Nice news

I started working at the paper in Delaware in 2001 and every year since then they've introduced legislation to include sexual orientation in the First State's antidiscrimination laws.

Those bills never passed. "Discrimination against gays still legal in Del.," read the headline on the paper's Web site, year after year after year.

That headline was celebrated, each time, by Christian conservative groups who were always ferociously opposed to the idea that gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons should enjoy the same legal protections as everyone else in the state. Those groups liked to quote Leviticus to support the idea that homosexuality was an "abomination" to God. The idea, I guess, was that homosexuals were sinners and thus real, true Christians were therefore obliged to ensure that it remained perfectly legal to deny them access to housing or employment.

It's tempting to respond in kind, to say, I'll see your Leviticus and raise you a Deuteronomy:

Do not have two differing weights in your bag — one heavy, one light. Do not have two differing measures in your house — one large, one small. You must have accurate and honest weights and measures … For the Lord your God detests anyone who does these things, anyone who deals dishonestly.

In other words, no fair not being fair. You can't have one price for one group of people and a different price for a different group. You can't have one housing market or one job market for one group of people and exclude other people from that market — that's differing weights and measures, something the Lord your God detests. Inequality, discrimination, disenfranchisement and the dishonesty of double-dealing and double-standards turn out also to be abominations before the Lord.

And there's nothing in Deuteronomy to suggest a loophole that says it's OK to have differing weights in your bag so long as the short-changing one is for homosexuals. The Bible says, unambiguously, that these Delaware Christians' crusade in defense of legal discrimination is abominable and detestable.

So what we have here is a theological dispute — a disagreement over the interpretation and meaning of the scripture. I'm confident I can win this argument, but before we get bogged down in the theological details of such a dispute, allow me to point out the most important thing to remember about all such arguments: They don't matter. Not even a little bit. Because none of what any of us thinks about the interpretation and meaning of the scripture is in any way relevant to the question before the legislature, a wholly secular body charged only with the wholly secular matters of law and justice.

This is true even when the Legislature itself seems to forget this and starts to act like an amateur version of the college of cardinals, as the paper reported:

Supporters and opponents of the bill disagreed on what it means to be "Christian." They argued about what constitutes "discrimination" and "sin." They tussled over whether homosexuality is a "lifestyle" or whether lesbians can be "made" by other lesbians.

Happily, the Legislature refrained from ruling on most of those questions and we were spared from the flagrantly unconstitutional and laughably incompetent spectacle of lawmakers dictating the official meaning of "Christian" or "sin." They eventually remembered who they were and what their job is and returned to matters on which they actually have some jurisdiction and responsibility, such as whether or not it should be legal to exclude one particular minority group from legal protections enjoyed by everyone else in the state of Delaware.

And even more happily, the majority of these lawmakers came to the conclusion that legal discrimination is an oxymoron — that differing weights and measures, differing laws and statutes, were not legally or constitutionally defensible. They decided that legal protection from discrimination was a right enjoyed by all Delawareans and not just a privilege enjoyed by the heterosexual majority.

And so, finally, after eight years, I got to write a new headline. Discrimination against this particular minority is no longer legal in Delaware.

This step toward a more just standard of justice and a fairer sense of fairness is being lamented by many of those same Leviticus-loving groups, including "the Sussex County Community Organized Regiment, a new group of conservative residents concerned about what they consider the nation's increasingly liberal bent."

One leader of the group, Eric Bodenweiser, says he regrets that their defense of legal discrimination has led others to view them as not nice:

Bodenweiser said he regrets the growing chasm between people on either side of the debate over homosexuality.

At one point Wednesday, Bodenweiser struck up a conversation with two women in the Legislative Hall cafeteria. He expressed his views on homosexuality without realizing they were a lesbian couple.

"One of them said, 'I can't believe that you think God hates me,'" Bodenweiser said. "Those girls were telling me I was a hater and a bigot, but I'm not. I'm a nice guy."

So OK, let's set aside the theological arguments and the debates over scriptural interpretation and just focus on this matter of niceness.

How, exactly, is the defense of legal discrimination compatible with being "a nice guy"? How is it nice to insist that landlords be legally entitled to refuse to rent to one particular minority? How is it nice to fight for employers right to fire members of that minority for no reason other than that they are members of that minority?

