Thursday, December 31, 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

Can anyone lend me $250,000?

I phoned the New York City Commission on Human [sic] Rights (apparently the English Translation of Le Comité de salut public) and left a message, saying that I still call Caitlyn Bruce.

(Well, actually I would never call him Bruce. He is not one of my Duzfreunde. I would call him Mr. Jenner.)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

An interesting tidbit

Advocates of the universal recognition of gestational surrogacy contracts are wont to argue that gestational surrogacy is a job like babysitting or wet nursing. The gestational surrogate simply cares for (like the babysitter) and feeds (like the wet nurse) the baby, is, therefore, in no way involved in its production, and, hence, can have no claim to parentage. This is a key point for those who want to extend the "presumption of parentage" to same-sex male couples for if it can be successfully argued that gestational surrogacy can entail no parental claims, then no gestational surrogate will be able to rebut a same-sex male couple's "presumed parenthood". (The egg donor, because she [yes, I realize the use of the feminine pronoun is a transphobic presumption because "transmen" can donate eggs as well--report me to the New York City Commission on Human Rights and then go fuck yourselves, okay?] donated anonymously, does not know who used her eggs, and is, therefore, in no position to make a parental claim.) Got all that?

It is curious, then, that Lambda Legal seems to disagree with this claim that gestational surrogacy is simply a service and as such entails no parental claims. Two Lawyers at Lambda Legal write in The Guardian:
"The states that continue to fight these families in court argue that birth certificates are a proxy for biology, and that the members of a same-sex couple can’t both be biologically related to their child. (This is technically false, as an increasing number of lesbian couples use reproductive technology where one mother carries the pregnancy and the other donates the egg. [emphasis mine])"
No one would argue that by feeding or minding a baby a wet nurse or a babysitter becomes biologically related to it. No one. It appears that Lesbian couples are using gestational surrogacy so that both women in the relationship can have biological ties to the child whereas gay couples (and, yes, yes, I know, I KNOW, opposite-sex couples AS WELL) use gestational surrogacy for exactly the OPPOSITE REASON, so that the surrogate will have NO BIOLOGICAL TIES and, hence, no claim to parentage. How this is NOT a contradiction, I do not know. But what do I know? I'm a benighted bigot.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Unseasonal, I know

I'll tell you why "Veni, veni, Emmanuel" is for me THE hymn of the Christian Faith. Musically it is a moan, a desperate cry, a pathetic whimper that shows what little man can do. Man ultimately can only beg. But what does he beg for? For just enough scraps of food to sustain his short life in this vale of tears? A little shelter to keep him safe from the elements? A little, mindless entertainment to distract him from the inevitable anguish of corporeal existence? No, none of that. Man may be a pathetic, whining beggar, but at least he has the dignity to beg for nothing short of the presence of God Incarnate, and it is precisely in man's desperate weakness and brokenness that his daring nobility shines forth. So, please, I beg thee, veni, veni, Emmanuel!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Another Proclamation from the New York City Commission on Human Rights

It has come to our attention, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, that Right-Wing Bigots call each other 'bigots' as a joke. They do this to re-define the word from what it is and should be, a proper shaming and marginalization of those who refuse to conform to Public Reason, to mean nothing more than a flatus vocis  to which Progressives take recourse when they allegedly have no argument. Such re-definitions are not salutary to the commonweal and cannot in any way be tolerated. Therefore, the New York City Commission on Human Rights will impose a fine of $1,000,000 on anyone deemed to have used 'bigot' in any sense other than its proper and official one. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Don't be transmorgiphobic, please!

I am not human. Because I don't identify as human. Humans gave us war, famine, and atomizing Capitalism. Humans are cruel. My true self is not cruel and, therefore, cannot belong to a species that is. Therefore, I am a koala bear, and I demand commensurate bathroom and locker room accommodations.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Person 1: Hey, happy holidays!

Person 2: What did you just say?

1: I wished you happy holidays.

2: Yeah, look, did you know that "holiday" comes from "holy day"?

1: No, I did not. I guess you learn something every day.

2. I'm an atheist, bud. I don't believe that some days are holy and others are not. In fact, I don't believe in the notion of "holy" at all. So, please, keep your religion to yourself.

