Friday, June 15, 2007

The word the Jewish psychologists have for this is "dreck." That will be $150 please.

Alicublog uncovers this toadstone in the rough:

The long history of marriage is of an institution that raises the next generation and transmits the community’s values. Arranged marriages, loveless marriages – those were marriages. But, now, this transmission is less important; indeed, in most western culture the replacement rate has dropped well below 2.1; on the other hand, surrogate mothers and test tube babies, in vitro fertilization and sperm donors – the babies we do have seem less connected to those old definitions of marriage. That many gays don’t see this as remarkable & ahistorical means they don’t really understand marriage, but, we all tend to see the world through the prism of our own time.

Ta ever so for popping in and explaining it to us, really. And here we all
thought marriage started in 1954 when they started giving it away in the bottom of cereal boxes instead of decoder rings. No wonder there's so much confusion and hostility!

But wait! There's more! Some of her best friends...don't get it either:

These thoughts have been brought on by one of those chance confluences: a letter from an old friend and a newer friend’s loan of Bruce Bawer’s book, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within.

The letter arrived from a friend from freshman English, forty-four years ago; he was my closest confidante through a series of disastrous love affairs but also because we could discuss literature and character and the ethical questions Henry James posed until dawn lightened the windows. He remarked in a letter as we slowly reach out to one another after so many years apart, that he, as a gay man, can only find acceptance in an anarchic socialist world, but of course, he says, I’ve become conservative, matronly, a suburban wife and mother. He isn’t critical but rather accepts that we’ve become different people than we were. I pause at his remark and recognize its truth. On the one hand, I understand that some & some customs of the world through which I move would make him uneasy, make him feel an outsider. Still, he enjoys his quiet life, having mated and stayed with his “significant other” for well over forty years, buying a house on a quiet street. I can’t, of course, imagine him finding peace in a world that is truly anarchic; certainly, he could not find the peace he has found in American capitalism in the practices that the Muslim minorities practice (and encourage) in socialist Europe.

-screeeee- a who?

the practices that the Muslim minorities practice (and encourage) in socialist Europe.

Maybe I'm missing something here. Apparently "socialist Europe" is responsible, which practices, exactly? Oh, wait, you mean the reactionary rage of the disaffected fanatic minority, channelled into vociferous hatred and oppression of women and gay folk, aided and abetted by the supposedly democratic countries' Powers That Be? Yes; thank goodness we don't have any of that here.

Anyhoo, alicublog sums up the gist of the rest pretty well with this:

The author's real point, made somewhere in the first hundred paragraphs, is that homosexuals should shut up about Bush because he protects them from Muslims. But she finds it at least as important to explain -- with endless slabs of convoluted prose as evidence -- that she is well-read and even a bit artistic. This is meant to signal that she is not a mouth-breathing faggot-hater, but someone who is tolerant -- which is to say, she tolerates both her gay friends' continued existence and her colleagues' continued discrimination against them.

This is usually the case with conservative converts of the sort described by Michael Berube with the phrase "I used to consider myself a Democrat, but thanks to 9/11, I’m outraged by Chappaquiddick." They like to think that, because they broke away (assisted by stark fear) from an old orthodoxy, they have become true free-thinkers. But when issues of discrimination come up, they find themselves compelled to defend their new wingnut friends and their bone-deep prejudices.

In reality they haven't broken free, they've just switched gangs -- and have to live by the new one's code, including the by-law about No Poofters. If they want to face their old friends, they have three options (besides sanity, of course, which is out of the question):

They can swallow whole their new friends' lunacy and bravely assert it to all comers;

They can try a it's-for-your-own-good defense, pleading the necessity to accomodate moderate Muslims or red-state voters until such time as we can afford luxuries like civil rights;

Or they can plead the ties of friendship and remind their old friends of how they used to discuss Henry James until "dawn lightened the windows."

That, and the "Christian" part of our Judeo-Christian heritage, (along with our general rootin' tootin' spunkiness) makes us better than the Europeans, who, unlike us, are in danger of falling into the Dark Ages.

