I have a mouth, so I guess I must scream

There are a lot of things wrong with American society. Poverty, inequality, racism, sexism, crumbling infrastructure, selfish foreign policy, inadequate healthcare, insane incarceration rates, environmental pollution, gun violence, pitifully underfunded education systems…the list goes on and on. But these things are all very, very hard to fix. Even the simplest of those problems couldn’t be corrected in less than a very hard fought decade. But I want to look like I’m changing the world, without actually, you know, changing the world. So what should I do?

I know! I’ll write long screeds attacking pop culture! Attacking movies and music is so easy. Everyone sees movies , so I don’t have to explain anything complicated like long term economic trends or the greenhouse effect.  I just have to point at something on a screen and say “See? Look! Bad!” That way, I can pat myself on the back for making a difference, while not actually putting out any of the effort required to actually make a difference. Thanks, CNN!

Editor’s note: Lewis Beale writes about culture and film for the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and other publications. He has taught writing about film at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

Keep this in mind as we go through this guy’s article. He teaches writing. In real life. To actual students.

In the latest “X-Men” film, Magneto levitates RFK stadium and drops it around the White House; the stadium is destroyed.

In “Godzilla,” the monster fights off what looks like the entire U.S. military while he flattens both Honolulu and San Francisco. And in the new Tom Cruise film, “Edge of Tomorrow,” opening Friday, Paris is left underwater after an alien attack, and a futuristic D-Day-like invasion leaves a French beach strewn with dead bodies and smoldering war materiel.

There’s plenty more mayhem to come as this season’s glut of blow-’em-up flicks rolls out: “Transformers: Age of Extinction” (aliens drop a cruise liner on a city), “Guardians of the Galaxy” (outer space vehicles liquefied by the dozens), “Hercules” (the title character fights off lions, sea monsters and a whole army of bad guys) and “The Expendables 3″ (Sly Stallone and gang; train rams into prison).

Entertainment Weekly recently referred to it as “the summer of destruction.”

But let’s call it what it is: destruction porn.

When writing, you want to have some kind of theme linking together the various threads of your prose. Mr. Beale’s parenthetical statements attempting to establish his theme are what I would call “reaching”. “Outer space vehicles liquified by the dozens”? “[T]he title character fights off lions, sea monsters and a whole army of bad guys”? What the fuck? How exactly are these things linked?

What genuinely irks me, though, is that final sentence. He’s treating the term “destruction porn” like it’s an actual phrase in the English language that means something. Like it has a definition, or that anyone anywhere agrees on what counts as “destruction porn”.

“____ porn” has become the new “-gate” suffix of bad writing. It used to be, if you couldn’t come up with anything original to say, you just find some scandal and call it “[blank]-gate”.  Today, if you’re a hack with nothing to say, just find something that you know little about but think is over-indulgent, and call it “[blank] porn”. The Saw movies are “torture porn”. 50 Shades of Grey is “mom porn”. News coverage of weeping relatives of tragedy victims is “grief porn”. Fucking pathetic.

Like real porn, these movies play to our most atavistic instincts.

That’s not what “atavistic” means. A dolphin with hind limbs is atavistic. Our ancient ancestors millions of years ago couldn’t possibly have thrilled at skyscrapers crumbling or spaceships blowing up, because none of those things existed millions of years ago.  Get a fucking dictionary.

And where the fuck did you get the idea that “real porn” (whatever that is) is atavistic? People don’t have sexual urges any more? Jerking off is a thing of the past? Modern life, right now, doesn’t involve sexual indulgence? What planet do you live on?

They all include some sort of buildup, the titillation of expectation that really bad, but cool, things are about to happen. They generally climax — pun intended …

This guy teaches writing.

…with a massive set piece of CGI carnage. And like real porn, afterwards we’re supposed to feel deliriously fulfilled and exhausted.

I don’t think you know how “real porn” works. Maybe you feel “deliriously fulfilled and exhausted” after stroking yourself, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what they were going for. What the hell does “deliriously fulfilled” even mean?

Additionally, the fact that you keep using the term “real porn” is a pretty clear indicator that you damn well know the term “destruction porn” is bullshit.

Fact is, we should hate ourselves for feeling this way, as if we’d just had really bad sex.

Writing professor, folks. Calling Dr. Freud.

But that’s not the reaction destruction porn elicits.

Can’t imagine why it doesn’t elicit your perverted reaction in most people. Maybe delirious fulfillment followed by self hatred just isn’t in vogue.

Even worse, we’re exporting this American blood-lust globally, giving outsiders the impression of a country that has totally gone over to the Dark Side.

Star Wars references kinda undermine what you’re going for here. Or does Alderaan not count as destruction porn?

It’s not as if there hasn’t been massive carnage in the movies before this. Hollywood has produced plenty of war films, ecological disaster flicks and alien invasion epics in the past. But the sheer frequency of destruction porn these days — at least 11 movies of this type in summer 2012 (“The Avengers,” The Dark Knight Rises,” etc.) and 12 during the same season last year (“White House Down,” “World War Z,” etc.)…

11 movies in 2012 and 12 in 2013. Please note that he’s throwing out these numbers without ever defining what counts as a “destruction porn” movie, and without ever specifying which movies fit his non-existent criteria, or how any movie possibly could. There were precisely 11 of such movies in 2012, but he won’t bother to explain where that number came from. These are entirely made up statistics. Well, I can do the same thing. I just created a new category called “Shitfuck journalism from hacks”. CNN published precisely one such article which I’m looking at right now.

…and our delight in seeing things blown up, should make us worry about the mental health of society.

Public schools failing, gun violence, suicide…no, wait, fuck all that shit. We should be worried about The Avengers. That’s the important shit.

Idiot.

Movies have always reflected the anxieties of their age. In the 1950s, we had plenty of nuclear paranoia films,often featuring mutated life forms. (Can you say “Godzilla”?)

Can YOU say Godzilla? You keep bringing up this imaginary entity called “destruction porn” as if it’s something new. Have you seen any classic Godzilla films ever? Do I need to explain to you the whole “Guy in rubber suit smashing cardboard buildings” leitmotif of the entire series?

