In defense of Lena Dunham??

November 3, 2014

Lena Dunham wrote an autobiography which contained a few disgusting passages, which several people on the Right were disgusted by. Apparently one isn’t allowed to express disgust at a disgusting book (and by extension its disgusting author) or to give free publicity to such a book, because Ms. Dunham has lawyered up. 

Lena, dear, I belong to the generation that invented “letting it all hang out”. (Well, almost; I was old enough to identify with the hippies, but too young to actually be one.). We did creative writing in high school, as I’m sure you did. And being the rebellious and hormonal youth that I was, I pushed the envelope on topics. I had a pricky teacher who called me a pervert for it; I had a nice teacher who politely asked me not to write about those topics, because she didn’t want to read about it. Either way, I learned that one wrote for an audience, that one didn’t always have control over who that audience was, and that the audience would draw its own conclusions, so best to try to look through their eyes. You can draw your own conclusions about whether we masturbated or whether we had siblings in bed with us while we did so, or whether we touched their genitals. But that was nobody else’s business. There was a name for those who wrote about it, and a name for the writings:  pornographers and pornography, respectively.

Our teachers were editors, but they were editing us, not just our work.  That’s out of style; teaching morality, or even teaching how to deal with prevailing morality, is now considered to be too much like religion. But surely you had an editor for this book.  Did she pull you aside and say, “Lena, you’re going to have problems over this passage”? Or did she too see absolutely nothing wrong or even socially questionable with these acts? Or that your life was not “about” this; that it was a distracting side plot, that it was “TMI”? If so, this is not just your kinkery… pace Williamson, you ARE the voice of your generation… and that generation is totally depraved.

Now, if people are going around saying, “Lena Dunham is a child molester”, as opposed to saying, “Lena Dunham molested a child”, then you have a moral case at least.  I’m sure you aren’t molesting children now. (Not that that keeps us from haunting every 18-on-15 lover until death.) I’m a Christian; I worship the God of second chances. But that implies contrition and repentance. You don’t sound contrite at all in the book. And you aren’t contrite now; you’re pissed because people now think ill of you.  If these incidents were good enough for the book, why aren’t you proud of them? Why aren’t you doubling down on your right to examine your sister’s cooch?

You know, Williamson was in some ways harder on your parents than on you. You haven’t come to their defense; are they defendable? It probably never occurred to you to take personal responsibility for your words, or for much of anything else. You appear to have been morally crippled by your upbringing.  I’m sorry that my generation raised the generation that raised you in the way we did. But we can’t change that now. All you can do is fix yourself as best as you can. That’s going to require looking to the past through literature and seeing how others did it, and questioning all the assumptions you grew up with.  You won’t be “the voice of a generation” anymore; you’ll be a voice crying in the wilderness. But you’ll be your own person, which is after all what we most wanted in the ’60s.


This isn’t “smoking in the boy’s room”

June 6, 2014

Today’s text is this description of charming play on the school bus.

I‘m not going to dwell on the humorous aspects of this case, though the female under discussion will live in in(ternet)famy under the sobriquet “Teen LaQueefa”.  (Regrettably, her name has been redacted.). But I’m going to start by observing that she was written up for elbowing the young man in the testicles, not for public indecency. Now, in my younger days of bus riding, using my testicles as a punching bag was a near daily occurrence.  And in my later days, it would have been inconceivable that people would have sex on a school bus.  Not that people weren’t having sex elsewhere (so I’ve been told), but they weren’t having it in public. And had the inconceivable happened, the perps would have found themselves in Juvie (or worse) forthwith… which would have been a mercy given that the girl would have been addressed as “Teen LaQueefa” when she was 80 years old.

I think that most of us at least sense that Ultimate PDA is mala in se. The question is: why?  And this is the place at which rational explanations of morality break down. The agreed-upon societal standard for sexual activity is that if it’s mutually agreed upon and doesn’t involve hiding an HIV status or breaking promises to others, it’s fine. So there’s nothing WRONG with boinking on the bus. It might be RUDE,  in precisely the same senses that spitting on the floor or playing music loudly is. But everyone is rude; so what?

We aren’t animals, or appliances. Sex is sacred; it’s as close as we can come in a physical sense to being God.  But when the sacred doesn’t exist in your world, that doesn’t mean anything. You’re just a cat. And if the bus driver treated you like a cat and sprayed you down with a Super Soaker, he’s the one who’d lose his job for assault.


Rounding up the chicks

August 2, 2012

Well, not ours, who are safely in a crib in the bathroom. “A bathroom full of meat; life is good!” my wife said this morning.
And life is apparently good for Dan Cathy. Quoth Allahpundit, “Somewhere, a Burger King ad man’s toying with the idea of having “The King”declare himself “100% pro-life.””  Apparently, a Wendy’s franchise owner in North Carolina decided to stand with Chick-fil-A (for principle or for money, I don’t know and it doesn’t much matter) , and got his butt kicked by corporate,

On Catholic Answers last night, the host (a sub I think, not Patrick Coffin) was joking with Fr. Serpa about “picking chicken out of our teeth” and commenting on how well-mannered and pleasant the folks in line were.