This word nice seems to have come to mean something strange and hard to pin down. If we simply consider the definitions of the words, then it would seem possible to treat someone fairly without being as nice to them as one might be. But the opposite would seem impossible — we cannot treat someone unfairly and still be nice to them. Yet as the example of our "nice guy" above shows, the word is constantly being used in this second, impossible sense by people staunchly defending injustice while just as staunchly insisting that this doesn't mean they're not "nice" people.

So let me say something here that ought to be blindingly obvious, but which apparently still needs to be pointed out: Injustice isn't nice.

That's not the biggest problem with injustice, of course, which is why, for example, Moses didn't go to Pharaoh and tell him to be nicer. ("You have enslaved my people. That's rude. It's impolite, unkind and tacky. …") No, he went to Pharaoh and demanded justice. Pharaoh's response, of course, was to crack down even harder, demanding that the slaves make bricks without straw. But at least Pharaoh had the decency not to pretend that he could redouble his injustice while still being "a nice guy."

Anyway, good news from Delaware. A minority previously excluded has now been included in the legal protections enjoyed by the majority. That's nice. But more importantly, that's just.

  • steward

    So, I think asking someone why they do or don’t like a certain thing can be interesting and can sometimes make a difference, but implying that there’s something wrong with a preference that isn’t treated as prescriptive is right out.
    Yeah, I think you just said what I wanted to say, except much better. I didn’t mean to imply that preference was immutable, but trying to imply that someone is some kind of bigot or an idiot because of their preferences is literally pointless. Unless you’re some kind of vampire who feeds off of conflict.
    This actually makes me wish I were a lawyer so I could really know if it’s got a chance of doing anything or not – it looks like a good argument to me, but what do I know?
    It could work. Marriage is not in the U.S. Constitution, so according to a strict-constructionist perspective there is no reason why the federal government should be able to regulate it directly. The Obama Administration could counter that the DOMA is binding only on the federal government itself; the only reason it was passed was because some states feared that they would have to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. The Administration could probably argue that DOMA does not interfere with Massachusetts’s same-sex marriages; it only empowers other states to reject same-sex marriages and doesn’t actually prohibit it within any state.
    I have to be honest, I don’t understand why this is even an issue. Only “the states or the people, respectively” should have the power to control civil marriage. I detest federalism, but that’s the system we have so I don’t understand why we have to do this. It seems like federalism is only applied when conservatives want it to. When the Congress wanted to abolish slavery and then segregation, states rights was the law of the land. Now that states want to abolish anti-homosexual discrimination, all of a sudden the states have no rights and the Congress can run roughshod over civil liberties.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/ShifterCat ShifterCat

    Hobbes said:

    I’m not sure that a misunderstanding of love is involved, though. Most people I know who feel that homosexuality is wrong believe that no sexual act can possibly compete with an intimate, sexual expression of love that takes place between a married male/female couple. Other sexual desires are viewed as a shadowy substitution for the “real thing”, a sort of sexual analogue for idolatry.

    I’ve had both pre- and post-marital sex with the same person. So have all of my married friends, and so have my parents. “Marital sex good, extramarital sex bad” arguments boggle my mind (especially when people try to secularize them, as here) because really, there’s no difference. Social conservatives seem to think that the marriage certificate is some kind of magical enchantment which alchemically transmutes “using one another as a means to an end” into “actualizing the union”. But then they want to deny gays access to the Magic Certificate. Or do they just think that the spell doesn’t work properly unless the living spell components have the same kind of genitalia?
    My suspicion is that deep down, SCs know that there is no guarantee that a relationship will work out — no vows, recognized by the state or otherwise, can shield a couple against every vicissitude that life might throw at them. They just don’t want to admit that really, the relationships they approve of are just as fragile as those they don’t.
    Of course, unlike many social conservatives, I’m still on my first marriage; what do I know?
    Mabus said:

    Also that the brain is plastic enough to compensate for the loss of an entire hemisphere, but should be absolutely inflexible about sex. *shrugs* Go figure.