But the recent spate of films seem to reflect a collective psychic collapse.

What the hell is a “collective psychic collapse”? Who the fuck watches Maleficent and thinks, “Yup. Collective psychic collapse.”?

Sure, there are reasons for this: fear of terrorism, the insecurity created by all those mass murders, like the recent episode in Santa Barbara. We feel that world has gotten even more chaotic. That there’s too much of everything. That society has gotten way too complicated, with too many people, too much technology, too many opposing ideologies clashing against each other.

Look at me! I’m vaguely aware of modern political issues! And I get paid to express that never-more-than-vague awareness with statements like “all those mass murders”! I teach writing!

I’m the 700 billionth person to point out that modern life has complications that didn’t exist in the past! I have absolutely nothing beyond that regurgitation to contribute to the discussion, but CNN needs to fill up space, so here I am!

It recalls the classic 1959 dystopian novel “A Canticle For Leibowitz,” by Walter Miller Jr., in which the end of industrial civilization is referred to as “the Simplification.” It’s as if we’re preparing for a global meltdown.

In your writing classes, do you ever address hyperbole?

And the summertime, when we’re supposed to be mellowing out,…

Who’s the fucking “we” in this sentence? The next time you eat at a restaurant, tell the over-worked and under-paid waiter that “we” are supposed to “be mellowing out” since it’s summer, and see what kind of reaction you get. My guess is it’ll be something along the lines of, “I’m smiling because if you don’t tip me, I starve.”

…is a perfect time for Hollywood to exploit our growing appetite for this kind of carnage. There are two specific reasons for this: Most filmgoers are in the under-40 demographic, looking for a night out away from the heat and to put their brains on pause — and believe me, there’s nothing more mindless than watching stuff blow up.

I can think of something more mindless.

The second reason is the importance of the foreign market, which now accounts for nearly 70% of total box office gross.

Our global neighbors tend to go for what we do best, which is make big budget films with state-of-the-art special effects, a minimum of dialogue (explosions speak a universal language) and lots of mayhem. Lots. Just to take two recent examples: the just-opened X-Men film has grossed $168 million in the U.S., and twice that much overseas. And the new “Captain America” flick — “Captain America,” no less! — has grossed $255 million domestically and a whopping $454 million overseas.

America: A country where scenes of mass destruction are the norm, and carnage is preferred over peace, love and understanding.

Go fuck yourself, you sanctimonious douchebag.

If you actually bothered to watch and think about the movies, rather than pontificate like a self-righteous blowhard, you’d see the themes in both X-Men and Captain America. X-Men is a metaphor for the gay rights movement, while Cap is about the surveillance state and the bullshit notion that we have to sacrifice our freedom and privacy for security. Neither film is subtle in this regard. They wear their metaphors on their sleeve. If you took two fucking seconds to think about it, you’d see it. But that’s asking way too much from you, Dr. Writing Professor.

Oh, and I can’t help but notice the term “global neighbors”. What other fucking neighbors do we have? What’s the difference between “global neighbors” and just plain fucking “neighbors”?

Is this the kind of negative image of America we want to export?

Better explosions than pretentious douchenozzles.

And sure, we all know that “It’s only a movie,” but don’t kid yourself: When we get geeked at the leveling of entire cities, it says something about who we are, and where our society is going.

No. It says something about who you are that this is the kind of thing you judge other people for.

And you’d think after 9/11 and the never-ending mass murders in this country we would be a bit more sensitive to scenes where cities are destroyed and thousands of lives lost, but the opposite seems to have taken place: We wallow in it. We cheer it. Like porn, we can’t take our eyes off it. It’s seductive and incredibly addictive.

Your presumptuousness is much more offensive to me than any explosion in a make-believe movie. “You’d think”. Fuck you. The difference between you and me is that I do actually think. Hey, Dr. Writing Professor and Film Critic, did you ever notice how the original Godzilla came out in 1954, just 9 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki got nuked? Did your tiny little pea brain ever consider the idea that movies are artistic expression, and that they reflect these societal anxieties precisely because that’s what art does? Yes, filmmakers are expressing their feelings about 9/11, and audiences are responding. You can see that in many modern films. This isn’t something new. It’s how art works.

Wish fulfillment? Catharsis? Just good old entertainment? It really doesn’t matter. While we’re in the grips of whatever social psychosis is stoking this ravenous appetite for mayhem, Hollywood will be happy to oblige.

You really are a complete tool, aren’t you?

You managed to write 1,000 words without ever saying a thing. You excel at speculation, allegation, and sensationalism, while stridently avoiding anything that even resembles actual fucking journalism. You pass judgment on others for the specific purpose of generating a headline. You invent terms without ever bothering to define them. You then invent numbers because numbers look like science and reason and that makes dumb people think you’re credible. You use pop psychology to make it look like your verbal diarrhea is actual human thought. And you do all this in the hopes that you’ll stimulate CNN’s audience into irrational fear of an imaginary problem, just so you can do it again next week.

You write news porn.

The New Bigotry, Part 2

My friend Eric Reitan has a thoughtful, calm response to an image that’s been circulating on Facebook recently. He and I, while politically quite similar, have very different temperaments.  If you want calm and rational, go read his piece. I think he’s right (except for all the god and Jesus crap, of course).  But if you know me, you can probably guess how I might respond to this:

"That part about 'We are still friends'...you do realize that needs to be a MUTUAL decision, right?"

“Well, I speak that I believe that you’re an idiot.”

Oh, fuck off.

This bullshit is yet another example of what I’ve started calling the New Bigotry. How is it different? Well, classic bigotry was pretty straightforward. It was openly hostile and hateful and had no problem saying “Fuck you, faggot!”

The New Bigotry, on the other hand, is a transparent con game. A bait and switch with used car salesmen ethics and aesthetics. Its first move is to deny someone legal rights (an action) while avoiding any language that might sound hostile. Then put on a plastic smile and blithely equate bigotry with rudeness (despite the fact that no dictionary defines either word that way). Once you’ve made the false equivalence, you then politely state that since the other guy was rude (by calling you a bigot) but you’re being “nice”, they’re the bigot and you’re the victim. You then seek out people who are big enough dumbfucks to fall for this shameless bastardization of human social values, and the game is on.

