Sunday, January 27, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

Obligatory Angst

I have nothing profound or insightful to say right now. I am just writing this because my damn New Year's Resolution obligates me to do so. But I do have a question. It's hardly an original one. In fact, it's one of the perennial questions that is perennial simply because it has never quite been suffocated with a comprehensively fatal answer: Why is it better to be smart and miserable than it is be an ignorant pig blissfully rolling around in the mud? Any answers?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pending FDA approval, mind

Who needs Ambien when you can read Rawls?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A useful neologism

Diochleonophobia: Fear of boring people.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A new definition

Bigot: /ˈbɪɡət/, one who is opposed to the legal recognition of mutual masturbation because of a belief that mutual masturbation has no societal value whatsoever. One who is not a raving lunatic.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Madness

What absolutely floors me about this whole debate over the absurdity of same-sex "marriage" is that its advocates insist that anyone who denies that homosexual and heterosexual activity should receive equal treatment under the law does so only because of a belief that is as inaccessible to public reason as, say, the Doctrine of Transubstantiation. But when you ask these very same people if equal treatment of homosexuals and heterosexuals means that a heterosexual man should be able to enjoy a one night stand without any fear of paternity suits whatsoever for the simple reason that what homosexuals do can never trigger such suits, they just say you are being silly. Apparently, the difference between straights and gays does not matter legally except when it should, and I'll be damned to know how this glaring whimsy comports with any conception of reason, public or otherwise.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Heinrich Heine's Interpretation of Frankenstein

According to legend an English engineer who had come up with the notion of artificial machines finally hit upon the idea to manufacture a human being as well. And in the end he succeeded in doing just this. The work of his hands could act and behave just like a human being, and there was even in his leather bosom a kind of human sentiment, that was not very different from the usual sentiments of the English. It could communicate its feelings with articulate sounds, and even the noise of the inner wheels, cogs, and screws, which is what one heard, lent these sounds an authentically English pronunciation.

In short this machine was a veritable gentleman, and it lacked nothing that a human being has except a soul. This the English engineer could not give the machine, however, and the poor creature, once it was aware of this privation, harassed its creator day and night with the request to give it a soul. This request, which was repeated with ever increasing urgency, eventually became so unbearable for the artist that he had to flee his own work of art.

But the machine immediately shipped itself special delivery, pursued him to the continent, followed him constantly, sometimes caught up to him, and then grunted at him with its croaking voice: Give me a soul!

We meet these two figures in every land, and anyone who is acquainted with their particular relationship grasps their peculiar haste and their morose anxiety. When one, however, is acquainted with this particular relationship, one recognizes therein something universal, one sees how one part of the English people has become weary of its engineered existence and demands a soul, and how the other part is afraid of being driven into the impossible Crisscross of such yearnings. But both are no longer able to endure this situation at home.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

May God damn the United States of America

I just finished watching The House I Live In, a documentary that makes the now familiar but still persuasive argument that the War on Drugs has little or nothing to do with ridding society of drugs but everything to do with locking up the people that post-industrial capitalist America does not need. God, how I hate my country.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Stacie Halas

So, why can't Stacie Halas claim that her identity is oriented towards exhibitionist sex and argue that her dismissal from her teaching position on the grounds of her sexual activity constitutes invidious discrimination based on her sexual orientation? After all, California labor law prohibits such discrimination.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Just thought of something

Had Jodie Foster come out years before the Age of Commercialized Big Brother, also known as Reality Television, had she actually come out once she was aware of her Lesbian Inclinations (right after Scorcese had ruined forever the idea of a macho man for her, say), then, maybe, just maybe, John Hinckley would not have developed such an obsession with her and could have focussed on more important things like, say, his marksmanship.

Note to the CIA, FBI, NSA, Secret Service, and the darker recesses of the Pentagon: Not only is the above A JOKE, it is also a contrafactual from which nothing actual can be inferred with any certainty or any hope thereof. Just being really paranoid because you guys have a history of really creative hermeneutics.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Gin Rummy "Marriage"

Whether same-sex "marriage" should be legally recognized and whether homosexual acts are moral may be related but are, nevertheless, two separate questions.

Let's say that gin rummy partners want their unions to enjoy the legal recognition that comes with civic marriage. For that to happen, marriage law must be as indifferent to sex as gin rummy partnerships are.

Now it should be obvious to all but the most ideologically hidebound that opposing the re-definition of marriage for the sake of accommodating all gin rummy partnerships does not entail a pronouncement upon the morality of gin rummy. One can think that gin rummy is fine. One can even enjoy playing gin rummy (I do, in fact), but still think that the act of gin rummy cannot consummate a marriage and, thus, oppose gin rummy "marriage" without any commitment to the proposition that the game itself is immoral.

