Monday, June 16, 2008

Two-Headed Snakes

I suppose a few thoughts on gay marriage are in order. Notice how I didn't say "gay" "marriage". Let's just deal with the issue, the facts, and leave morality and suchlike out of it. The big discussion on the radio as my clutch was going out tonight was that some gays really are born that way. Who would choose it, after all.

Man is that annoying. Of course it isn't a matter of choice. Hardly at all. We'll overlook the opportunistic homosexuality of prison populations. The voluntary kind. Two guys in a cell for a few years are gonna achieve some sort of intimacy. We'll avoid the obvious details. Such stressed populations are not normative, however, so no general conclusions should be drawn from them. It just goes to underline the mutable quality of sexuality itself. It is powerful enough in many instances to short-circuit mere socialization. We know this from little children and their sex games. They're not born that way -- it's just that there was an opportunity.

One of the radio hosts was attempting to support his or her argument, that people are born gay, and don't have a choice, by pointing out that fetishists don't have a choice. Alas, our poor host failed to see that s/he invalidated h/er/is own argument. No one is born lusting after rubber or fishnet stockings or leather or high heels or something truly horrifying. Something happens, later, on a non-genetic level, that twists the sexual energy into a new course. Hence, perversion. If with object fetishes, why not with homosexuality?

In my Pornography I go into this a bit. I won't rephrase it here. You think you are utterly heterosexual, and could never be interested in your own gender. Perhaps I like to think the same thing. But Freud, who was wrong about almost everything, had a sort of unappreciated joke, in which he said an infant was polymorphous perverse. Pleasure can be derived from anything. Enough said. It's not about pheromones or the shape of someone else's organs. It's about your skin's capacity for pleasure, combined with the purely physiological response of hormones. As has been said, a teenage boy is aroused when the wind blows. We would hope arousal becomes attached to age-appropriate opposite gender humans. But that abyss is not as easily traversed as it should be. Another test.

Upshot is, I no longer feel the need to uphold outdated notions of sociosexual conduct. Yes, it would be really nice if there were no gays, as is the case in Iran. How I long for the days when there were only homosexuals, without all the political assumptions and sociological pseudoscience of the gay agenda. But I long for Prohibition, too. And public flogging. We take the good with the bad. Women can vote, blacks aren't slaves, and along with these advances there have been degeneracies. Drugs mainstreamed. Terrorists and nonmilitary combatants given civilian trials. And gay marriage. It seems there is no good thing that comes without some accompanying evil.

Why gay marriage and not polygamy? Why 18 as the age of consent, and not 16, or 12? Why have an age of consent at all? Why have marriage at all? Indeed, honestly, why? It is so arbitrary. Why 18? Why a man and a woman only? Why no sexual contact with animals, or corpses, or children? Pick any such rule, and ask why. The odds are overwhelming that the answer will have very little of the objective in it. It will boil down to the fact that there has to be some limit, and this is where the limit is drawn. Islamists would have it that oral intercourse with infant girls is permissible. And intercourse with certain animals, provided the animal is then killed. Who's to say it's wrong? The Ayatollah Khomeini was a great man, after all.

We have the age of consent at 18 because highschool children still, as a group, exhibit a level of poor judgment that those who are even a single year older don't. It isn't wisdom, but the level of irresponsibility, while still grave, is leaps and bounds improved, with each additional year. We treat them as children because they act, still, like schoolchildren. The cutoff point is artificial, but that does not invalidate the need for clear boundaries. Judgment matters, in sexual behavior, as in driving, as in the use of firearms. Society is about averages and trends. It needs to define us by the group we belong to.

We have the institution of marriage because at the level of complexity that our civilization has attained, it has been demonstrated by countless failed experiments that communal living, polygamous households, and single-mother families tend powerfully toward the dysfunctional and chaotic. They can last for a generation or two. Mostly much less.

Polygamy is a formula that produces a throng of unwanted boys, who, experience shows, are simply abandoned. The lost boys. Yeah, it's great for all those old men who get all the women. It's just society that has to suffer generally, and castoff odd-socks boys in the specific. This is the reason that it is not actually a free country. No such thing. Law is the opposite of freedom. What we mean when we say freedom, is liberty. As for polygamy, in the past it has lasted because of high male mortality rates. Wars, mostly. In such cases, polygamy is an adaptive response. It's not meant to last forever. A generation should cover it.

Same with communal living. Sounds like such a groovy idea. It's just that they never, ever last. As for fatherlessness, that cannot be a controversy anymore -- save among the very far left, who are incapable of learning from reality in any case. When things are tried but do not last across the generations, that is a sign that they are inimical to human nature. Theory combats with reality, and loses, ungracefully.

Thus, gay marriage. How very nice and nonjudgmental and theoretical it would be of us to just go along with it. Why not? They just want to be happy, like you are. You would deny them that? Yes. Why? Polygamy leads to lost boys. Communal living leads to tyranny or anarchy and starvation. Fatherlessness leads to gangs, out-of-control welfare statism and a social worker system that thinks its business extends into homeschoolers. And gay marriage leads to no marriage.