Let me state this in no uncertain terms: All opposition to gay rights is bigotry. If you think being gay should be grounds to deny ANY right enjoyed by straights, you are a fucking bigot. Opposition to gay marriage for any reason whatsoever is bigotry, no exceptions.

The New Bigotry does not alter this situation at all. I don’t fucking care how polite you are. I don’t give a shit if you claim to still love gays. There is no rat in the universe in possession of an ass that I would give about your sincere beliefs. And absolutely no amount of self-congratulatory masturbation about how much Christian “love” you have can give me one fucking iota of sympathy for any anti-gay position. It’s bigotry top to bottom, through and through.

Bigotry is bigotry regardless of how much love and puppies and sugar you smear all over it.  Denying someone their rights does not become more acceptable when you do it nicely. Quite the opposite, dressing up bigotry in smiley hugs and rainbows actually makes it more insidious. If anything, the New Bigotry is worse than what came before. That image above pisses me off more than someone just coming right out and saying, “Fuck gays.” At least the latter bigot is being honest. The New Bigotry expects me to believe that hateful actions can be excused with “loving” language. Well, they can’t. And they never will.

One thing the New Bigotry has in common with the old, though, is its hilariously appalling ignorance. Either the maker of that image has no idea what the word “exactly” means, or he/she has nothing even vaguely resembling a fucking clue about what’s at stake for gay people’s lives when gay marriage is banned.

Really, Christians? That’s “exactly” what they don’t want done to them? The only issue here is being called fucking names? I’m pretty damn sure that if name-calling were the only problem gays face, we wouldn’t be hearing much from them. The maker of this image–and, let me emphasize this, EVERYONE who agrees with it–is so ignorant, so stupid, so childish, so selfish, so disrespectful, so inconsiderate that he/she cannot take even two god damn seconds to consider how his/her actions–which are misleadingly called “beliefs”–affect other people. If you can’t see how insulting, degrading, and downright moronic that “exactly” line at the end is, then something is terribly wrong with your brain. (Hint: Your brain malady starts with a “p” and ends with “rivilege”.)

I’d really like to see more people attack the New Bigotry more directly. Its dangers go far beyond merely harming gays. It bastardizes our values wholesale by muddling up concepts with false equivalences.

Bigotry is not the same as rudeness. Belief is not the same as action. Name-calling is not the same as legal denial of rights. And while, yes, you do have the right to speak your ignorant beliefs, you do not have any right to be shielded from criticism. If you say something stupid and bigoted, people will rightly criticize you for it. Fucking grow a spine and deal with it. There are people who have to put up with a lot more shit than you ever will. At least no one banned your fucking marriage.

…”Exactly” my fucking scrawny white ass. I don’t think I’d be half as mad as I am right now if not for that one fucking word…

The newer, gentler bigotry

"I'm polite to abominations."

“I’m polite to abominations.” *wink!*

“Hello. I think you’re great just the way you are. I have friends who are like you. So I have nothing against people like you. But because of the love of Jesus, I can’t do business with you, because you’re you. I love you very much and wish you all the best, but it is my personal belief that I must deny services and rights to people like you, because Jesus.”

If someone said something like that to you, my guess is you’d think something along the lines of, “What a load of condescending, bigoted horseshit.”

Well, welcome to the new bigotry. And welcome one of its most recent defenders, William Saletan of Slate.com.

Is everyone who opposes gay marriage a bigot? If a photographer declines to participate in a same-sex wedding, should she be held legally liable, on that basis alone, for discrimination?

Both questions are an easy “yes”. Let me go a little further and say this: in about 10 years you’re gonna look back on this article and cringe that you even asked these questions as if there were any doubt about the answer. Don’t believe me? Replace “gay” with”interracial”. Feel that twinge of embarrassment at the mere thought of it? Yep. It’s coming for you in a few years, that humiliation at the thought that you could have said such a thing in public. Just wait.

I don’t think so.

Saletan 10 years from now is gonna feel like shit.

I like all three of these writers. I was a best man at a same-sex wedding 23 years ago, and I was a fan of gay marriage even before that.

He has gay friends! And my racist acquaintances have black friends. It proves nothing.

But I’m disturbed by what I see today. We’re stereotyping and vilifying opponents of gay marriage the way we’ve seen gay people stereotyped and vilified. This is a deeply personal moral issue.

Who banned gay marriage opponents from marrying, or passed laws making it legal to discriminate against them? No one, that’s who. So they haven’t been vilified in the way gay people were. Duh.

On Wednesday, Friedersdorf challenged Stern’s characterization of the dissenters. Friedersdorf quoted from the photographer’s  petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, which gave her account of the events leading to her conviction for discrimination. The email exchange between the photographer, Elaine Huguenin, and the prospective lesbian client, Vanessa Willock, didn’t seem hateful:

[From Willock] We are researching potential photographers for our commitment ceremony on September 15, 2007 in Taos, NM. This is a same-gender ceremony. If you are open to helping us celebrate our day we’d like to receive pricing information.

[From Huguenin] Hello Vanessa, As a company, we photograph traditional weddings, engagements, seniors, and several other things such as political photographs and singer’s portfolios.

[From Willock] Hi Elaine,

Thanks for your response below of September 21, 2006. I’m a bit confused, however, by the wording of your response. Are you saying that your company does not offer your photography services to same-sex couples?

[From Huguenin] Hello Vanessa,

Sorry if our last response was a confusing one. Yes, you are correct in saying we do not photograph same-sex weddings, but again, thanks for checking out our site! Have a great day.

Take that exact same conversation, but replace “same sex” with “interracial”. Still sound like an argument worth defending?

But here’s the thing. This exchange DOES sound hateful. The fact that the hate is gussied up with “Have a nice day!” doesn’t change it. “We don’t serve niggers” doesn’t suddenly lose its bigotry if it’s served with flowers and a smile.