1. Sorry. I was just trying to be nice.

2. Well, yeah, that's what all you religious zealots say. And then next thing you know, you'll be demanding that I wear a burka. Well, fuck you.

1. You're not even a woman.

2. How do you know? Because I don't conform to what your superstition tells you a woman should look like? The nerve of you people!

1. Geez. I'm sorry. I truly am.

2. Next time think a little more.

1. Fine, Happy Existentialist Engagement!

2. That's the Old Atheism! Excuse me, but I'm a New Atheist who believes that Science gives us our moral code and not some irrational decisionism. Hello!

1. Oh, crap!

Can you guess what knuckle-dragging, right-wing troglodytic bigot made this horridly heterosexist statement?

"The direct, natural, and necessary relation of person to person is the relation of man to woman. The relation of man to woman is the most genuine relation of human being to human being. It therefore reveals the extent to which man’s natural behaviour has become human, or the extent to which the human essence in him has become his natural essence. The relationship also reveals the extent to which man’s need has become a human need: the extent to which, therefore, the other person as a person has become for him a need."

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Quaestio ultima

Which is preferable? Nasty, brutish, and short or somewhat longer, hectic, stressed, boring, and constantly neurotic?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

My 667th Post

The only purpose of which is to avoid the Number of the Beast.

My 666th Post on this Weblog

Do not read this unless you want to have William Friedkin make a film about you retching pea soup.

The Scottish Play, Act V, scene viii, re-written for our times

MickieB: Thou losest labour:
As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air
With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed:
Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;
I bear a charmed life, which must not yield,
To one of woman born.

MacDuff: Despair thy charm;
And let the angel whom thou still hast served
Tell thee, Macduff has two men listed on
His birth certificate!

MickieB: Accursed be that tongue that tells me so,
For it hath cow'd my better part of man!
And be these juggling fiends no more believed,
That palter with us in a double sense;
That keep the word of promise to our ear,
And break it to our hope. I'll not fight with thee.

MacDuff: Then yield thee, bigot!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How to explain why Marriage Equality requires the national legalization of commercial surrogacy

Okay, please, pay attention. Because I am so full of love and tolerance, I'll try to explain this to you even though you won't understand because you're a BIGOT.

Now, this is why we Enlightened Ones won the argument over marriage. A dim-witted religious right-wing whacko (like you) argued, “Marriage is about procreation. Same-sex couples cannot procreate. Therefore, same-sex ‘marriage’ is nonsense.” To which we Enlightened Ones reasonably responded, “Then why does the state give out marriage licenses to obviously sterile couples?” And the right-wing whacko was stymied and threw a conniption fit and started ranting about slippery slopes to polygamy, incest, bestiality, sexual anarchy in the streets, and other such patent nonsense, none of which could convince any but the most blinkered and bigoted judge. So, that's why we won.

We Enlightened ones use an analogous argument for why the presumption of paternity should also attach to same-sex couples. We point out quite reasonably that even if the wife avails herself of an anonymous sperm donor, her husband is still presumed to be the father at birth. Well, lesbian couples are similarly situated. Therefore, there is no reason why the presumption of paternity, now re-named “presumption of parentage” for obvious reasons, should not apply to the female spouse of a woman who gets pregnant by an anonymous sperm donor. No reason at all, except mindless, irrational, hateful bigotry, exactly the kind that swept Adolf Hitler into power in 1933.

But how can this unimpeachable logic apply to a same-sex male couple that must use a surrogate? It has to because the moral imperative of Equality demands it, and if you can't see this, you are OBVIOUSLY impervious to Public Reason and are, therefore, a bigot who should be cast out into the outer darkness, far, far away from the Sweetness and Light that is the Public Square. So, the only way to fulfill our sacred obligation to the dictates of Equality is for the law to treat surrogacy in the same way as it treats anonymous sperm donation, and that in turn requires the recognition of surrogacy contracts. Hence, marriage equality, the March of History, and just basic common decency requires the legalization of commercial surrogacy in all Fifty States.

In sum, if “marriage equality” is to be truly equal--and that means that all the incidents of marriage, including the presumption of paternity/parentage, attach equally to same-sex and opposite-sex couples--then the renting of wombs must be made legal everywhere.

You got that, bigot?!