Marriage is the fundamental element of our society. With its decline, we see the rise of that host of social ills that currently besets us -- I will not enumerate. When marriage pretends to be polygamous, it creates an alien clannishness inimical to our mores, revealed most clearly in a population of young males who must turn ultimately to prostitutes or to each other for sexual release. No marriage at all, for most young men. Most young men would chose a wife, over a gay lover or an occasional prostitute. Most single mothers would prefer a husband over a babydaddy -- it's just that many young men who can get sex whenever they want it see no need for commitment. See? It's about a greater social good. Yeah, really, my body is an absolute slut, and it would like it all, now, for free and with no consequences. My body doesn't care about you, or social order, or morality, or patriotism, or posterity. Bodies do not care about marriage.

Thus, gay marriage is simply marvelous, for the gays, adherents to a political cause and social philosophy. They get to pretend that they're really married, as a sort of extended dress-up game. I'll be the daddy and you be the mommy. We might even sometimes humor children in such a game. Not forever though. Because it isn't a marriage. Children can't marry. It's just one of those rules, those arbitrary rules we have. Animals can't marry. And so on.

Now we have a state, my state, entering into the fiction. Governmental sanction, and by extension societal sanction, now conspires to bring about a new thing under the sun. The game of pretend has been codified into law. By this, the very function and purpose of actual marriage becomes inoperative. Marriage isn't about love. It's not about commitment. It's not about feelings of happiness. It's not about sex. It's not about two or more people raising children.

Marriage always has been about social stability, based on several clear and mostly unarguable biological realities: sperm and egg; the instinctive imperative to pass on one's genes; the need to complete in an Edenic sense the manifest incompleteness of one's own body; the urge to bond; the psychological need to complete the archetypal roles that a full human lifecycle requires; the hope that we can redeem our own childhood by being a blessing to our own children. Most of these require a man and a woman. Some of these require reproduction, which requires one man and one woman.

We can always complicate matters. But nature has a way of paring away the supernumerary. Two-headed snakes are sometimes born. They do not breed. Snakes don't need an extra head. See? Gay marriage is a two-headed snake. Whether a curiosity or an abomination, it is an artifact of corruption.

Social stability. That's what marriage always has been about, and always will be, with the relevant but generally unspoken assumption of genetic and cultural survival through the generations. When such fundamental facts are ignored, chaos ensues. Communalism, polygamy, illegitimacy, and the toxic results we've considered. It's so unfortunate that marriage is, simply is between one man and one woman. For my part, I don't feel the need to give much thought to the manner of intercourse people engage in privately. But in the marketplace of ideas we deal with another sort of intercourse: social. "Social" boils down to "society," and society deals with the greater good, which requires survival into the future. It's almost biological.

So two old lesbians were the first to get hitched today. The lady rabbi pronounced them "spouses for life" before "god" and "society". Wrong, wrong and wrong.

But wrong is such an arbitrary concept.



Tom O'Toole said...

Where does it say it's okay for followers of Mohammad to have oral sex with young children or animals? The Book of Islam or somewhere else?

I find many of your arguments against gay marriage (and polygamy) compelling, however, by choosing your "arbitrary" ending, you leave the reader with the impression that, although man and woman marriage has withstood the test of time, there remains the possibility that maybe some enlightened society could some day come up with something better ... which is exactly what gays would argue. Of course, the Christian would argue marriage (along with celibacy in certain limited cases) is correct (and sacred) because "God made them male and female ... to be fruitful and multiply ... and what God has joined let no man separate. True freedom then is laying down one's life for one's friend ... and if the Christian IS correct, a husband or wife will have no better friend than their mate.

-Tom O'Toole

Jack H said...

Yeah, I always do that. Leave things ambiguous or on a sour note. I think of it as a sarcastic homage to fairmindedness. In this case it was just an echo of my resolve at the beginning to stick to the facts. I didn't, of course, but I hardly ever do. I excuse myself of such inconsistencies. To me, and to you no doubt as well, the idea that wrong, some wrong, is arbitrary is simply absurd. If a reader doesn't pick up on my tone, it wouldn't be the first time. I'm not writing for children though, and in the fuller context of this blog my meaning should break through. Too much to ask? Yes it is. Nevertheless, I build mosaics, here, not stick figures.

Mine here was simply an amoral approach. I didn't deal with right and wrong, or in our case, with the Bible and its absolutes. Such arguments can work, because "the word does not return empty" -- but I'm not sewing, here ... I'm plowing. Preparing the field, not seeding it. That's for another time, or someone else.



Jack H said...

Oh yeah, and I searched through this blog for that first thing -- I felt sure I'd documented it and was gonna link to it, but I couldn't find it. It was published in the Ayatollah K's "Little Green Book", a compilation of his religious and sociological musings.


Jack H said...

Here it is:


FJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom O'Toole said...

Jack -- What? Actually I guess I catch your drift, but you would catch more men if your message was more concise.


Jack H said...

I don't concider this blog a serious effort. I have other blogs, in the profile, that are more academic. It's not a waste. What's meat to some is foul to others.

Jack H said...

F -- not offended by long quotes. It is rather a thoughtless intrusion, though, like a drunk at a party insisting on telling a long rambling story that goes nowhere and makes its point, if at all, only be inference. I find it best to sort of limit the length of such citations, with a judicious use of ellipses. While I'm utterly in love with my own words, those of others must be as disciplined as an ancient bonsai.

Your theory about the meaning between the letters is an old one -- I came across it years ago with regard to Hebrew and Phonician characters. I'll have to brood about it to dredge up the details.

Do you have Asperger's?

FJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jack H said...

No, I'm sorry, that answer is incorrect. We would have accepted "I'm a little teapot, short and stout," or, alternatively, "Furck you, you furckin' dirck head."

Move back three spaces.