Friedersdorf went on to quote the New Mexico Human Rights Commission, which found Huguenin guilty of discrimination: “Ms. Willock thought that Ms. Elaine Huguenin’s response was an expression of hatred.” Friedersdorf didn’t see hatred in Huguenin’s words. He also pointed out that according to her petition,

the Huguenins’ photography business does serve gay and lesbian clients, just not same-sex weddings. Insofar as a photographer can distinguish between discriminating against a class of client and a type of event—there is, perhaps, a limit—their business does so: “The Huguenins gladly serve gays and lesbians—by, for example, providing them with portrait photography—whenever doing so would not require them to create expression conveying messages that conflict with their religious beliefs.”

To me, that’s a prima facie case that Huguenin’s decision wasn’t driven by hatred or by animus against gay people.

I hate to be repetitive, but Mr. Saletan is also being repetitive. “They happily served blacks, but not if they’re marrying whites.” Does that sound like prima facie evidence that the person is not bigoted? I mean, even remotely? Is that a statement you would ever defend?

I feel sorry for Future Saletan.

On the evidence we have, this description of Huguenin’s motives and effects is inaccurate. She claims that she and her husband, who share the photography business, “gladly serve gays and lesbians.” Is there any evidence of a case in which a gay couple came to the Huguenins for any service other than a marital commitment ceremony and was turned away?

You’re just padding your word count at this point. You made your point already. If it’s polite, then it’s not bigoted. If only certain services are denied, but not all, then it’s not bigoted. I’m getting tired of explaining why this is utter horseshit.

It’s true that Huguenin is drawing a distinction between gay and straight couples. But she’s also drawing a distinction between portraiture and weddings. In analyzing her motives and effects, we have to consider both distinctions.

Because the best way to maintain discrimination and bigotry is to distract your audience with irrelevant distinctions.

Why does Stern attribute bigotry to Huguenin?

Because he’s not an asshole.

But maybe the rest of us need to broaden our experience, too. Maybe we need to talk to people who accept homosexuality as an orientation but believe marriage should be reserved for couples capable of procreation, at least in theory.

No. We don’t. Ya know why? Because those people don’t exist. No one actually believes marriage should be reserved to couples capable of procreation. Not in theory or in practice or in anything else. No one believes that. Think about this for two fucking seconds, Mr. Saletan. Is anyone proposing we ban infertile people from marrying? No? Then no one actually believes that. Period.

People SAY they believe that, but that’s a lie. Their actions expose them. If they really believed it, they would oppose infertile marriages. But no one does.

Hmmmm. Why are they lying? What could they be covering up? What could their real beliefs be? You know, the ones that they’re afraid to say in public.

Gee, I wonder.

At least old fashioned bigotry was honest. The newer, friendlier bigotry is disingenuous and smarmy. It’s putting on the play of being polite and understanding while actively striving to be precisely the opposite. It treats people like fools who can’t see through a plastic smile and a pat on the head. And it passive-aggressively plays the victim whenever criticized.

No, Mr. Saletan. The bigots are not the victims. There is no equivalence between the way gays are treated and the way Christian bigots are treated. Not then, not now, and not 10 years in the future, when you will be horribly embarrassed that you ever said this. Of course, by then, there will be an even newer form of bigotry you can defend. Saletan in 20 years weeps.

Intelligent Imbecility

There are lots of ways to promote bigotry and ignorance. The easiest and most obvious is to just run around shouting “Fuck faggots!”, which accounts for 90% of internet traffic. Another is to declare that you heard from an invisible, silent being that exists…somewhere…that faggots are bad and don’t deserve equal rights. Another is to assert that it’s just your belief that faggots are evil, and how dare you insult my beliefs (which are insulting to other people) (oh, and I want my beliefs enshrined in the law)?

The problem with these approaches is that the public is catching on to them. Stupid can’t hide for long, and more and more people are saying “Fuck your beliefs” and giving gays equal rights anyways. “Damn it!” says the bigot. “I have to deny people their rights, but I can’t do it by being an obvious dumbfuck any more! Whatever shall I do?” The answer is provided, luckily for the bigot, in today’s Washington Post. You gotta be a sneaky dumbshit bigot. You gotta take what you think the opposition believes (which is, of course, nothing like what the opposition actually believes–you are a dumbfuck bigot after all!) and turn it around on them! You gotta be, not really clever, but what you imagine to be clever in your tiny little pea brain. You gotta be an intelligent imbecile.

Behold.

Is gay marriage really progressive?

  • By Norman Leahy and Paul Goldman
  • February 20 at 6:38 am

Ha! Take that, liberals! We put a question mark in our title! That should fill you with doubt about your own beliefs. ‘Cause that’s how intelligent imbecility works. We’re tricky and shit.

Same-sex marriage advocates, and their lawyers, cite Jefferson’s “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” to underscore everyone’s right to marry without state interference. Last week, they successfully challenged Virginia’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. Given current legal trends, there seems little doubt that the Supreme Court will ultimately agree with U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen’s ruling. Gay rights advocates believe this ruling is a major progressive advance.

I’m a gay rights advocate, and when I heard about that ruling the first thing I thought was, “Major Progressive Advance.” Except for the part where I never thought any such thing. Actually, my first thought was, “The bigots are gonna shit themselves,” and boy oh boy was I right.

We ask: Why is this progressive?

No you don’t. You never asked that. This is just a bullshit rhetorical device for you to try to make yourselves look smart while spouting idiocy. The only people you’re fooling with this shit are people who were already dumb enough to agree with you before you even wrote a word.

Or put another way: Why is giving the government more power over your personal life, as opposed to less, considered progressive?

Why are loaded, deliberately misleading questions the things you beat your wife with?

Oh, I’m sorry, was that out of line? I should have known you would never beat your wife. You just take out your frustrations by raping and murdering a hooker. My bad.

See? I can make up passive aggressive dogshit about other people and spout it without blinking! Publish me, Washington Post!