    Oh, for deity’s sake, Mabus. You seem to be implying that because several people are reporting that their brains work in a way you (who’ve admitted your ignorance about human sexuality) don’t think they should work, they’re really just being contrary. Come off it — even the top-ranked neuroscientists of today are still mystified by a lot of the brain’s complexities.
    atrophia said:

    It seems to me that most people who say that homosexuality is a choice are speaking strictly about homosexual sex; those people think that you should just not have it, regardless of who you may or may not be attracted to, and that the simple act of having gay sex is what makes you gay. Whereas among the people I’m friends with, and in the political circles I lean, it’s defined by who you want to have sex with, who you’re actively attracted to, and which gender(s) would make you most happy to be in a relationship with. That makes this discussion a headache with the other side sometimes, because we have different definitions for the point of contention. Of course you can choose to have sex with any consenting adult regardless of either of your orientations, but that doesn’t mean that you will be happy if you do, or that you are being truthful with yourself.

    I think that this relates to the “all sex is bad unless it’s PIV sex transmuted by the Magical Marriage Certificate” attitude. Wanting sex with their high-school sweetheart made them feel guilty, wanting sex with someone of their own gender made them feel guilty, wanting to be whipped and then penetrated with a strap-on made them feel guilty… what’s the difference? Of course, for those of us who haven’t been taught to feel guilty about consensual sex, this attitude is incomprehensible. I read a quote from an ignorance-only proponent who was saying, “Well, we know masturbation is bad because even though it feels good at the time, what’s the end result? Shame, guilt, and crying yourself to sleep! Amirite?” The overall reaction from the folks at Feministing (where this person was being quoted) was, “Huh? For me, the end result is sighing happily and drifting off.”

    If you swing, I imagine it could make 3-waying more satisfying; and if you’re exclusive, it would still be fun (IMO) to fully share your partner’s appreciation of passing hotties.
    Quoted for truth. Being bi and marrying a bisexual, let me just say… yeah, on both counts.

    This. Though Mr. ShifterCat and I are both exceedingly picky…
    Jessica said:

    If you promote the worthiness of my word, I’ll promote yours. =)

    I can’t think of many circumstances under which I’d use the word “dermaprist”, but I’ll try to keep it in mind.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/ShifterCat ShifterCat

    …Make that “if the living spell components have the same kind of genitalia.” Durr.

  • truth is life

    I like the Beatles because their music is reasonably pleasant to listen to (though so is most music IME, excepting perhaps that which is actively attempting to be unpleasant), and my dad is a HUGE Beatles fan so you pretty much HAVE to like it (or at least be on speaking terms with it) when he decides to crank up the sound system…
    And yes, I do tend to like music without paying any attention to the lyrics. This is mainly because I mostly listen to instrumental stuff anyways (and I don’t listen to much music in general), and even when I do listen to actual songs, half the time I can’t hear the lyrics, and the other half I can only remember 4 or 5 lines of them. Having to read them off a transcript tends to dampen your association of them with the song :)
    It could work. Marriage is not in the U.S. Constitution, so according to a strict-constructionist perspective there is no reason why the federal government should be able to regulate it directly. The Obama Administration could counter that the DOMA is binding only on the federal government itself; the only reason it was passed was because some states feared that they would have to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. The Administration could probably argue that DOMA does not interfere with Massachusetts’s same-sex marriages; it only empowers other states to reject same-sex marriages and doesn’t actually prohibit it within any state.
    Though there is the somewhat infamous “Full Faith and Credit” clause, which can be read to say that all marriages in any state need to be recognized in any other state–something which only makes sense to me, how does moving to (say) Texas suddenly make you unmarried?

  • http://scyllacat.livejournal.com Thalia

    I realize I haven’t had much to say lately, but if we’re having a ‘token’ libertarian, I thought it was I! Unless there was another here before me.
    Truthfully, while there’s plenty of discussion of identity politics here, there’s really no room for playing “You don’t like me just because I’m–” otherwise, I’m sure Naked Bunny with a Whip would probably get the grand slam.

