A failure of irony

Bill Hicks famously said that fundamentalism breeds a lack of irony. Fundamentalists often have extreme difficulty recognizing telling contrasts between what is said and what is implied by the context in which it is said. Often times, this failure can come in multiple layers. Take, for instance, the publication which calls itself American Thinker, which frequently publishes utterly thoughtless dribble that only repeats right wing talking points, such as the piece we’ll be looking at today, in which author Paul Schlichta actually quotes an author without realizing that the author was being ironic.

What’s wrong with Same-Sex Marriage?

By Paul Shlichta

There’s nothing wrong with it. The fact that bigots and fundamentalists keep trying and always failing to make the case that there’s something wrong with it is evidence of this.

This year, June’s wedding bells had a discordant tone, as they ushered in a raft of same-sex marriages.

It’s funny how bigots always feel the need to speak of gay marriage in the most ominous tones, hoping to convince the reader that it’s the fucking scariest thing in the universe. In actuality, it’s utterly innocuous, and will have no effect at all on the vast majority of people. But maybe if we talk about it in Vincent Price voice, and have a Theremin playing in the background, and use a metaphor that invokes Edgar Allan Poe, we can make it scary. OoOOOooooOOooooOOOOooo!

By the way, since when are rafts ushered in by anyone to anything? Did I just miss some recent event where bells usher in rafts?

I hereby invoke a panel of experts — Fr. Thomas Vandenberg, G. K. Chesterton, and Kurt Vonnegut — to explain why such marriages are a dangerous debasement of the concept of marriage.

Bells, ushers, rafts, and now juries? Unmix your metaphors, Mr. Shlichta. You clearly don’t understand how writing works.

And really, Kurt Vonnegut? The agnostic socialist renowned for his transgressive writing that was frequently banned by conservative prudes and moral busybodies? You’re invoking him? This ain’t gonna go well for you.

Fr. Vandenberg’s new book, Rediscovering a Pearl of Great Price , is an inspired exposition of the full meaning of Christian marriage, It should be required reading for couples planning to marry, although some of the passages may come as a surprise:

The greatest gift a husband can give his children is to love their mother, and the greatest gift a mother can give her children is to love their father. That is what will keep the proper balance in the family and make their home environment secure. That is what will free the children from their primary fear, which is to be abandoned by one of their parents. Why do they fear that? Because that is what has happened to so many of their friends at school.

This is clearly bullshit. The greatest gift parents can give their kids is to love their kids. Even parents who hate each other and get divorced can still raise a good child by letting their love for the child overcome whatever disdain they have for each other. I’ve seen it happen, so I know it’s true.

Even if we go along with Vandenberg’s pseudo-philosophical ramblings, how is this a problem for gay couples? If they love each other very much, then they should be fine parents according to this. You have failed to make your point.

Marriage is supposed to have the ambitious goal of providing children with a nurturing and reassuring base from which to learn to face the world. Therefore, parents must not only be good persons, not only a man and a woman (so as to provide the dual role models psychologists say they need), but also so unshakably devoted to each other that their mutual love can withstand all the temptations and shocks that life will hurl at them, as well as the abrasion of living with each other.

You see what Shlichta’s doing here? He’s throwing in “man and woman” as if it’s relevant to Vandenberg’s quote, but his parenthetical justification actually involves something completely different from what he quoted above. Instead of being about the importance of loving each other (which gays are perfectly capable of doing), it’s actually about “dual role models”. As if some other man or other woman couldn’t fulfill that role for them.

To this end, sexual passion and the bewildering differences between the sexes jointly play a vital role.

“Bewildering”? Does a vagina really confuse you that much? I can just imagine Mr. Shlichta at home, staring in utter disbelief as his wife inserts a tampon, muttering to himself, “I…I don’t understand…What’s happening???”