Ultimatum

If I have to endure the question of whether Mary's hymen remained intact just one more time, I am becoming an atheist. Is that clear?!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Corvino's argument against the slippery slope to polygamy

John Corvino's argument that same-sex "marriage" does not necessarily put one on a slippery slope to polygamy is flawed. Corvino argues basically that same-sex "marriage" and polygamy are two different things: same-sex "marriage" is all about equality and respect, and polygamy has traditionally been about extreme patriarchal inequality and, hence (presumably), disrespect. The two things are so different that there is no logical continuum between the two. Thus, the slippery slope argument to polygamy is nothing more than a sophistic change of subject.

It's strange that an advocate of same-sex "marriage" would resort to a traditional understanding of anything in an argument. True, polygamy has been traditionally patriarchal and the cause of gross inequality, but since when should a tradition fix our conception of a variety of marriage, eh? If marriage can undergo a change from how it's been hitherto understood, then there is no reason why polygamy cannot either. In fact, I would argue that Corvino's argument for a new understanding of marriage gives us a new version of polygamy and makes that version unavoidable

One of Corvino's arguments for same-sex "marriage" is that the children being raised by same-sex couples need the various legal protections that come only with a legally recognized marriage. It's not in the best interest of the child to be raised by people who are in the eyes of the law strangers to one another.

There is one indisputable, unavoidable fact about a same-sex couple's desire to have children, namely that such a couple cannot acquire any child without help from a third party. Now many times the same-sex couple can successfully sever whatever relations this third party may have with the child by the process of adoption, but sometimes not, and in those cases the court orders that the third party either has parental responsibilities or privileges or both. Sometimes, as a now notorious Canadian case did, the court declares that a child has three legal parents. A similar situation in California prompted that state's legislature to pass the so-called "three-parent" law.

So, if we agree with Corvino that marriage of legal parents are in the best interest of their legal children, then it is reasonable that a same-sex couple who were unable to sever the parental ties of their surrogate or sperm donor should for the sake of the child be allowed to enter into a legally recognized marriage with him or her. And, presto, we have polygamy, although not in the traditional sense that Corvino wants us to understand it.

Now, of course, many advocates of same-sex "marriage" will argue that this problem is hardly particular to same-sex couples. You have the exact same problem with infertile couples who use sperm donation or surrogacy to acquire children. True, but misleading.

The claim made on behalf of traditional marriage is that its public purpose is to attach children to their natural parents, and the number of natural parents can, obviously enough, be only two. The defenders of the traditional conception of wedlock do indeed admit that it is good when married couples adopt but point out that they do not argue and have never argued that the purpose of marriage is to provide homes for adopted children. Whatever problems that adoptive parents have with parental claims of third parties is not a problem intrinsic to the traditional concept of marriage. But it is intrinsic to Corvino's conception for he indeed claims that an important purpose of same-sex "marriage" is to provide legal protections for the children that same-sex couple can only try to adopt and thereby puts this legally positivistic twist on the public purpose of marriage, namely to attach legal parents to their legal children, but the number of legal parents can, as the Canadian Courts and the California Legislature have shown, exceed two, and because this is so, John Corvino's argument that children raised by same-sex couples need their parents to be married just cannot avoid the slippery slope to polygamy.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Equality

Gays say it is unfair and, hence, unjust that married couples receive a whopping 1,183 legal and financial benefits from the Federal Government, and they don't. Well, the number is very misleading (for instance, one of these benefits applies only to widows of the Spanish-American War), and it is also misleading to call them benefits, as if they were goodies so alluring as to make marriage irresistible even to the most obstinate of bachelors. For if they were as incentivizing and enticing as the advocates of gay "marriage" would have us believe, then why do the people for whom one would think such a bonanza of legal and financial benefits would matter the most, the ones occupying the lower rungs of the ever lengthening ladder to the American Dream, are precisely the same people least likely to marry?

But even if it is unfair and unjust that married couples enjoy benefits that gay couples don't, fine. I think it is outrageously unfair that gays can enjoy a one night stand without fear of a paternity suit, but I cannot.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Listlessness

I hate and I love. (Odi et amo.)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pangloss

Nothing to report except that the ceiling in my bathroom started dripping. That caused consternation. My first thought was, "The ceiling is waterlogged. I am going to have to replace it, and that's going to cost me lots of money, lots of money I do not have. Well, I do have it, but I'd rather spend it on books I'll never read. Oh, why would a benevolent God permit such things to happen? Theodicy is for the birds. Go to hell, Leibniz." But it turned out to be just a very small amount of water condensation. Nothing leaving the exhaust fan on for three hours could not remedy. Or so I hope. God made water condense to demonstrate the utility of exhaust fans. Three cheers for Pangloss!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Nada

I have nothing insightful to say. Sorry. I ate too much while watching television. This paradigmatic activity of American post-industrial consumerism makes one quite dull indeed. Wir haben das Glück erfunden!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

No News

I did not write anything last night because I was out too late getting wasted while trying to come up with a coherent theodicy and attempting to persuade a Libertarian of the necessity of a central bank. I failed on all three counts, and Taylor Swift has yet to get back to me regarding my proposal of marriage. My heart is broken. Perhaps I should write a song about that.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Subplot idea