The government gives legal benefits to people in marriages that the government recognizes. All gay people are asking is that they receive the same benefits. It’s not that fucking hard to understand. This doesn’t involve government controlling their personal lives. But singling out gay people specifically to ban them from certain benefits? That DOES involve government interfering with people’s personal lives. No fucking duh.

Ironically, it may turn out that gay marriage advocates are trying to further cement a dangerous philosophical trend that they would normally see as conservative, retrogressive or even reactionary.

Ironically, there’s no irony here, since you’re just pulling this out of your tightly puckered asshole.

Gay marriage advocates believe the progressive position is to require every marriage to get the same governmental blessing. But this is actually not a progressive or liberating posture at all.

The right approach for those who believe in “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” freed from government control is self-evident: no government control over marriage.

This is becoming the new right wing way to promote straight privilege. They ignore all the legal benefits of marriage (hospital visitation, shared tax forms, tax benefits, etc.) and act like marriage is nothing but a word. But I guarantee you–if either of these guys’ wife is in the hospital, they’ll damn sure take advantage of the “government control” that lets them visit her. And when these two fucking nitwits file their taxes, they’ll damn sure let “government control” give them some marriage-based tax credits.

Which is to say, they’ll glad spew empty words about “government control over marriage” in a rag like the WaPo. That’s just words. But the moment it affects their real lives, everything they’re saying goes right down the shitter.

The same-sex marriage position requires first accepting the government’s right to sanction marriage.

It obviously doesn’t. It requires recognizing that straight couples get benefits that gays don’t. It requires recognizing how fucking unfair that is. It also requires knowing a right wing bullshit artist when you see one–and I see two that the WaPo decided deserved to have their verbal fecal matter spread to the entire country.

Moreover, advocates don’t merely agree to give government this power, they accept a state’s right to discriminate. The federal court decision overturning Virginia’s gay marriage ban is premised on the state failing to provide a sufficient reason for discriminating between couples wanting to get hitched. This presupposes the right of the government to sanction marriage. Ironically, this is the position of the supposedly conservative traditional marriage defenders.

Go back and read that paragraph again. The first sentence is supposed to tell us what the latter sentences will demonstrate. Read it. The first sentence has absolutely nothing to do with anything that follows. Read it again. I challenge you to explain how the first sentence is even tangentially related to anything that follows.

Keep in mind: The WaPo published this illogical garbage. And the WaPo is purportedly a respectable newspaper. Yeah, fucking right.

But the really important point to keep in mind here is PRIVILEGE. These two fuckheads have probably taken advantage of marriage rights numerous times.  They just take it for granted. Pick up your kids from school? Sure, Mommy and Daddy are married, and legally that’s all that’s required to retrieve your kids from school (even if they aren’t your biological children). They don’t even think about it. The only reason they can flippantly tell gays “Just don’t get legal recognition” is that they’re so used to legal recognition that they can’t even realize they have it any more.

Trust me, no married couple would ever voluntarily give up the legal benefits they enjoy. Norman Leahy and Paul Goldman are no different.

While the Supreme Court has made other important rulings on marriage in the past, no jurist ever suggested disagreement with state laws banning same-sex marriage — until recently.

It’s never been done before, so why do it now?

(Nota bene: This exact same argument could have been made against inter-racial marriage 60 years ago.)

Gay rights lawyers say such decisions were wrong, surely by today’s standards. We ask: What is progressive about conditioning the state’s right to sanction marriage on changeable judicial attitudes?

You don’t ask that. You’re not asking anything. Stop pretending that you’re capable of thought.

Anyone who reads this can see exactly what you’re doing. The bigots have lost the gay marriage debate on one front after another, so now you just wanna take your ball and go home. Just end legal marriage entirely! That oughta go over well! I’m sure the step-fathers out there who no longer have legal guardianship over their step-children won’t mind at all! Right wingers are smart!

The more principled approach, which is consistent across the philosophical spectrum, is leaving marriage to the religious and family institutions from whence it came.

What philosophical spectrum? Is there even such a thing as a philosophical spectrum? I’ve been studying philosophy since 2000, and I’ve never encountered any such thing.

Privilege is again at play here. What Leahy and Goldman are really asking is, “Can’t we just let the church (which already excludes gays) give us all the benefits and tell everyone who’s not like us to fuck off?” No, shithead, you can’t. It doesn’t work that way. Marriage is a civil contract. It has been for a very long time. And I know, you really want all the benefits to yourself, even if sharing them with others won’t cost you a thing. That’s because you’re suffering from a common disorder known in psychiatry as Being An Asshole.

Marriage existed long before there were government bureaucrats looking to raise revenue by collecting license fees.

Yeah, that’s why the government recognizes marriages. The tiny fees they get from licenses.

http://affordablehousinginstitute.org/blogs/us/wp-content/uploads/brilliant_cigar1.jpg

If a person meets whatever common sense, minimal legal requirements are established for people to wed — such as those related to age, health, mental capacity or banning incest — why should government approval be required?

That’s what the gays are asking. You seem to have missed this part.

You see, STRAIGHT marriages don’t require government approval. Wanna get married? Sure, why not. It’s not like there’s an exam. As long as you’re straight, you get married. Simple as that.

All gays are asking is that they be treated the same way.

If gay rights advocates truly believe marriage is a protected, inalienable right, then they should be in court arguing against state-sanctioned marriage per se.

It’s not that gays are destroying traditional marriage, it’s that they SHOULD be destroying traditional marriage. See how subtle and nuanced these bigots are becoming?

What about the traditional marriage position – that defining these unions is up to the states and that states have a vested interest in promoting traditional families? It runs counter to the conservative belief in limited government.

The true conservative position should be to let the church control everything. Christian hegemony for the win!

Same-sex couples are generally no better or worse at parenting than those with different sexual orientations. Limiting marriage on procreation grounds, even if legal, is a slippery slope that would trample the Constitution and personal liberties in a way worthy of China, not America.

That’s the only point in this op-ed where these two say anything even vaguely rational. But then they fuck it up by going, “China! Amiright?”

Most important, a marriage license is derivative, not the basic right at issue. If the right to marry is inalienable, then the government needs to stop seeing it as another revenue raiser or privilege creator.