--oh yeah, but just so we're clear: she's got -no problem- with the Judeo part, despite the implications of how much better the switch to New Testament values (which we all -totally- embody, especially the bit where the quirky dude in the sandals suggested that hoarding up material wealth and shunning of Those People wasn't such a hot road to the Kingdom):

It is easier to believe others tempt us than within us are desires we must (and with difficulty) control. To many, the shift from the Old Testament to the New may be theologically one of grace, but is also from the tribal to the universal, from the external to the internal. Whether this is the lesson of the Bible or of the slowly modernizing world, it is clearly one that restrains us in ways that those who see temptation in a right angle can not understand and leads to quite different understandings of guilt. The man’s lust, we believe, not the woman’s clothing, causes rape. This and so much else is the mark of a value system internalized and assumed universal. We think it is right. Sure this assumption of a certain universality may impose upon others, but it is more practical than narrow: it is also the only way that people with varying beliefs can easily live beside one another.

And thanks to Jewish psychologists, we began to find words for this internalization...

See, even though you haven't quite evolved to the universal, Christlike place that's what -really- makes this nation great, -you- tribal, Old Testament people have something to contribute, too, you smartypantses, you.

Back to the other People She Respects And Cares About, Really, you know, I'm not even sure this was self-aware/ironic:

Some of my best employees were gay

I'm sure she has lots of other friends, too.


Kim said...

Wow. The Black People Like Us! site is -- pretty dead on, isn't it?

Also, loving your "Tinfoil hat" tag!

Sassywho said...

Freud is respected in psychology but most of his theories are not exactly used in modern day psych....

i am suspicious of anyone who wants to deny another human being rights, and a love of god aint it.

midwesterntransport said...

hey, don't knock the mouth-breathers! some of us can't help it!


KH said...

Somehow I doubt this lady's dear gay friend's buying it, or likes her as much as she thinks.

belledame222 said...

yeah. i had a sort-of pal once who i eventually stopped hanging about with because, well, she got on my nerves. not unrelated to which, i remember at one point, making some point or other, i forget what, she said, in her typically dramatic way,

"I know FIVE transsexual people. FIVE."

(something like that)

and i remember thinking: that's terrific; i wonder is it as exciting for them as it is for you?

belledame222 said...

oh yeah, and was also the "thoughtful" type who set me up with her, like, other lesbian friend, on account of we'd both have so much in common. (She was a very nice woman, by the way, but there were no sparks; and i'd had no idea that that was supposed to be in the offing, until) last time I saw pal, at her annual holiday party, shortly before i left, she was well in her cups, and she'd asked me how I'd hit it off with ____ (who wasn't there). Upon realizing that apparently we hadn't ridden off into the sunset together, she slurred,

"I tried...I try to make everyone happy..."

KH said...

How special. A real tribune of the lesbians.

Sabrina Star said...

that's terrific; i wonder is it as exciting for them as it is for you?

Bwahaha! Someone a while ago circulated (i think on livejournal) a cisgender privilege list, and one of them was something like, "You never have to question whether people have befriended you out of a desire to be cool or trendy."

Sadly, i *have* had acquaintances whom i had to wonder if they were seeking my company because they thought it was trendy to have a transsexual friend. Anyone who's keeping count... i'd say falls into this.

Not that i mind, so much. I mean, i don't mind answering honest questions. And i don't usually mind non-negative attention. But sometimes i'm kinda annoyed at being the one who's asked to give the "tranny point of view" on this or that -- as if there is anything under the sun on which two transsexuals won't offer three different opinions.

KH said...

Just thank God you don't have the likes of Heart threatening to marry you as a political statement, yet.

belledame222 said...

oh my GOD, thanks a lot, i was just about to go get lunch, too.

belledame222 said...

anyway i'm sure they're all agin' marriage in any configuration. patriarchal institution, don't you know, raze it to the ground, never mind about actual current gay couples being split up via deportation or any such trivial considerations.

btw, speaking of "people who get on my last damn nerve," have you been to that feministe thread? i'm trying to not go back over there until i at least get some damn work done.

Elizabeth McClung said...