Because every screenplay has to have a subplot--just in case the main plot isn't quite the box office draw, I suppose--here's my very tentative idea for one. A staunch Zionist catches wind of the nerd's plan to go back in time and persuade Hitler to become a tolerant pacifist and is very alarmed that he might actually succeed. For if Hitler turns away from evil, he reasons, he turn away from the paradigm of all evil, the ruthless desire to exterminate all the Jews. Without that, there can be no Holocaust, and without the Holocaust, there can be no State of Israel. And with no Israel, this Zionist will no longer have any reason to live. After all, he works for Abe Foxman. So, the Zionist decides to stowaway in the nerd's Time Machine and resolves that for every argument the nerd gives for why Hitler should love Jews, he'll give him one for why he should hate Jews. But something goes terribly wrong once they land in 1918 Wien. The Zionist loses the nerd in a hunger riot, and through a series of implausible events I have yet to concoct, finds himself on a ship sailing for Mandatory Palestine. Once there he chances upon a really fetching Palestinian Woman (I need a part for Aubrey Plaza), falls in love, gets married, and lives happily ever after in the scenic village of Deir Yassin--until April 9, 1948, that is.

Yeah, this'll never see the light of day. Perhaps, if I make the staunch Zionist John Hagee. Maybe that would be more acceptable.

Monday, January 7, 2013

An idea for a novel, screenplay, whatever

I am embarrassed to put this out because it involves time travel, and that genre is pretty much exhausted if Looper is any indication. But, perhaps my idea will breathe new life into the Time Machine and make me oodles and oodles of cash in the process. I do need the money.

Anyway, here's my idea. A paradigmatic nerd finally discovers the means of time travel. He shares this momentous discovery at a typical college party with his closest friends, who do not believe him. And so he takes them to his makeshift lab for a trial run. The friends are all astounded.

Then follows a deep, important discussion about what to do with this new amazing power. It's eventually decided that the nerd should do it to make humanity better than the march of history has left it. One friend suggests that he go back in time to kill Hitler, but this is shot down as too trite. Besides the nerd believes that the use of violence is why humanity is still in its wretched state. No, he says, reason is what has given me this power over time, and if reason can do that, it can surely do other things just as astounding such as, say, persuading Hitler of the errors of his ways before it's too late. And, thus, the nerd has his first time travel mission.

And so, the nerd travels back to 1918 Vienna, catches up with with Hitler, befriends the corporal, but instead of dissuading him from the errors of racialism and blood imperialism, the nerd finds himself persuaded by Hitler that the German Army was, in fact, stabbed in the back by a nefarious Jewish Conspiracy and actually begins to participate in Hitler's Resentment. The nerd then becomes Hitler's trusted aid, helping him with his scientific know-how to make the Beer Hall Putsch succeed. Hitler come to power in 1925, never writes Mein Kampf, and conquers all of Europe by 1930 again with the aid of the nerd's reasoning power.

Now how do I end this thing?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Obligatory post

Just writing something because I don't want to break my resolution again. I am really out of sorts. And smoking way too much.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Looper

The Time Machine meets The Sopranos meets The Omen meets one of the many Die Hards meets, maybe, Places in the Heart. I dunno about the last claim as I haven't finished watching the film yet, and I am not looking forward to finishing it. It's like walking through a junkyard of films and tripping over rusty old plots whereupon you fear getting what you wish the actors had, lockjaw. And, yes, I know I wrote nothing yesterday. I already broke one of my Resolutions. Fine. I am going to hell anyway.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Just a thought

I think I would have been better off had I been born a beaver.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

So, when will the Hefners get divorced, or will Hugh die before it comes to that? I have nothing more profound to say.

My state is on the verge of giving legal recognition to gay "marriage" and thereby declaring that mutual masturbation is as valuable socially as sexual intercourse. I am just dumfounded by the sheer absurdity of it all.

Well, perhaps, Crystal Harris, now Mrs. Hefner, will discover her inner Lesbian, fall in love with Kim Kardashian (whose discomfiture with the annoyances of pregnancy has convinced her to take up the Lesbian lifestyle), leave Hugh, and have a Lesbian "wedding" on E!. That would be a major multi-million dollar milestone for the forces of equality! For all of seventy-two days, at least!

Yeah, I told you that I would be writing really ripe excrement.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

One more resolution

I resolve to write something in this space every day even if it stinks worse than ripe excrement. Writers need practice, however unseemly and rancid it may be.

By the way, Taylor Swift, if you are reading this, will you marry me? I think your music is insipid, your lyrics are too stupid to be called puerile, and your singing style is a shoddy rip-off of Suzanne Vega's, but you are fairly hot (ich würde Sie nicht von der Bettkante weisen allerdings) and, much more importantly, you are filthy rich, and I do need the money.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

You know what really sucks?

Neither Heaven, Hell, nor Purgatory has a phone number.