  • Jeff

    [["Oh yeah, a dermaprist," and they think I have mad vocabulary skills.]]
    Huh. I just think you mean “pimple” (which is a “prist” on the skin, amirite?). I’d never get “headlamp” from “dermaprist”.
    =============================
    [[*Plus* they have to dress decently. And that's just for sex.]]
    Almost afraid to ask, but what do they have to wear for sex?
    ============================
    [[I've had both pre- and post-marital sex with the same person. So have all of my married friends, and so have my parents.]]
    THat’s very open minded of you all, especially the person you all have had sex with (singly or in groups?)! I trust you all used protection…

  • wintermute

    I have to be honest, I don’t understand why this is even an issue. Only “the states or the people, respectively” should have the power to control civil marriage. I detest federalism, but that’s the system we have so I don’t understand why we have to do this. It seems like federalism is only applied when conservatives want it to. When the Congress wanted to abolish slavery and then segregation, states rights was the law of the land. Now that states want to abolish anti-homosexual discrimination, all of a sudden the states have no rights and the Congress can run roughshod over civil liberties.

    I’m no expert on US history, but I thought, during the abolition arguments, the federalists successfully amended the Constitution to deny individual states the right to legalise slavery. Ditto with Brown v Board of Education (the watershed in anti-segregationalism) being a federal ruling saying that states don’t have the right to treat blacks as second-class citizens. And then there was Loving v Virginia where the federal government said that the State of Virginia didn’t have the right to declare the Lovings’ marriage invalid, just because they had different skin colours.
    In all these cases, as in the current gay-rights fight, the Federal government is telling the states that they don’t have the right or the power to run roughshod over people’s civil liberties.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/ShifterCat ShifterCat

    @Jeff: I knew someone would make that joke.

  • lonespark

    He says, “What could possibly be in it for me? What am I supposed to imagine myself getting to do?”
    I’m sorry to say this, but that’s a pretty powerful lack of imagination on display there. I can always think of a way to imagine myself in the scenario (of course, it involves the characters to be bi rather than lesbian, but it’s MY fantasy!).

    I do think you should be sorry to say it, because even if I’ve expressed the objection poorly, everybody has their own things that do and don’t ring their bell. As disappointing as his straight and mostly vanilla-ness is to me sometimes, at least he’s honest. Taste in wank material is not something you want to be trying to talk someone into. What would be the point?

  • Froborr

    In all these cases, as in the current gay-rights fight, the Federal government is telling the states that they don’t have the right or the power to run roughshod over people’s civil liberties.

    Except that currently, the Federal government is saying they *do* have the right to run roughshod over people’s civil liberties. That’s what DOMA does. And I don’t trust the courts to overturn it. The last couple of decades have put far too many experts in bizarro-conservative space-logic on the bench. Our best bet at destroying DOMA remains counter-legislation, but even that’s unlikely. Clear majority or not, today’s Dems are far too cowardly to do anything for civil rights.

  • Ursula L

    In all these cases, as in the current gay-rights fight, the Federal government is telling the states that they don’t have the right or the power to run roughshod over people’s civil liberties.
    A few points here:
    1. The post-Civil War amendments created new rights, related to race, that did not exist before.
    2. They also explicitly gave Congress the right to enact legislation to enforce those rights.
    3. And they explictly gave people those rights on the state level, as well as as rights against the Federal government.
    That’s an important point because similar rights are not defined with regard to factors other than race (such as sex, sexual orientation.) The right of Congress to legislate, on the one hand, is used by liberals to justify laws to correct for existant discrimination, but on the other hand it is used by social conservatives to argue against such laws, or any laws that seem to make distingushments baced on racial identification.
    The fact that the post-Civil War amendments created rights agaisnt the states made it Constitutionally reasonable for the Federal government (in Loving) to reach inside the state law and declare that it violated the Federal Constitution.
    Absent such amendments, it isn’t clear that the Federal government would have the right to reach into state law and declare that discrimination based on sex, or sexual orientation, would violate the Federal Constitution.
    The Constitution does demand that states, and the federal government, give “full faith and credit” to the laws of other states. That’s where DOMA fails – it gives full faith and credit to the marriage laws of some states, but not others, and allows states to avoid giving full faith and credit to the marriage laws of other states.

  • Froborr

    The Constitution does demand that states, and the federal government, give “full faith and credit” to the laws of other states. That’s where DOMA fails – it gives full faith and credit to the marriage laws of some states, but not others, and allows states to avoid giving full faith and credit to the marriage laws of other states.

    See, to you, me, and any other sane person, this is an obvious failure in DOMA. But the Supreme Court has made very clear in the last few years that the majority of its justices are not sane persons. I have total faith in the ability of these nutbags to ass-pull a justification for violating full faith and credit.