Well, not everyone. This douchebag seems to have earned himself his 15 minutes of Internet fame. And this lady (his victim) deserves a promotion. Heck, if I were single and 30 years younger, I’d interview her for a position as “wife”.

For those wondering: no, I didn’t participate. I hate lines, and the local stores aren’t particularly convenient to me. But we’ll be going out of our way soon.

UPDATE: the douche has a name (Adam Smith!), and is the CFO of a catheter company (no I’m not making either fact up!)

UPDATE 2: Make that WAS the CFO of a catheter company.


Unitarians, Catholics and HHS

February 10, 2012

God bless all the folks who have come out in support of the Catholic Church’s right not to subsidize sin. And God bless (with His rod) the folks who so don’t-get-it that they actually came out in support of the government in this matter. It’s pretty much the usual suspects, and there are all kinds of snark I could make on each one. But I’m going to concentrate on just one in this post: the Unitarian Universalist Association. They should know better, I will show that they do know better, and my wife had to set one of their congregants straight yesterday.

The Seven Principles of the U-U Church include “The inherent worth and dignity of every person” (unless they’re preborn, apparently) and “The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.”  If this isn’t a matter of conscience, I don’t know what is. U-Us are in general so supportive of the right of conscience that you can believe pretty much anything and still be a U-U (excepting, again, the belief that abortion is murder). But if you want more clarity, here is a resolution from 1982:

Personal Religious Freedom

WHEREAS, the central issues for religion include the beginning, duration, nature and meaning of life, the extent to which individuals can be in control of their own lives and bodies, and the moral and ethical responsibility of individuals to the lives and bodies of others; and
WHEREAS, the 1982 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association reaffirms our heritage of personal religious freedom of belief and acknowledges as one of its tenets the right and responsibility of persons of all ages to decide and act upon these religious issues according to their own conscience and faith, without government interference or invasion of privacy;

BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1982 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association calls upon Unitarian Universalists and all individual groups, both religious and secular, of like mind to oppose attempts for legislative policy changes that would limit the free exercise of this, our religious heritage; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That this Assembly calls upon the governments of the United States and Canada to oppose all attempts to legislate such limitations.

Now, the HHS contraceptive mandate quite clearly bears on “beginning… of life, the extent to which individuals can be in control of their own lives and bodies.” It could be that this was meant to be a weasel-word support of the right to abortion. But since they’d expressed that much more clearly 4 years previously, I have to take them at their word here.  Neo-Catharism (not breeding) is apparently a tenet of Unitarianism.  They are extremely pro-reproductive-freedom. But that doesn’t negate their conscience statement. Nor does this: “we believe that, regardless of income, every person has the right to all reproductive health information and basic services”. They may believe in the right to free birth control, but it doesn’t follow from that that any particular entity needs to provide it. Indeed, one might ask: if there are Catholic hospitals, where are the Unitarian free women’s clinics? Why haven’t they put their money where their mouths are?

But the Unitarians have been more than happy to have their freedom of religion protected by the government.  In First Unitarian Church v. Los Angeles – 357 U.S. 545 (1958):

Solely because they refused to subscribe oaths that they do not advocate the overthrow of the Federal Government by force, violence or other unlawful means, or advocate the support of a foreign government against the United States in the event of hostilities, petitioners were denied tax exemptions provided by the California Constitution for real property and building used solely and exclusively for religious worship.

In my own back yard, we had Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron v. City of Fairlawn, Ohio, 2000-01. The city decided that the U-Us could not build a fellowship hall on their land (owned before a zoning change), and backed down under legal pressure.

But the religious liberty strain of classical liberalism, which was so much a part of their tradition for so long, seems to have fallen by the wayside. Of all the religious groups that filed amicus briefs in the recent case of Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC (unanimously decided for plaintiff), the UUA was the only one to pick the losing side.

What makes this particularly odd is the the U-Us have become a haven for neo-pagans and Wiccans, who have a long history of religious persecution. They’re the growing edge of Unitarianism, since there’s no longer the pressure to “be something, and Unitarian is the least you could be” and religious atheists are in style and no longer need to blow off several hours a week not-worshipping their non-god. Pagans have benefitted directly in such cases as Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah 1993 508 U.S. 520. So why aren’t the pagan elements in the UUA fighting to keep the church on the side of freedom? I suspect that reproductive issues, being one thing that most U-Us can agree on, have become a defining doctrine of the faith. And Catholics stand against that. But there’s more than disagreement there. One step in my own conversion involved the observation of the visceral hatred many Pagans hold for Catholicism, way beyond any historical explanation (I’ll see your Burning Times and raise you a Coliseum.) I decided that fierce irrational Satanic hatred meant that there was a power in the Church worth paying attention to.