We should just leave it to religious institutions! They secure privilege much more hatefully than the government ever could!

In practical effect, all same-sex marriage proponents are claiming is their inalienable right to be required to pay a marriage fee like everyone else.

How the fuck did this sentence make it past an editor?

All they’re claiming is a fee? So hospital visitation isn’t part of legal marriage? And neither is guardianship of children? What about inheritance rights? Adoption? Tax credits? Spouse benefits for insurance plans?

No, none of that exists. Well, it all does exist, but Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dumb are so caught up in their own privilege that they stupidly don’t even realize how much legal benefit they get from marriage. They think they can just erase the entire legal structure of the marriage cake and still get all the frosting. Well, sorry, fucknuts. It doesn’t work that way. If you actually got your way, you’d have no legal basis on which to claim you can visit your wife if she’s dying in the hospital. Think about that–if you ever even think at all.

Look, I’m not saying all conservatives are stupid. I’ve met a few smart ones. But too many of them are complete idiots. And the worst type of conservative idiot is the one who masters the English language just enough to make an argument that might be mistaken for rational human thought if viewed from a thousand miles away through layers of skin-melting fog. In other words, the one who’s able to gussy up his imbecility with just enough false erudition to be published in an overrated rag like the WaPo.

Russia: Finding New Ways to Suck

Remember when I said, in my typically polite and mature way, that Russia sucks? And then when I later pointed out with all my usual civility that Russia still sucks? Yeah, well, guess what. Nothing has changed.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has asked for a state-level ban on legal moves to allow same-sex marriage, noting that this position was based on the very nature of Christianity.

Lovely. Making gay marriage illegal isn’t enough for this bozo. Now we need to make it illegal to talk about it being legal.

But that last part of his statement? That’s true. Only religion could make someone so self-absorbed that they would say something so bigoted in public without any fear of how this would make them look or affect others.

Speaking before upper house members, Patriarch Kirill said that the move would protect the family as a public institution.

In a response to the broad international discussion of this issue we would like to make a resolute statement – marriage is a union between a man and a woman, based on love and mutual understanding and made in order to give birth to children,” Russia’s head cleric stated.

Which is why to get a marriage license in Russia you are required to prove that 1.) you are actually in love, and 2.) have children, except that–oh wait–NOBODY REQUIRES THAT.

How could such a buttfuckingly stupid argument gain such a foothold all over the world? Childless couples all over the place are allowed to be married. People can in fact marry even if they don’t love each other. Fuck, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the Muslims in southern Russia have loveless arranged marriages all the time. Are you going to annul all of those? …Wait, don’t answer that.

Patriarch Kirill promised that the church would provide support to all state and public institutions that seek to protect the traditional Christian values. He stressed, however, that such a move was not caused by a desire to influence politics, rather by the very nature of Christianity.

When the state adjusts its every move in accordance with the “natural moral norms” it does not become religious, but instead turns into a “reasonable guardian of the common good.”

So the Borscht Pope doesn’t want Russia to be a religious theocracy–he just wants it to take its orders from the Church. That’s totally different from a theocracy! Because in a theocracy you’re actually open about who’s calling the shots. The Borscht Pope wants the government to lie about who gives them orders. Totally different!

In addition the Patriarch noted that wider promotion of religious education could help the authorities tackle extremism and terrorism.

That’s the single funniest sentence I have ever read. It’s like saying you can cure cancer by smoking more.

Prepared citizens could offer ‘intellectual resistance’ both to Islamist extremists and to mass culture with its cult of hedonism and aggression, he added.

He also noted that simple urges for friendship and peaceful coexistence were not enough and that the correct attitude to other religions can only be based on one’s own religious obligations.

Shorter Borscht Pope: “We need more religion in order to end aggression, oh and FUCK MUSLIMS.”

The Russian Orthodox Church has never accepted same-sex marriage, but statements from its representatives have become especially harsh as gay-related topics reached the top of the public agenda in the country.

This happened after last year’s adoption of the federal law banning the promotion of homosexual relations to minors. The law has faced immense criticism in Russia and abroad, however its sponsors and the Russian authorities argued that the legislation is not discriminatory and was only introduced in order to protect the children.

America should pass a law outlawing Russian propaganda. It’s not that I want to discriminate against Russians. I just don’t want my children to be exposed to Russians.

As the discussion heated up, the head of the Holy Synod’s department for relations between the Church and the Society suggested a nationwide referendum on introducing criminal responsibility for homosexuals (something that was abolished in Russia in 1993, soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union).

“Hey, Ivan.”

“Yes, Vlad?”

“You know a country we Russians should imitate?”

“Who, comrade?”

“Uganda. They seem to be going places. We should become more like them.”

http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080130030645/uncyclopedia/images/e/e1/Guiness-Brilliant!.jpg

The cleric’s idea has not yet materialized.

Fucking only good news in this whole damn article.

Moreover, President Vladimir Putin played it down in a recent TV interview stressing that Russia was a secular state and such initiatives were unlikely to gain any momentum.

Fuck. That means it’ll definitely happen within 4 years time. (And, yes, I realize “years time” is a pleonasm. Sue me.)

And then there are the comments on that article. Oh, the comments. Whenever someone like the Borscht Pope speaks their bigotry publicly, they try to gussy it up and make it look respectable. But internet commenters? They don’t know the meaning of the word. I won’t go through all of them, but there is one  I would like to address.

Ricardo Koch 28.01.2014 16:39

@Hansel
Dear Hansel, russian people have the right to live according their own religion and traditions. Please do not try to impose to other cultures how they should live like. West Europa did that Sendungsbewusstsein ideology with the rest of the World for centuries. Trying to force other people to adore fagness, will only result into tremendous hate against this tiny, tiny, tiny and medial absolutely overrepresented minority. Why you dont go to be activist for poor african people, they need more help than people who like to have abnormal fornication?