The problem is that these arguements as she proposed can only be made living in a country which is completely and totally isolated from the Europe she so often alludes. Europe and the rest of the western world marches on: civil unions are present in most EU countries in some form, and are likely to become mandatory under the new human rights acts - indeed this is all old news when several years ago Spain, a prodominately catholic country passed a gay marriage law - which the pope demanded they not do - to which the president of Spain said that he was responsible for the secular equality of the population, regardless of religious belief (and went on to pass a T-rights bill almost as sweeping - Italy HAS at one point 2 Trans members of parliment (the US has the worst representation of females in houses of power in the western world). In Canada, legal marriages are hitting the 6 and 7 year mark, Mexico itself, with the Mexico city law has moved farther ahead of the US per capita in gay rights (though perhaps not culturally - a bit tied there) -

As pretty as you want to put it, the longer the arguement goes on about gay marriage or how it is tied to muslim threat or whatever, the essential arguement is "we are fuddy duddies who ignore social change and views and go back a few centuries if needed to justify our intraction" - Yes, gays should THANK Bush, in some alter world where he didn't say, "Gay marriage is the greatest threat to america today" -

belledame222 said...

Well yeah, what her argument seems to boil down to is,

"oh sure, you gay people may think Europe's looking more enlightened than the U.S. these days, but what you don't understand is that they're about to be overrun by scimitar-waving Moslem hordes who'll hack you into shishkebab before you can say 'my gay stars!' Best stick with your -real- friends, who -understand- these things better than you do."

belledame222 said...

some of the comments at alicu are pretty funny.

I confess. I am the gay she sat up discussing Henry James with until dawn lightened the windows.
I believe we were discussing his reaction to Chartres cathedral. The windows or something.
Wine, weed, music. Her boyfriend fucking her while I changed the record.

belledame222 said...


Man, do "intellectuals" actually talk in this stilted tweedspeak? "Slabs of prose" is apt, kind of like those greasy slabs of fatback they sell at the Nahunta Pork King outlet at the Farmer's Market. You know if you were to actually eat that shit, it would immediately agglomerate on your arterial walls and remain there for the next forty years. "The letter arrived from a friend from freshman English, forty-four years ago; he was my closest confidante through a series of disastrous love affairs but also because we could discuss literature and character and the ethical questions Henry James posed until dawn lightened the windows." What a fucking horseshit sandwich. Like you could actually talk that long about Henry James? "Some of my best employees were gay." Yeah even though they were cornholing like minks and performing other unspeakable acts in the stockroom. Oh brother.

belledame222 said...

oh yeah, and: dig the racism.

in most "western" countries the "replacement rate" is below par.

and yet the population explosion continues apace.

soooooo...the -implication- is that we ought to be breeding more 'western' honkies.

not that i'm going to PRESSURE you gay people for contributing to the shortfall. i am your FRIEND.

just...well, dammit, do YOU want to be overrun with Those People? No, of -course- you don't. They'd be much MUCH worse to you than we are. So. We understand each other, yes? Yes.

queen emily said...

To quote Bromwell High, "tolerance is for gays innit."

And yeah, where is this gay Muslim socialist Europe she speaks of?

Oh, and while Europe moves on, depressingly Australia went down the US path with a gay marriage ban in 2004. Bastards.

Summer said...

Well, bugger me with a toadstool.

As a queer Muslim not currently overrunning Europe (I just haven't had the time; you know how it is when you're educating children to hate America - time just flies!) I gotta ask: did I miss this before, or is it new? Pairing up queer-hating with Muslim-hating? I've been out of the US a while now and maybe I've missed some key rhetoric. I mean, it's kind of ... brilliant really. Radical Islam is eating away at Europe, the West, civilization itself - and gay people are eating away at motherhood and apple pie. And, beautifully, the entire rhetoric leads to the conclusion that "the Muslim world", whatever place that is, has been predicting with glee since Bush took office: the end is nigh for the US post-imperial imperial ethos.

So, she's not wrong. Her world is ending. I say bust open a beer and usher in the new world order.

Sin said...

"he was my closest confidante through a series of disastrous love affairs"

I'm wondering if that statement alone conceals some sort of angst. Perhaps said gay best friend slept with her exes later or turned out to be the cause of the disasters in the first place?

What amuses me is the link between being queer and Islam. It's like watching a goldfish savage someone, just so random that it defies all logic.

belledame222 said...

hey, welcome, sin.