  • random atheist

    “Most people I know who feel that homosexuality is wrong believe that no sexual act can possibly compete with an intimate, sexual expression of love that takes place between a married male/female couple.”
    Actually, having thought about this: how do the people who believe this *know*? Have they experienced various kinds of sex (and indeed love), gay and straight, married and unmarried, and decided that on balance straight married sex (and love) is more satisfying? Have they studied surveys on degrees of sexual and romantic satisfaction in various sections of the community and come to the conclusion that the evidence supports this particular attitude? Or have they, perhaps, just come up with it as a justification for why they don’t think it’s okay for people to be gay?
    Oh, I get so tired.

  • http://funwithrage.livejournal.com Izzy

    random atheist: Yeah, this. Because I’ve heard everything from “sex when you’re married is amazing and awesome” to (addressed to someone in a long-term relationship) “…oh, you’re having married sex. Run now.” It really does seem to vary a lot.
    Also…even if they’re right and nothing can compete with married sex in ways X, Y, and Z, why are people obliged to try? I hear that few things can compete with skydiving for an adrenalin rush, and yet I’m not getting in a plane any time soon. Sometimes you don’t *want* to compete–the prize isn’t that awesome to you, or you’re not in a place to try for it without wrecking your life, or whatever–and, in that case, what’s wrong with “settling” for second or third place, if it makes you happier in general?
    Jeff: Hee! Well, this might be a good place to re-state my “no tightie-whities, no way, no how” rule. ;)

  • Jessica

    Huh. I just think you mean “pimple” (which is a “prist” on the skin, amirite?). I’d never get “headlamp” from “dermaprist”.
    hee hee. I totally missed the joke potential there.
    There was never much etymology to it, no effort went into being able to derive the object from the word. It was something that just sort of popped into my head one day when I was thinking about that kind of thing and found that headlamp or headlight was not sufficiently descriptive, plus it didn’t sound like anything else I could think of, but obviously not unlike something anyone else could think of. =)
    That made sense when I typed it, but I’m not sure if it still does. Here’s hoping.
    ________________
    Very excited about the Mass challenge to DOMA. Ursula’s post a few ↑ says most of what I would have wanted to, and very eloquently.

  • Anton Mates

    Actually, having thought about this: how do the people who believe this *know*? Have they experienced various kinds of sex (and indeed love), gay and straight, married and unmarried, and decided that on balance straight married sex (and love) is more satisfying?

    Say what you will about Ted Haggard, at least he’s willing to do the field research.

