Yesterday night, I was snarling happily and reading about social categories in language. It was fun.
I should never have taken a break to check my e-mail, and troll the internet for fun stuff, because this is what I found.
(I was following a trail of links to posts about the use of the word “myth” for “Biblical stories”, by the way. Those posts were fun.)
Where should I even start? There’s so much to trash!
(Cut because the stupid, once replicated, could very well implode the internets or something)
Okay. So, there are some GLBT people who oppose gay marriage. Some of them suffer from internalized homophobia (sucks to be you, huh?), some of them actually have reasonable arguments, and while I don’t agree with them, at least I can refrain from clawing their eyes out, and some of them are crazy classist disgusting fuckwads.
The fuckwads usually use the following arguments, repeating them ad nauseam and decorating them with many a Freud quotation:
1. I don’t want to gaymarry. Therefore, nobody should be allowed to gaymarry.
(LOL. I don’t care what you want. Nobody else does. Deal with it)
2. I don’t need to gaymarry. Therefore, nobody else should be allowed to gaymarry.
(Way to go, classist egotic fuckwad. There are people who, for instance, can’t emigrate with their partners, because their country doesn’t recognise their gay relationship. There are people who can’t share medical insurance, because their country doesn’t recognise their gay relationship. There are people with millions of problems caused by their country not recognising their gay relationship. But, so what. You don’t want to gaymarry, so nobody else should want either, and neither should they be allowed to.)
3. Gaymarriage is marriage, and marriage as such is an oppressive institution. Therefore, nobody should be allowed to gaymarry.
(Careful, your essentialism is showing. Oops. What would Foucault say? Marriage is a social construct after all. Why not subvert it, huh?
Oh, I know. Because 1) you have no brain, 2) it doesn’t fit your crazy wootastic agenda)
4. My sexuality is such that I’m not compelled/don’t need to gaymarry. Therefore, all GLBT people have the same needs and desires as I do. Therefore, nobody should be allowed to gaymarry.
(See 1 and 2)
Those arguments, when reduced from giant paragraphs of doom, liberally sprinkled with Lacan/Foucault/Kristeva/Irigaray* quotes, to just one sentence, are actually completely vacuous, absolutely spurious, utterly mistaken, and idiotic.
Also, guys, way to make everything about you and your skewed worldview. Bravo.
So, from the above blog, I think we’ll cover them all:
I would probably augment by saying that straight love works on stereotypes and gender differences that are constructed in patriarchal terms; it’s hierarchical and to do with ownership of the womb and its products.
Dude, you’re making me believe in the existence of straight-phobia, here. Those silly wimminz and yucky straight guys, they have a right to be happy, too.
The woman is as much mother as lover to the man, who himself traditionally takes the role of the woman’s father (hence the giving the bride away in traditional weddings).
I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed, but then I cried, ’cause he actually believes in that drivel and this is sad.
It’s also not reproductive and so has no value in the property dynamics of patriarchy and progeny.
This makes me very glad.
But as Nic points out, there are differences, differences of mode and energy between same sex love and straight love (one of the reasons marriage is a completely inappropriate institution for same sex relationships).
The only thing that would be reasonable to say here would be “marriage is a completely inappropriate institution for MY same sex relationship“. BUT WHY REASON? WHY LOGIC, when you know what’s best for everybody?
I bet Irigaray says something absolutely idiotic very thoughtful about reason and science being tools of patriarchal oppression. Why not quote her some more?
(Don’t read her name out loud. I hear she tends to spontaneously materialise right in front of you if you say “phallogocentrism” three times and spit on unpainted wood)
I strongly agree with Nic when he says about same sex love “a lover might not only be an object of desire but a competitor, a role model, a reflection of ourselves or a validation.”
Dude, I’m happy for your coming to terms with your fetishes. However, you fetishes = / = everybody else’s fetishes, okay?
I think Nic left out one other important aspect of same sex love and that is the mentoring aspect, but then he was looking at validation of self from other. Mentoring works the other way round and it’s most commonly associated with age variant relationships but I don’t think they have a monopoly on it. The thing is mentoring works best when it’s mutual. The danger of the age variant relationship is that it becomes a one way process, the older moulding the younger Pygmalionesque. But all true pedagogy is reciprocal, it’s the basis of the pedagogic eros, and there is an eros to pedagogy. Homosexual love has a long association with pedagogy, teaching, apprenticeships, mentoring (and why I think My Fair Lady is very rich with queer reading potential). Perhaps the self validation that Nic refers to comes from the feedback loop of mutual mentoring.
Duude, are you from NAMBLA or something? Also, ew, ew, ew, ew, ew, ew, ew, ew.
In my case, I am someone who is attracted to younger guys. Love, falling in love for me involves some kind of recognition of something in the other, something beautiful, precious, and something that must be nurtured. Desire, of course, is there but I can desire guys without necessarily falling for them and while there is a particular look that really turns me on – dark hair, dark features (I have a particular thing for South Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean/Latino guys) amongst other things – the guys I’ve loved or had crushes on are all types.
Thanks for sharing your sexual yet very Platonic preference for young Latino twinks with the rest of the class. We are very happy for you. However, you might want to take it under consideration that some of us actually don’t really want to have partners whom they can mentor and nurture, but, you know, partners-partners.
Maybe it’s to do with today’s eclipse in Cancer (in my third house, that of communication).
I tend to be very protective, cautious of things very personal, close to my heart (I am a casebook Cancer).