As Chesterton put it:

The differences between a man and a woman are at the best so obstinate and exasperating that they practically cannot be got over unless there is an atmosphere of exaggerated tenderness and mutual interest.  To put the matter in one metaphor, the sexes are two stubborn pieces of iron; if they are to be welded together, it must be while they are red-hot…

Great. More metaphors. Besides, if men and women are so irreconcilably different, doesn’t that mean same sex marriage might be the better option?

Therefore, as Fr. Vandenberg goes on to emphasize, sexual intercourse is not merely a permitted “perk” or a reluctantly tolerated means of procreation but rather a vital and holy part of marriage…

If there’s one thing that makes my skin crawl, it’s a fundamentalist attempting to talk about sex. Seriously, if someone came up to me and said, “I slid my hard cock into her wet pussy, stuck my finger up her ass, and fucked her while she called me ‘daddy’ and cried,” it wouldn’t skeeve me out as much as the sentence quoted above. Not even if he added, “Then I made her lick expired Miracle Whip off my taint.”

…a divinely sanctioned means of demonstrating and intensifying conjugal love to make it withstand the rigors attendant upon raising children.

That’s how you see sex? It makes it easier to raise your kids? Fucking weirdo. How the fuck do you get off calling the gays “perverts” when this is what’s going through your mind when you fuck your wife?

Fortunately, as with all animals, men and women have the proper equipment for such activities.

He means cocks and cunts, which not all animals have.

The corresponding parts of the male and female body interact quite neatly for both mutual pleasure and procreation.

I feel so sorry for any woman you have ever slept with.

Not so for homosexual men and women. Whether or not there is anything wrong with their desires, they simply don’t have the proper apparatus to fulfill them.

This is entirely predicated on you knowing what they desire. You do not. Like all sanctimonious busybodies, you just assume you know what everybody’s business is and insert yourself into it. I’m not gay, but I would bet that if you said this to a gay person, their response would be to tell you to take your proper apparatus and fuck yourself with it.

They must resort to clumsy makeshifts, like cargo cult devotees trying to make airplanes out of straw.

A cargo cult is a phenomenon observed on Pacific islands after WWII. During the war, many islands, inhabited by hunter-gatherer tribes who had little contact with the outside world or modern technology, became the home of make-shift airfields. The soldiers at these airfields sometimes shared what they were flying in with the natives, who referred to it as “cargo”. After the war, the airplanes and soldiers (and cargo) disappeared, and on some islands new religions emerged in which the natives built airplanes out of bamboo and straw to try to make the cargo come back. They obviously had no idea how an airplane actually works. The physicist Richard Feynman used cargo cults as a metaphor for pseudoscience–someone who reconstructs the superficial appearance of something, but has no comprehension of its inner workings. Mr. Shlichta is invoking this idea.

Keep this in mind when he quotes Vonnegut later.

Alternatively, they submit to grotesque operations, trying to alter their bodies to suit their desires. The artificiality of these attempts to mimic normal sexuality will inevitably distort the emotions that arise from them and will tend to adversely affect any children living with them.

You know that part of the Bible where Jesus says, “Judge not, lest ye be judged”? Yeah, Christians just kinda ignore that. They fucking LOVE judging people, and this article is just dripping with judgmental attitude.

You see those transgender people? They’re grotesque! And they’re just trying to mimic MY sexuality, which is totally NORMAL. It’s normal to view sex as primarily geared towards making you raise kids better. I’m normal! They’re the grotesque weird perverted ones!

Homosexuals who engage in such desperate expedients shouldn’t be condemned for wanting to do so. As the psychoanalyst in Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless You Mr. Rosewater  explained:

Let’s assume that a healthy young man is supposed to be sexually aroused by an attractive woman not his mother or sister. if he’s aroused by other things, another man, say, or an umbrella, or the ostrich boa of the Empress Josephine or a sheep or a corpse or his mother or a stolen garter belt, he is what we call a pervert. Let us hasten on to the admission that every case of perversion is essentially a case of crossed wires…

Vonnegut was being sarcastic, you fucking nitwit. All you have to do is just read a little further down the page to see that. Here’s what immediately follows the Vonnegut quote above:

Mother Nature and Society order a man to take his sex to such and such a place and do thus and so with it. Because of the crossed wires, the unhappy man enthusiastically goes straight to the wrong place, proudly, vigorously does some hideously inappropriate thing; and he can count himself lucky if he is simply crippled for life by a police force rather than killed by a mob.