  • http://pecunium.livejournal.com Pecunium

    Ok…. I’m at the end of eight, and want to post before this list of responses gets too great. There are responses to a lot of people in here. I hope it’s not in the TL:DNR category.
    First: Hobbes, please take what I’m saying as 1: Not personal attacks. 2: as responses of time. I made them as I went. 3: I saw your explanation of understanding that you might have been less than awaare. In part I am saying this stuff because I needed to say it, and in part because other people will read it, and I have the idea (justified or not) that maybe my turns of phrase will make things clearer to someone.
    =====
    Hobbes: Language is one of my skill-sets. No, there is no, “inherent” quality to words. If I call you an asshole, it can be any number of things, depending on the context. The default connotation, however, is negative.
    Dame, broad, chick, etc. had that negative connotation. No one ever said, “My wife is a swell dame,” and had people think he was praising her social skills, or referring to her rank in the peerage. If one used one of those for someone’s sister, mother, daughter, they were borderline fighting words.
    I say women, or even females. I use girl, but it’s always fraught with the sense of needing context. Age is a factor, relational status (in regards to me, or the person to whom I’m talking), activity, those all color when/how I use it.
    It would, most certainly be woman, if referring to someone across the bar.
    re gendered language: It doesn’t map. There are some oddities where a person’s gender flops, because of how the language works (and other quirks, all nicknames in russian are feminine. Some male nicknames, are female names [e.g. Galya]. The use of those structures are invisible.
    mel-anon: re boy/girl friend: Because we use diminutives with our intimates. Sweetie/pumkin/etc. It’s a sign of being close, of being allowed to treat them in ways which would, in other people, be demeaning.
    Lori: I think I disagree about the age issue wrt boy/girl friend. In research I keep finding the average age of marriage has been going down, only to return to mean at mid-twenties, with the quirk being a more even age-match (e.g. 1890s America, men were about 27, women were about 21, at first marriage). I think that aspect of it comes from large scale interaction of teens in school settings.
    Dash: To get differently geeky, you are describing the public perception of the “Strong Sapir Whorf hypothesis.” To tangent, one of the interesting things about becoming fluent in a second language, is discovering things which are untranslatable, as well as things which are just alien (Russian, for example has three genders for the number one, two genders for 2,3 and stops caring after that. It also has a plural of the number 1). It is really hard to get one’s head around some of those untranslatable concepts, because to discuss them in the parent language isn’t really possible. The best one can do is approximate.
    It doesn’t mean the subjects can’t be talked about, just that the understanding will be different/incomplete.
    Hobbes: The problem is that English doesn’t have a grammatical “familiar form” anymore. Familiar language in English is no longer defined by grammar, but standards and convention. it was ever thus. That’s why Hamlet in the bedroom with his mother was so shocking: he was using the cultural conventions to abuse her. Forms of address are inherently (so to speak) a function of culture.
    English does have a sense of the familiar. What we don’t have, anymore, is a formalized way of expressing it. Calling women, “girls” to their face, is a familiar usuage, which is part of why it offends. If I look at someone in his teens, and tell him, ‘Back off, son”, I am being familiar. I am also pulling several sorts of rank.
    If I look someone in the next age bracket, (call it 25-35), I am being a bit demeaning, and pulling several (and probably different) sorts of rank.
    If I do it to someone in my age bracket (40-45), I am challenging his place if I don’t know him well
    Lori: re, “Have you eaten” is Cantonese, not “Chinese”, (which is a strange confusion; one writing system is intellible across spoken languages which are not).
    Jason: Frau Blücher’s name is frightening because of the Blücher. The Prussian commander was named Blücher, and he rode two horses to death to get to Waterloo.
    Jeff: re Sandra Tsing Lo: Oh yeah! With bells on. Used to listen to a radio station that had her on at a specific time in the morning. Guaranteed to get my ass out of bed, because just hearing her start got me pissed off. The delivery would be bad enough without the privilege, add that she is often wrong, and smugly snarky about it… ghaaaaa.
    Mad Gastronomer: The bi-men aren’t welcome thing is, I think, a bunch of straight men who are afraid to be feminised by male attraction. They don’t want to be olged by people they can’t imagine being intimate with.
    I never (even as a straight guy) never got that. Being thought attractive is flattering. I also don’t see why straight women are supposed to not mind non-straight women being about, but men get to.
    re inclinations. I’m straight. Boys don’t do it for me (as we drift back to language). But I can appreciate them. I recall… what 20 some years ago, seeing “Chronos” at the Imax Theater in Los Angeles.
    The camera was doing a lot of moving, and then it entered a space; you could feel the cooleness of the rose-filled light, and Michaelangelo’s David was there… I’m getting chills just recalling the impact of it. The physical force of the image, of the presence, of the man.
    And I got it. I could see how someone could go for that. I still don’t (go for boys), but wow… that statue is as close as I may ever come to a Platonic Ideal.
    Jessica: Inamorata is an old word. Headlamp feels perfectly elegant to me. What makes “dermaprist” seem elegant to you (to me it sounds to be some sort of damage to the skin)?

  • Jeff

    [[Jeff: I knew someone would make that joke.]]
    As the Slut of the Slacktivists, I kind of had to.
    ===============
    [[I do think you should be sorry to say it, because even if I've expressed the objection poorly, everybody has their own things that do and don't ring their bell.]]
    I absolutely agree with that. I wasn’t saying he was wrong in not liking ANY form of erotica/porn, just that the way you stated it, he seemed to me to not even consider the possibilities. I think I get where he’s coming from — his fantasies just don’t go where mine do.
    I truly am sorry I offended — anyone worthy of a lonespark must be an amazing person.
    ==============
    [[[[There was never much etymology to it, no effort went into being able to derive the object from the word.]]
    Aaah, I see. How about “Craniatorch” (using the British meaning of “torch”)? That sounds a bit more better to me.