Anyway, while I don’t respect the U-Us, I respect their right to worship as they please, and to not be commanded at gunpoint to perform acts which they consider morally repugnant. I just wish they would give me the same respect.


Put with the master?

October 19, 2011

A girl was allegedly raped at the encampment of ’60s re-enactors known as Occupy Cleveland. I’m going to treat the story as true, based on current information, because it is consistent with the details, and because anybody down with the cause enough to overnight there would not invent a story damaging to the cause.

It’s those details that I find disturbing:

CLEVELAND, Ohio (CBS Cleveland) – An “Occupy Cleveland” protester tells police she was raped in her tent over the weekend.

Cleveland police are investigating an alleged sexual assault incident Saturday at the “Occupy Cleveland” rally involving a 19-year-old female student from Parma.

According to police reports, the 19-year-old student was instructed by “Occupy Cleveland” personnel to “share a tent with the suspect due to a shortage of tents.” The suspect identified himself as “Leland” to the woman. The woman told police that after she had thought the suspect went to sleep in his own bed, she slept in a sleeping bag provided to her by the rally.

“From Parma” suggests a certain ethnicity. “Leland” suggests a different ethnicity. “Was instructed” implies a certain accepted power-over, at least to the extent of “it’s our tent and sleeping bag; you will do as we say.” Now, normal people would not bunk a strange male and strange female together, even in a shortage of tents.That’s asking for trouble. And it’s clear that the Parma Occupier felt there would be trouble, as she did not retire until she thought that “Leland” was asleep. At that point, most women would have run home to Mommy. I’ve tented chastely with women not my lovers, without touching them (though in those cases there was definitely “wanna’ at work). So I’m not blaming the victim here, except insofar as she did not act on her gut feeling of wrongness…perhaps because she considered that gut feeling to be evidence of her own racism?

My concern has to do with the “personnel” (I thought this movement had no leaders) who put a young girl in a dangerous situation. Why? Were they blinded by their own idealism? Or was this a deliberate psychological operation? Were they trying to reprogram the Parma girl’s sexism and racism by deliberately bunking her with a black man? This would be consistent with the radical egalitarianism of Marxist movements. Was the perp connected to the camp’s authority structure in some way?

There are a lot of questions here, and I’ll be looking for answers.

UPDATE: Hmm, Cleveland girl, not Parma, and attending a school for the learning disabled. And OC’s spokesperson claims they don’t make sleeping assignments. Which doesn’t necessarily say that a different subgang of “they”s might do so, given that “there are no leaders” (bullshit). Or that “Leland” was just a predator who came for this specific purpose, and told her that “the administrators” told him to sleep with her. Apparently OC has a fairly detailed set of rape policies.

Yes, I know that “LD” does not mean “nutter”, but those with one issue often have other issues. The notion stated by the one interviewee that she might have come out deliberately to claim rape is pretty absurd. But we knew from the get-go that the victim was a card or two short of a full deck, because why would somebody put themselves in that situation? I’m still waiting for information that will make this make sense.


Weinergate

June 1, 2011

OK, I don’t much care if he sent a babe a crotch shot. I do care about the coverup, and the fact that he’s accusing somebody of a crime without getting law enforcement involved. He’s moved pretty solidly into the “clown” category. I’ll bet Huma is having second thoughts about their wedding having been officiated by a serial philanderer (Bill Clinton). At AoSHQ, Ben says of the notorious Dana Bash interview, “Honestly, this is the second worst press conference I’ve ever seen. Only the Bud [sic] Dwyer press conference was worse. ” Though the Dwyer press conference had a happy ending (not for Dwyer).

Gotta wonder how long we’ll be eating the popcorn on this one.


Santorum

May 27, 2011

Mike Soja doesn’t believe in comboxes, so I have to comment here. He writes about a weird mislinkage to a story about Rick Santorum’s “Google problem”, and accuses Dan Savage or his followers of Google-bombing Santorum. I don’t think it quite happened that way. Savage appended Santorum’s surname to a byproduct of anal sex that nobody had ever bothered naming (probably because it’s pretty disgusting), and the term took off, leading to Google use to search the word.  A lot of people read the bourgeois Marxist tabloids that Savage’s column appears in…not just liberals. Indeed, I can’t think of Santorum without thinking of santorum…which I would really rather not think about.  It’s a brilliant piece of Alinskyism. Nobody deserves to have his name dragged through shit like that. But Rick Santorum probably comes as close as anyone can. And there really isn’t jack he can do about it either, as anything he could say would just weld the concepts closer together.