is because of Sinister Outside Forces corrupting and confusing; it is also
because of our own inherent weakness.
~More likely sinister inside forces. It's not our inherent weakness as much as it is our inherent selfishness.

6) What we need is to get ourselves under control. Control, control, CONTROL.
~I can't argue with that.

7) so that we may purify ourselves of the culture's corrupting influence.
~Or so that we might become the dominant influence on the culture. Culture only corrupts as much as the corruptee is willing to let it.

8) When we are sufficiently pure inside (obviously we can never be perfectly so, even though some of us will be farther along than others; this is a fallen world), we can begin the task of cleaning up the external filth.
~Good Lord if we waited that long, it would never happen. Better to admit our flaws and work around them. We will never be sufficiently pure. It won't happen.

10) Did we mention the part about how this is really, really urgent, and if we don't clean up and straighten out right quick we're all DOOMED?
~Piffle. People have been saying that since the Prophets of 4000 years ago. There's a whole Christian thought process that deals with that single idea. I won't go into it but the idea of urgency and doom is SO OLD.

Interesting post...thanks

Donna said...

I think many of them believe the end times are here, so there is no point to preserving anything anyway. They may be right, but the end times are here because they haven't been preserving anything anyway!

I'm with rootietoot, we need to control ourselves. Problem I see is that these religious nuts have no intention of controling themselves, they want to control everyone else instead.

belledame222 said...

Welcome.

The only thing about control is...well, again, it's a balance. That's another post.

Let's just say I think that yep, there's an inherent need for a certain amount of structure and organizing principles (various peoples' mileage varies as to how much, but i think very few of us do well under circumstances of total chaos). otoh, i think i'm pretty clear that these guys, the dominionists (for one), well, go overboard, to put it mildly. If you're just trying to stomp whatever-the-hated-part-of-you is into submission or even oblivion...that tends not to work out real well, i find.

>Doing things the way we used to is what got us here in the first place. Perhaps if we could figure out what actually worked and what didn't, and modify the way things are doing that way, instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.>

Word.

>There is always a certain degree of trust. You walk down the street trusting that the people around you won't go bananas and start shooting. Or drive the freeway at 90mph assuming everyone else will continue doing the same instead of stopping in their tracks.>

Ideally. Yes. What you're talking about is a "social contract."

There is also a certain baseline level of trust that people are, if not necessarily basically out to help you, are at least approachable (at least until proven otherwise), and probably not out to actively -harm- you, either.

Talking about that more would be getting into developmental psych territory, but basically: either coming to that position of trust or not is something that starts to happen -very- very early on, from infancy, basically. And ultimately i think particular ideology is secondary to that; if you've come to what's been called the "paranoid position" (i.e. people are basically bad, can't be trusted, the world is dangerous and out to get you), then whatever your political or religious beliefs end up being, ultimately they're gonna be colored by that.

belledame222 said...

donna slip't. well, wrt control, another problem with people like this is that they have a really hard time getting where they end and other people begin, i think. So to them, controlling other people IS controlling their own little interior world; and it's for the other peoples' own good, because clearly everyone in the world is just like them.

belledame222 said...

The thing about the end times is:

well, the Dominionists are post-millenialists. so unlike the "when the rapture comes, i'm ready" people, they believe that -first- you establish the Kingdom of God here on earth; -then- (maybe?) Jesus comes back. something. whatever it is, it boils down to: they are not, in fact, fixing to go at any time. not consciously, anyway.

which isn't really all that comforting, because what that means is that they're more invested in actually trying to bring about a theocracy than anyone else.

meanwhile, you have Bush going, history won't remember him 'cause "we'll be dead" (i've always seen a real nihilism under everything else, there), and yeah, most everyone, religious or secular, acting as though there's literally no tomorrow.

I actually was kind of writing about that here:

http://fetchmemyaxe.blogspot.com/2006/04/secret-relief-of-crisis-or-what-back.html

Rootietoot said...

"well, the Dominionists are post-millenialists. so unlike the "when the rapture comes, i'm ready" people, they believe that -first- you establish the Kingdom of God here on earth; -then- (maybe?) Jesus comes back. something. whatever it is, it boils down to: they are not, in fact, fixing to go at any time. not consciously, anyway. "

All the pre-mid-post millenialist thinking is based on fallacious interpretations of assorted Apocolyptic literature. It is interpreted such because it allows people to believe that *they* are special, and will get the cosmic cookies when the time comes, and the people they don't like, won't.
Nobody knows when Christ will return, pre, post or mid. He said Himself he'd come like a thief in the night.