  • lonespark

    Used to listen to a radio station that had her on at a specific time in the morning. Guaranteed to get my ass out of bed, because just hearing her start got me pissed off.
    Ha! My husband I have used Rush Limbaugh and Dr. James Dobson, respectively, to stay awake on long drives.

  • http://pecunium.livejournal.com Pecunium

    Jeff: re being the “slut” here.. Objection, assumes facts not in evidence. Hell, I doubt the Slacktivites have a common defnition for the word.
    lonespark, couldn’t do it. The irate pounding on the steering wheel, and lack concentration would me I was awake, but the inevitable crash would be a bad thing.

  • hapax

    Didn’t we use to have an official Slackti-slut? Kirsten, I think? Where has she gone? Have I used up my quota of question marks yet?

  • lonespark

    lonespark, couldn’t do it. The irate pounding on the steering wheel, and lack concentration would me I was awake, but the inevitable crash would be a bad thing.
    Well, I feel that way about Rush. Dr. Dobson’s show was usually only about 50% rage-inducing. And on rare occasions it was entirely reasonable, and therefore disappointing. (I should say, this wasn’t his whole show. Just a ten-minute FoF moment thing on the local country station that was the only thing that came in between Superior and Globe.)

  • cjmr

    >>Ha! My husband I have used Rush Limbaugh and Dr. James Dobson, respectively, to stay awake on long drives.
    What Pecunium said. I’d probably be swerving all over the highway.

  • Hawker Hurricane

    As a non-Christian, I perceive the Parable of the Good Samaritan to be summed up as “Q: If I’m supposed to love my neighbor as myself, then who is my neighbor? A: Everybody. Duh.”
    Posted by: Bruce
    —————-
    I always saw it like it says: Your Neighbor is the person who’s nice to you, never mind where he’s from or what faith he follows.
    The story of the Samaritan has layers. One of them is the blatant rule violation the Samaritan performs in touching a (potentially dead) body. The Rabbi and the Scribe, both well educated in The Law of Moses refuse to help, because if he’s already dead then they’d have to ritually clean themselves (How annoying!), but the heathen/heretic Samaritan has no problem…

  • http://profile.typepad.com/RajExplorer Raj

    cjmr: // >>Ha! My husband I have used Rush Limbaugh and Dr. James Dobson, respectively, to stay awake on long drives.<<
    What Pecunium said. I'd probably be swerving all over the highway.//
    If your husband and kids were with you, James Dobson would make you Focus on the Family!
    *ducks*

  • Hawker Hurricane

    Use of “Chics”…
    Common around the High Schools here in Sunny SanDog. Seems to be a modification of the Spanish “Chica/Chicas”. Funny it’s not used for the male “Chico/Chicos”.

  • Hawker Hurricane

    Jason, Leum, you’re not alone. I have a four-year streak of attending Superbowl parties to play Munchkin in the next room with the other asportals.
    Posted by: MikhailBorg
    ———–
    You play Munchkin? I own the original with 4 of the expansions, and Super-Munchkin with the one expansion.

  • cjmr

    >>If your husband and kids were with you, James Dobson would make you Focus on the Family!
    *[Raj] ducks*
    Raj, are you going for the whole cushion-stack at once?

  • http://mikailborg.livejournal.com MikhailBorg

    Hawker Hurricane: “You play Munchkin? I own the original with 4 of the expansions, and Super-Munchkin with the one expansion.”
    Yup. My ex got about half our collection, but I still have Star Munchkin 1 & 2, Munchkin Fu 1 & 2, Munchkin Impossible, and Munchkin Cthulhu 1 & 2. Plus the Blender cards, and the iPhone Level Counter :)
    I need to pick up Munchkin Booty, so I can combine it with Star Munchkin and play Munchkin Captain Harlock :p

  • Launcifer, who is, like, behind the times, man.