Monday, December 14, 2015

I wrote this nineteen years ago

I imagine Nietzsche's ghost hovering over bombed-out Berlin in April of 1945, realising what his philosophy of the will had led to. He becomes severely depressed and exclaims, "I wish my philosophy had not been thought at all." Then Clarence pops in and tells N. that he mustn't wish such a horrid thing. But N. insists that the world would have been a better place had his philosophy not been "born" at all. And so Clarence grants him his wish.

All of a sudden Berlin appears new, shiny, and thriving. Germany still has Silesia. Clarence and N. run into Heidegger who is now only a crazy bum panhandling for spare change. N. exclaims, "Martin, what has happened to you?" Clarence says, "He couldn't call you the last metaphysician and get tenure." "Oh, no, one of the major architects of atheistic existentialism!" Nietzsche is nearly in tears. Clarence explains, "But he could not be an architect for atheistic existentialism because your thought wasn't there to lay its groundworks."

Nietzsche timidly asks what has happened to Sartre. "You don't want to know, Fritz, you just don't want to know." But Nietzsche is so importunate that Clarence finally blurts out, "He's an organ grinder in front of Ste Marie des Batignolles." They go to Paris (which, incidentally, was never occupied by Nazi forces because a Nazi movement never developed) and N. runs up to Sartre and begs that he recognize him but Sartre can only grind out the tune of "Frere Jacques". N. is devastated.

Clarence then gives him the worst news of all, "Because your thought was never thought, Sartre could not have a major impact on academia. Deconstruction will not develop and Derrida will have to make a living writing stand-up. Because your genealogy was not thought, Foucault will have to make a living as a male prostitute. And because your Fröhliche Wissenschaft was not thought, everyone now thinks God is alive and well and all is right with the world and neo-thomism is now the academically chic philosophy. No undergraduate will ever wear black, smoke clove cigarettes, and act morbid because he knows your nauseating truth--for your nauseating truth was never thought. And Allan Bloom will not make ragging on you into a cottage industry for conservatives. So, you see how one man's philosophy can have a major impact on all our lives."

Nietzsche runs back to the Brandenburg Gates and cries, "I want my thought to live again, I will it back into being, please, Clarence, let it be willed back again, let it be willed back again." He rests his poor desperate brow on the pillar of the gate, and when he raises his head, he sees to his surprise bombed-out buildings again. He is ecstatic. He runs through the center of Berlin, passes a theatre where The Triumph of the Will is playing, and yells, "I love you, Frau Liefenstahl!" He passes the Reichstag and yells to it, "I love you, you old bombed-out Reichstag." He throws a snowball at a Russian soldier, and the Russian soldier shoots him.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Hey, Hollywood!

I sure hope Rahm Emmanuel gets nominated for an Oscar. I haven't seen anyone break up so perfectly on cue since Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Am I the only one this sensitive?

As a devout Norse Polytheist I am offended that secularists have culturally appropriated the Gods I revere and worship for the Days of the Week and have thereby trivialized them as quotidien.

[Why is this post getting so many hits from France?]

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Dangerous Speech

Massacre of disabled people who are burdens on the state coffers? I blame the irresponsible rhetoric of neo-liberalism and economic austerity.

Molly Ivins, call your office

I find this letter to The New York Times confusing. I think maybe I should read it in the original Newspeak.

To the Editor: 
Re “With Diversity Comes Intensity in Amherst Free-Speech Debate” (news article, Nov. 29): 
For many students of color, at Amherst College and elsewhere, it is not uncommon to feel a continuous sense of homelessness. “Are you sure this space is really mine?” we ask. “They tell me that it is, but I feel so uncomfortable.” 
Student activists are pressing college administrators to make homes out of such homelessness — learning spaces from alienation. Instead of unfairly curtailing free speech, their demands hope for the opposite: the creation of spaces and community norms that affirm individual dignity and equality. This isn’t merely a free-speech issue but an equal justice one as well. 
Amherst College students are not in favor of summarily sanctioning anyone from our community. Students merely hope to prevent behaviors that cause racial injury in an inclusive, restorative way for both parties. Our administration may not be able to change a person’s thinking about certain issues, but it can create spaces for parties to reflect on their behavior in a respectful way. 
Amherst, Mass.
The writer is a member of Amherst’s class of 2016 and an emerging fellow of equal justice at the Roosevelt Institute.