You see that part about police brutality and lynch mobs at the end? That’s the part where a rational mind reflects on what he/she read before and realizes it shouldn’t be taken on face value, that Vonnegut is actually making a quite different point than what a literal reading of the words might indicate. It’s called fucking irony. But for our noble busybodies at the American Thinker, that just doesn’t register with them. They see “pervert” and their feeble minds go no further.

In fact, there is neurological evidence that at least some homosexuals are wired differently and cannot help their proclivities. Others contend that homosexuality may be one of the aftereffects of sexual abuse during childhood. In recognition of such factors, the Catechism of the Catholic Church proposes the apparent paradox of condemning homosexual acts while urging that people afflicted with homosexuality be treated with sympathy.

Every major psychiatric organization has reached a consensus that homosexuality is not dangerous and should not be treated as a disorder. So everything in this paragraph is pseudoscientific bullshit that has no bearing on modern psychological medicine.

But we cannot debase the whole concept of sex and marriage merely to oblige them. The objective of what a gay activist has called the “”war we’ve already won” is to reduce marriage to a lowest-common-denominator status that will inevitably include polygamy, which is already being touted on ABC-TV as  “normal” and being campaigned for in Canada. That’s too high a price to pay for making homosexuals feel better about themselves.

None of this follows from anything you’ve said above. Not a single bit of it can be logically inferred from anything that proceeds it in the article. It’s just yet another bigot declaring by fiat that gays are evil because imaginary Jesus says so.

And the gay marriage initiative is not about making gays feel better about themselves. It’s about treating them like humans who have the same rights as other humans. Honestly, I don’t give a fuck about how they feel. All I care about is treating people equally.

Unfortunately, the institution of marriage is currently being attacked by several forces that, deliberately or inadvertently, are destroying it and thereby undermining our society:

  • The current fad of cohabitation. Single mothers usually do not assume this role voluntarily but are forced to do so by the perfidy and selfishness of men who desert them when they become pregnant. In consequence, the children suffer from the absence of a father and seek a male role model and mentor, often by joining gangs.
  • Ultrafeminists, who regard men as “the enemy”. They encourage the idea that men are unnecessary for raising children and regard lesbian couples as the new “normal”. To this end, they cite psychological studies that fall apart when examined.
  • Our protosocialist state, which seeks to diminish the concept of family in order to make the state the primary “parent”. This may be one reason why liberals are so enthusiastic about same-sex marriage — because it weakens the status and importance of families.

Now we’ve degenerated into the all-too-typical right wing freak out about how gays and feminists will destroy the universe. I especially love how his first point (aside from confusing cohabitation with single mothers) puts all the blame on men, and then his second point puts all the blame on “ultrafeminists” who supposedly hate men. Make up your mind, assfuck.

But whatever the causes, the debasement of the concepts of marriage and family will destroy us. Lycurgus achieved it in ancient Sparta and produced a nation of racist brutes. The USSR tried it, with partial success, in the last century and begat a dysfunctional society that is now painfully groping its way back to normality. These are hardly encouraging precedents. The legalization of same-sex marriage is a decisive step down that slippery slope.

Neither the Spartans nor the Soviets legalized gay marriage. And, in fact, both society’s were actually quite conservative. And Lycurgus, as our primary source Plutarch even admits, probably never even existed. He’s a legend, cobbled together from the storied lives of several different Spartan kings.

Of course, I’m not at all surprised that your ultimate evidence is fables and legends. That’s all religion is good for.

One response to “A failure of irony

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