I’m not certain about competitor, I’ve never quite felt that myself but I’m Cancer and Nic is Aries, very much a competitive sign.
Yeah, sure. You’re not competitive, ’cause you’re a Cancer. I won’t even-
Astrologically, I can see the various points of connection between our charts.
On an afterthought, yes, I will.
That’s probably an Aries thing too because I can’t recognise that feeling at all.
This is because people don’t have personalities or whatever; only Zodiac signs.
The world; it’s so uncomplicated.
Okay, I can’t do this anymore. It’s been years since I’ve seen so much dumb in one place***.
However, Michael Carden is not only a complete and utter fuckwit, but also a serious Bible scholar. This is why he writes the following:
I have to agree here. Personally I find the boundaries between theology, literary studies, politics, queer theory, sexuality studies, feminist theory, biblical studies, sociology, religious studies, history, to name a few, thoroughly porous. And acknowledging Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Buddhology must be added to the equation too. And any religious studies worth its salt must take account of magic, ritual, astrology, numerology, divination, I Ching, theosophy, Kabbalah, Tantra. Certainly any biblical studies that wants to exclude astrology and numerology from the purview of the biblical is cutting off its nose to spite its face (and might be unconsciously sustaining older theological agendas to boot). The biblical worlds are worlds that intersect thoroughly with astrology and numerology too. Of course I can’t claim to know exactly what the astrology was but it clearly has some relationship with the Western astrological tradition which goes back to the turn of the era.
This is not a parody. This is a serious person working at a serious university. He is seriously suggesting that astrology and I-Ching are relevant to the study of the Bible.
And maybe Buddhology.
So, like, perhaps, PERHAPS, if he said that he meant the astrology that was found in the ANE****, he could maybe try to argue a bit in favour of some sort of including astrology in the research, BUT. He doesn’t. Furthermore, he says that “clearly is has some relationship with the Western tradition”, and gee, it’s hard to argue against that, because there are only so many planets and stars you can use to make “predictions”, only we actually DO KNOW what the astrology in the ANE looked like.
Seriously. There are even some extant individual horoscopes from the Hellenistic period from Mesopotamia. I don’t really know about Phoenicia, I’m not a specialist. However, this is why I don’t pull stuff out of my arse, but actually do my research when I don’t know something. This is what we’re supposed to do when we don’t know something.
I bet he wouldn’t be interested in the actual astrology as practised in the ANE, because it would ruin his pet theories, whatever they might be, by the way.
Not to mention the Kabbalah. It’s a bit hard to steam roll until it’s flat, dead and not moving or whatever, because he doesn’t really say what he wants to do with the Kabbalah.
One thing, however, should be clear. The Hebrew Bible was, according to the reality-based***** mainstream consensus, edited to its more or less final version
1) Tanakh (Torah, Prophets, Hagiographia) – about the time that the Babylonian captivity ended +/- 100 years or so. The Babylonian captivity would force the Jews to make an extra effort to maintain group coherence, which could be achieved by the means of establishing a religious ortodoxy.
2) Deuterocanonical books – most likely between 2 -1 century BC from many older manuscripts.
This makes the redaction of the Hebrew Bible much earlier than the Kabbalah or other mystical movements. It is therefore absolutely unclear to me what could be achieved by using any Kabbalistic method to analyse the Bible.
I think I can make a highly accurate prediction, though.
This prediction is: “not much”, and also, “maybe a headache”.
The religious world of the Old Testament is not normatively monotheist and YHWH is not God the Father as we in the West have somehow come to believe in a latter day unconscious modalism. (That’s something I’ve come to realise in the last few years.)
Seriously? In the last few years? This is something any self-respecting Bible scholar finds out at the very beginning, although I doubt “not normatively monotheist” means for him what it means for me.
This is because of my reality bias.
To make the long story short, remember how the God is called “Elohim” in the Bible? Well, “elohim” is clearly a plural form, and the current reality-based mainstream consensus is that it is plural, which is because “elohim” was originally not one god, but an assembly of gods, very much like the Assyrian/Babilonian puhur ilani (literally, The Assembly of Gods: it makes decisions about important things that happen in the myths).
Later, monotheism happened.
And the world isn’t so complicated after all.
I also must say I’m terribly sorry for his students. Also, very sorry for him, if he ever has a student like me.
*And here I thought Sokal got them all, and ate with curry. My bad.
Seriously, though. It’s been 13 years. Time to finally admit your defeat and commit ritual suicide.
** Seriously, though: Thagard mauled you in 1978. It’s high time to bow your head in shame, admit to having been mauled, and commit ritual suicide.
*** That time, many years ago, it was in “Inny Świat” (Other World) a Polish weekly periodical for astrologists, flat-Earthers and conspiracy theorists. I’m pleased to say it’s been bankrupt for some time.
**** ANE = Ancient Near East. A very technical assyriological acronym.
Nope, we seriously use it in Semitic studies, and Egyptology, and stuff.
I’m really not kidding.
***** Yeah, sure, I do have a pro-reality bias. I admit it. I’m proud of it. I refuse to stop having that bias.
This is a very good bias. It tells me, among other things, that my head will hurt if I read drivel, that I’ll have aneurysm if I read too much of it, and that kittens are cute.
LOL: WordPress spellcheck for the fail. It just marked “desire” as “complex word’, and suggested changing it to “want”. LIKE HELL I WILL.