About the trust thing- I only just learned about the idea of social contract. I know it existed, I just didn't know the formal idea.

Oh! C.S. Lewis talked about social contract! He called it the Law of Human Nature, and it's universality across the realm. It's why you can go someplace totally foreign and be sure that people will behave essentially the same.

belledame222 said...

Yeh, I'm not so concerned with the verious millenialilililists (pre, post, mid) wrt theology so much as what it does or doesn't mean in terms of their political aims. the Dominionists--I keep coming back to them--are a relatively small pool in the greater scheme of things, but the fact that they are true believers in not just going off into the wilderness and waiting for the End Times (and/or crusading against whatever in the meanwhile) but actually -building the Kingdom here- is, well, I keep an eye on it. yeah, it all boils down to "we R SPESHUL;" my concern is, and what do you propose to do to maintain or express that specialness? 'cause if it means, y'know, partying like it's 1620, I'm thinking "no."

Rootietoot said...

"it all boils down to "we R SPESHUL;" my concern is, and what do you propose to do to maintain or express that specialness? 'cause if it means, y'know, partying like it's 1620, I'm thinking "no." "

Now that, I agree with you on. There's this tendency to forget that ALL R SPESHUL, and if they really want to bring the Kingdom to Earth, then they must do WWJD, not WWJSD. It all boils down to that tired old saw, "I'm better than you so there."

Donna said...

I think that alot of religious nuts don't really study, have real theories, or use logic. It's obvious many haven't cracked open the New Testament section of their Bibles in quite some time for instance. So what you might be calling dominionist might not be exactly that, it's just some people saying, "God gave us everything to use anyway we see fit, whether we create the kingdom on earth for him or are raptured or whateva." It's just greed using God as an excuse, sounds very Republican, no? These people do have certain dogmatic beliefs but don't seem to have a rigid dogma per se. Does that make sense? I'm just talking about the religious nuts in my own life, they don't stick to strict and fast rules with only a few exceptions. In almost all cases those exceptions have to do with judging others, they will cling to those tenaciously. Gays and "sluts" who get abortions are generally the two most important.

belledame222 said...

Yes, it does.

Dominionism--dominion theology, Reconstructionism, what you will--is a real movement, albeit a relatively obscure (to the general public) one, though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominionism

http://www.mainstreambaptists.org/mob4/dominionism.htm

http://dark-christian.clanxanadu.org/

Donna said...

Oh I'm not saying it isn't. Sometimes it's better if I give an example. I'm nominally a Catholic, baptised, confirmed, married in the church, etc. But if you asked me to explain Catholic doctrine, I doubt if I could do it very accurately. Now the fact that I never had much interest in church and mostly went to please my parents has something to do with my ignorance. But I find that alot of Catholics are like me. You pay attention to the parts that interest you and ignore the rest.

I wish I could explain better, but I think that there are people who have nominally dominionist beliefs the same way I'm nominally a Catholic. There are probably many of these religious nuts who think that white Christians should dominate the earth, it's resources, and it's inhabitants but have other beliefs when it comes to end times, rapture, the second coming of Christ, armageddon or however it's all supposed to end.

Or put another way, I doubt if there are many strict adherents to the wikipedia version of dominionism. Many who agree that is a-ok to trash the earth, but when it comes to ruling by theocracy, it's their particular brand and their particular ending.

On the other hand, maybe I'm just blathering. I do that sometimes. LOL

Rootietoot said...

"that white Christians should dominate the earth, it's resources, and it's inhabitants but have other beliefs when it comes to end times, rapture, the second coming of Christ, armageddon or however it's all supposed to end."

Never mind that Jesus wasn't a white Christian, and that he had this annoying tendency to hang out with the dregs of society, and that in the Old Testament we're told that we are stewards of the earth, not owners.

THe whole end times theory has no basis in Scripture. Never mind what Tim Lahaye says. It is just a bad interpretation of something written as a source of comfort to persecuted members of the early church.

belledame222 said...

I think of it as sort of roughly equivalent to, o, people who decide "feminism" means not so much "hey, women are human beings, too, and thus are covered under the whole "life, liberty, pursuit of happiness" deal, too, so let's broaden our horizons waaayyy out, shall we?" as "let's form a little club where we fixate on and even mock other peoples' sex lives and personal adornment choices!"

only difference is, the LaHayes and Falwells of this world have way more money and real-world influence than even the Catherine MacKinnons and Sheila Jeffreys of this world. and frankly, the places where the Catherine MacKinnons have the most power are the ones where they've effectively synced up with the Falwells and so on.