Hey, Mr. Anti-imperialism Russia Rocks! guy. The people pushing this movement against homosexuality in your country and every other country? Yeah, uh, they’re Americans. The bigots have mostly lost the fight here, so they’ve started exporting their bigotry and taking rights away from people in other countries like Russia, Nigeria, Uganda and Croatia (don’t you just love being on THAT list, Russia?). You can’t get away from us, try as you might. Even your homophobia is funded by imperialist dollars. Fucking deal with it.

Oh, and since English is likely your second language, I won’t make fun of you for using non-words like “fagness”. But I indeed will laugh at just what a silly little neologism that is.

So what have we learned from all this? That Russia is full of noisy, hateful bigots. That Russia does not respect freedom of speech or human rights. That Russia likes to scapegoat tiny minorities for their problems. That Russia is willfully manipulated by Baptist preachers who want to spread the good news of Being an Asshole for Jesus.

Basically, Russia is just the American South, but without all the dignity and fried chicken.

Stay classy, Newsmax readers

Newsmax is the conservative website you go to when you aren’t quite dumb and crazy enough to go to WingNutDaily. As such, their comments sections usually aren’t quite the bottomless pits of inanity, paranoia and ignorance that we see at WND, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few doozies over there, like this one for an article on gay marriage in Utah. It only managed four comments, but together they provide an interesting microcosm of conservative archetypes, with one weird little thing missing…

GeoDude
Whatever happened to State’s Rights? Where in the US Constitution is the Federal government given the authority to regulate marriage? Finally, who appointed the Federal Judiciary as the tertiary branch of legislation?

I’m really glad I wasn’t drinking a beer when I read that last question. Never mind his fucking absurd attempt to look smart by saying “tertiary” rather than “third”.  What does this idiot think the actual third branch of government is, if not the judiciary? NASCAR? Poland? Jesus? Duck Dynasty? A horseshoe crab? I mean, given his state of mind, the possibilities really are endless.

Anyways, let me explain really quickly how this whole three branches of government (or “legislation”, or whatever) works. Congress makes legislation. The President implements and executes legislation. And the courts interpret legislation. It’s all explained in this thing called The God Damn Constitution. (Sorry, turned into Frank Miller there for a moment.)

But this guy perfectly exemplifies one thing that will almost always pop up whenever a conservative debates gay marriage. Let’s call this archetype The Chanting Chicken. They’ll say the word “constitution” like a mantra and hide behind the word so as not to have to provide an actual argument, but they have never read it and don’t have the foggiest idea what it says. GeoDude here probably thinks it’s a dinosaur pop-up book about Adam and DEFINITELY NOT STEVE.

The Chanting Chicken got a reply to his comment from another archetype, but as you might expect it failed to correct his obvious misconception about separation of powers.

California Conservative

States have no rights anymore if you ask a liberal. I argued with a liberal about states rights for a while recently and he/she couldn’t understand my “hang up” on states rights. I was shocked.

Sweet picklefuck do I feel sorry for whatever poor liberal he was arguing with. States rights don’t trump individual rights, and they don’t include the right to do something unconstitutional. Pretty fucking simple.

Let’s call this archetype The Projecting Prat. He sees all of his own worst traits in others, all with a blissful lack of self awareness. California Conservative is shocked to see someone who isn’t capable of comprehending the other side’s argument or seeing things from another point of view. It’s the personality equivalent of a dog barking at his own reflection.

Bhr
Obama has no legal right to recognize the married couples in Utah but when did the law ever get in Obamas way.

Ah, yes, the Conspiracy Cunt, or CC for those of you with delicate sensibilities (if you have delicate sensibilities, why the fuck are you reading my blog, anyways?).  The CC has a favorite scapegoat. Someone who’s responsible for everything from the economy to the weather to Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Obama’s the favorite scapegoat, of course, and the way some conservatives talk about him you’d think he had magical powers or something. I can assure you Obama did not make this decision, Bhr. Aside from nominating judges to the bench, the President has no power over the judiciary. Now go explain that to GeoDude.

Kyle
Take the D’s out of you A and maybe you guys won’t be so miserable and complain about every little thing you don’t get.

Our final archetype is the Loathsome Locutioner. And, yes, I know “Locutioner” is not a real word. But that’s kinda the point. Guys like Kyle here, well, they ain’t gonna be writing any sonnets any time soon. They use their barely-there grasp of the English language instead to hurl thoughtless hatred into any crevice of the intertoobs that contains anything they don’t like (or recognize).

Yeah, Kyle, them gays sure do have lots of butt sex, amiright? Being gay means you’re just ceaselessly assfucking all through the day. Maybe suck a little cock while you order your Big Gay Mac, get a rim job at the barber shop, then find a gay midget and mount him on your huge gay penis for the walk home. Yup. Sounds about right to me. (And of course, as we all know, straight people never put dicks in asses! Never!)

Thankfully, it seems that (slowly) slut-shaming gays into silence is more and more becoming unacceptable even within conservative circles. Hopefully shitstains like Kyle here will eventually become a thing of the past. But then, some new assholes will just take their place.

I mentioned earlier that there was one archetype curiously missing, and I’m sure you can guess what it is. The Religious Rube! Where’s the sanctimonious cockwag quoting Bible verses and lecturing everybody on what invisible beings want you to do in bed? I’m genuinely surprised none showed up to an article about the Big Evil Buttfucking Bonanza that Utah is sure to become once gay marriages resume (and they will, someday. We’ve already seen what happens when a state marriage ban goes before the Supreme Court).

Hey, Newsmax! Get your shit together! How will you ever catch up with WND in the “Who Can Spiral Down the Cognitive Toilet Fastest?” contest if you don’t have at least one of these guys in every single thread? I expect better of you.

I’m not laughing with you…

I’m not going to sugarcoat it. The Editorial and Letters to the Editor pages at the Daily Oklahoman are just fucking pathetic. It’s just sad that the largest newspaper in my home state publishes such utter dribble. To me, they’re rarely good for anything more than a laugh. So I figured, I might check in and see what kinds of things make them laugh

Ten Commandments critics’ claims laughable

Ha ha! Those silly people who think we should have to follow the Constitution! It’s so laughable! Who needs the Constitution when we have totally non-laughable things like the Bible, which says important things like this:

2 Kings 18:27

But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?