Cheryl said...

I'm late in coming to this party, Belle, but something has been gnawing at my mind lately. Does anyone have any statistics about child molestation handy? Is it, as it seems, that molesting children has become increasingly pervasive in our society or is that simply the product of more reporting and a decrease in the shame attached to the victim of the abuse?

It seems to me that there is probably some combination of both. Not only are abuses being reported more readily but the crimes are being commited with greater frequency. It seems, somehow, as if some people have lost the ability to restrain their pedophilic inclinations which might have gone unrealized in the past.

Look at Henry Darger...lived in Chicago and died in the 70's sometime. If you've ever seen his work (which is fascinating...some of it may be seen at the American Folk Art Museum near MOMA in NYC. The folk art museum is entrusted with the collection.) it's obvious that Darger had an obsession with young girls and had some very sexual tendancies.

Yet there was never any hint of child abuse or molestation even though he worked for decades as a school janitor. He channeled his disturbing energies into amassing an amazing fifteen thousand page epic morality tale with full color illustrations. Darger possessed a "switch" with the ability to rein in his desires and funnel them into his artwork. Did his inherent decency overrule his desires?

What is missing in America today that seems to allow people to override their switch and actually live out their sick fantasies rather than divert them?

Any thoughts?

Here is information on the Darger collection at the American Folk Art Museum

If you ever have a chance to catch In the Realms of the Unreal, the PBS documentary on Darger, do. Fascinating stuff.

And apparently some of his artwork is being sold. Here is the first gallery which showed up on the Google search I did. Sad to see it being pieced out like that.

As for Christian Dominion Theory, some of that stuff is just too scary for me!

belledame222 said...

Interesting wrt Darger, but I'd be extremely skeptical that there's -more= child molestation going on now than ever before, given that by far the vast majority of it takes place in the home and up till very recently it wasn't even supposed to exist at all. combined with the prevailing attitude of children are there to do their parents' bidding.

and the "innocence" trip was mostly a development of the Victorian era; one might call it a sort of undoing, since at the same time the pure beauty of innocent children was being lionized (often by such dubious figures as John Ruskin and Lewis Carroll, natch), hundreds of thousands of actual children were working fulltime and being shockingly abused in any number of ways.

before that, for a lot of the world, kids are basically small adults, subject to the same rough and tumble as everyone else.

and then (in the Victorian era) throw in the chastity belts (for boys AND girls) and the clitoredectomies and other less drastic but still horribly invasive treatments for "hysteria" and...

no, there was never a golden time for actual children. just individuals tend to remember their own possibly more idyllic than most childhood and compare today;s culture to it unfavorably.

belledame222 said...

and as per impulses: again, even the term "child molestation" is relatively recent. it's certainly not more acceptable now to do it than ever before; believe me, the Church scandals are only scandals now because people are for the first time ever actually taking this stuff seriously. some.

ever see "the Magadelene Laundries?"

and before that,

"are there no workhouses? are there no prisons?"

molestation isn't an outgrowth of "anything goes" morality; it's the result of people wielding power over the vulnerable because they can. there's never been a dearth of opportunities for that.

Amber said...

molestation isn't an outgrowth of "anything goes" morality; it's the result of people wielding power over the vulnerable because they can. there's never been a dearth of opportunities for that.

*nods*

Also, I would just like to say... I often here Republicans/conservatives/what-have-you's referring to this supposed "anything goes" morality, but... ya know, I am just not seeing it. Not seeing it at all.

antiprincess said...

no, there was never a golden time for actual children. just individuals tend to remember their own possibly more idyllic than most childhood and compare today;s culture to it unfavorably.

good catch, bd.

belledame222 said...

I think that what's called permissiveness is more due to a general lack of structure than actual hedonism. As in, I'm too wrapped up in other things to pay serious attention, much less set boundaries.

belledame222 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alex said...

You know, I don't know if it's because there's similar themes/motifs of control or if it's something else, but the outline of fundamentalist belief you give reminds me eerily of what people with eating disorders often describe going through their heads.

I mean, not so much the trust issue; but, well, even then: "you're too skinny" isn't right, because obviously (hypothetical) I am still horribly FAT, and not to be trusted because if I eat, I'll just... keep... going.

Like an animal.



Like I say: I don't know if it's because the basic theme of both is control and lack thereof, or if it's something else... but it's really creeping me out.

BD: That psych theory (trust vs. suspicion) was... Eriksson? I think? I'm sure it's been done many other ways, but that's the first one I remember hearing it as.