Serious shit, people.

We’ve raised questions about the wisdom of installing a Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma Capitol — not because we disagree with the commandments’ content, but because limited taxpayer dollars will likely be wasted on an unsuccessful legal defense.

You don’t disagree with the commandments’ content? Not even this one?

Exodus 20:17

King James Version (KJV)

17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

So you’re totally cool with slavery and men treating their wives like property? ‘Cause the author of that verse clearly is.

The U.S. Supreme Court has sent mixed signals, upholding some Decalogue monuments but ruling against others. Monuments passing court review have been components of larger, long-standing historical displays. The Oklahoma monument is a stand-alone item, likely undermining state arguments for its constitutionality.

A perfectly sensible paragraph. If only everything you wrote were like this. But the sense and rationality bus comes to a screeching halt and explodes in a ball of fiery pettiness and bad logic from here on out.

Even so, the claims of some critics are laughable. This week, New Jersey-based American Atheists Inc. and Oklahoma residents Aimee Breeze and William Poire filed a lawsuit challenging the monument. Breeze regularly travels to the Capitol during legislative sessions. As a result, the complaint claims that she’s “confronted” by the Ten Commandments display, which she finds “hurtful and exclusive.”

Seriously? The monument is on the north side of the Capitol. The main parking lot is on the south side. The main pedestrian entrances are on the south, east and west sides. To actually see the monument, you’d have to go looking for it. If Breeze is being “confronted” by the display, she’s deliberately going out of her way to experience this allegedly “hurtful” situation.

Where the hell do you get the balls to call other people’s arguments laughable when this is the putrid shit you spew?

“We put the monument on a side of the building where there are fewer people. If there are fewer people, then there are no people, and no one ever has a reason to go to it. Therefore, I get cupcakes!”

That’s the best I can do to parse out the illogical dumbfuckery on display here. Hey, Daily Oklahoman, how the fuck to you know which side of the building she goes to while she’s there?  Were you there? Do you know her? Do you know her routine? Did you ask her? If the answer to these questions is No (and I’m sure it is), then that last sentence came directly from somewhere between Saturn and Neptune. You have abso-fucking-lutely no way of knowing what her reasons for being on the north side of the building are.

Besides, even if she did go out of her way to see it, how the fuck does that undermine her argument? Rosa Parks got on that bus deliberately looking to get kicked off when she refused to go to the back. Does that make her claim that she was discriminated against “laughable”? Whether she was deliberately looking for it or not, she was discriminated against either way. Why she was there is god damn irrelevant.

And do you seriously expect people to buy this obviously fallacious “If it’s on a side of the building where fewer people go, then the complaints must be illegitimate” crap? If ANYBODY can see it then it’s in a public place and such complaints have at least some legitimacy. A ten year old could see the fucking holes in your logic. I fucking dare you to try an argument like that in court. The judge will likely find it, well, fucking laughable.

The lawsuit also claims the monument establishes a “thought crime” against coveting your neighbor’s wife, and restricts free speech rights through prohibitions on worshipping graven images and taking the Lord’s name in vain. Nonsense! There are no actual state laws against those activities.

Those are their italics. I didn’t put them there. They really want  to emphasize that last point. So here, let me use some italics of my own to emphasize the only rational conclusion any sane person should reach from this:

The Ten Commandments have precisely fuck-all to do with American law.

They came from a society where thoughts COULD be a crime. They came from a society that practiced slavery and traded women like they were fuckable action figures. They came from a society that had no religious freedom at all, no Bill of Rights, and you were taking your life in your hands if you said anything indicating you don’t believe in the Magical Pervert in the Sky.

They. Are. Not. Our. Laws. So what the fuck are they doing at our capitol? And why the fuck are you so confused when someone points out that putting them there is offensive?

Want to “worship” a statue you made in wood shop? Knock yourself out. Want to lust after married women or men? You can do so, although we wouldn’t recommend it.

Want to go to the capitol without being told that you’re inferior and this capitol isn’t really for you? Well too bad, unless you’re Christian or Jewish.

An individual’s actions can be immoral without being illegal, just as a monument can be a bad idea without validating the overwrought claims of its thin-skinned critics.

I really wish the right wing would get that first part through their glacially thick skulls. That would end every single argument against gay marriage.

But the latter half of that sentence is just fucking dumb. The monument at the capitol isn’t just a bad idea. It’s ILLEGAL. And, more importantly, its actual purpose is very, very clear. Apparently, the editors at the Oklahoman don’t read their own letters column, or else they’d already know what the bigots who read their pathetic rag think this monument is for:

The First Amendment doesn’t mandate the Christian faith for each person; however, it does mandate the freedom to worship as one chooses — or not at all. Ten Commandments monuments on public property are a tribute that recognizes our historic, constitutional commitment to the principles and values that the Ten Commandments provide. Other faiths not based on and committed to honoring the Ten Commandments don’t truthfully represent this Christian nation and its commitment to these civilizing principles and values. Neither can their monuments.

Got that? Only Christianity–with its “civilizing” principles–can represent the USA #1 RAH RAH RAH. So we can only put up the 10 commandments. Not, say, the Five Pillars of Islam, or something from Hinduism, or a fucking awesome Satanist statue. Nope, just Christians. They get special treatment. The rest of you don’t even have civilizing principles, you heathen barbarians!

So, no, their claims are not overwrought. The obvious purpose of the monument is to promote Christianity while denying that promotion to every other religious belief, thereby demeaning everyone who isn’t Christian. It’s not laughable for someone to claim to feel hurt by that.

The monument violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by elevating one religion over others and thereby creating an establishment of religion. It also violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by allowing Christians to put up monuments but not Satanists or Muslims or Humanists. Hell, it might even violate the  No Religious Test Clause in Article VI, paragraph 3 of the Constitution, if you consider “Guy who puts the monument up” to be an office or trust. That last one’s quite a stretch, I admit. But it’s still better reasoning than the laughable shit the Oklahoman comes up with.