    Re: The Beatles….
    Right, sorry for the delay – I was attacked by a flying gazebo. I was going to ramble on about Elvis and the Beatles, I think, so here goes:-
    I think that the reason I commented on Elvis being more of a seismic musical shift was possibly for non-musical reasons. The Beatles are one cornerstone of a zeitgeist that I can’t really tap into, for reasons that currently escape me. I can see, for example, how Elvis or Buddy Holly might be considered influential, given that their music was genuinely groundbreaking, involving as it did a certain fusion between black and white musical styles (though it’s quite funny to see how Sam Phillips’ assistant thought Elvis would be a good ballad singer).
    The Beatles I’m less sure about (though I like the idea that the name was a reference to Buddy Holly’s group). Part of that might be because I struggle to see a single defining moment that cements either their reputation or the media perception of the group. Elvis had his performance on the Ed Sullivan Show (well, he got quite a few, given his National Service and the self-parody he became towards the end of his life), The Stones had Altamount and all that goes with it – probably the one foremost in my mind is Hendrix playing Star-spangled Banner at Woodstock, partly because it took me a while to really get what was going on there. I can’t think of a single moment in the Beatles’ recording career that has a similar cultural resonance to me. Yeah, there are events that occur afterwards, but they tend to cement images of the individual members in my mind, rather than the group as a whole. There’s Beatlemania, I guess, but that’s less an event than a phenomenon, so I don’t know where that all fits in my thinking.
    There are other things, probably more directly related to musical output, but those can probably wait until people have dismantled this manic ramble through my vaguely incoherent mind ;). I really should have posted this yesterday, maybe inadvertantly started that non-existent flamewar.

  • Jason

    Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry I would agree were hugely influential musically. Both were fantastic musicians and song writers and I would say those 2 people practically invented a musical genre.
    Elvis on the other hand helped perpetuate and promote a musical genre. He helped make it mainstream. He was not songwriter and he was an adaquate but not amazing musicians. What he had was stage presence and looks and personality. Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry were innovators while Elvis marketed the innovation.
    Yes, he was responsible for a huge seismic shift in music, probably as much as the Beatles were. However it had more to do with his charisma than his musical ability. I tend to judge musical artists based on their musical ability rather than the impact they have on society. If I were to pick a “King of Rock and Roll” based purely on musical ability, I’d give it to Buddy Holly or Chuck Berry for being the true innovators of the genre.
    So Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly defined the genre. Elvis promoted it and made it mainstream. Then the Beatles came and elevated it so something more complex. Their willingness to experiment in song-writing themes, styles, and influences took rock to a new level and made great strides into it being taken seriously as an artform as it is today.
    Part of that might be because I struggle to see a single defining moment that cements either their reputation or the media perception of the group. Elvis had his performance on the Ed Sullivan Show (well, he got quite a few, given his National Service and the self-parody he became towards the end of his life)
    Well, I think in today’s media saturated world, there is an unfair tendancy to boil things down to “single moments” of importance, which is the way television works, but not the way reality works. Though I would argue that the Beatles have had many such “moments.” To start with, their performance on Ed Sullivan is every bit as iconic as Elvis’s. There was Lennon’s “bigger than Jesus” remark. Jimi Hendrix was performing a Sgt. Pepper cover at concerts, before the album had been technically released for sale. The Abbey Road cover album is one of the most immediately recognizable images that I can think of and may have been parodied almost as much as American Gothic which I think holds the official record for the world’s most parodied image.
    I don’t know if this makes sense, because I’m not sure I entirely get your point.

  • Jason

    ..that should say Abbey Road album cover not Abbey Road cover album..

  • Launcifer

    No, I do get where you’re coming from – and you are answering where I was trying to come from, if that makes sense. Your mention of Chuck Berry actually throws out an interesting – and definitely cultural difference in terms of Britain and America’s musical consumption. I remember seeing a documentary on the BBC a few months back, with an interview by B.B. King on it. He happened to mention that his first tour of Britain was a complete culture shock, because his American audience was almost exclusively black and his British audience (he discovered) was almost exclusively black.
    In terms of this ‘moment’ I was babbling on about, I think that there’s perhaps a more personal interpretation of events than I initially intended – which is wholly and completely my bad, as they say. It might have been better for me to say that there’s no one musical or performance-related moment in the Beatles’ oeuvre that makes me sit up and blink, though the screaming riff at the start of Revolution comes damn close, as does the opening few seconds of Tomorrow Never Knows (I find that the song gets very cluttered very quickly, though). Given that I think that the collective songwriting abilities (specifically those of Lennon/McCartney, but I have to give good old Ringo kudos for the jaunty delirium that is Octopus’ Garden), I could probably throw in Come Together as performed by Tina Turner, or the Grease Band’s version of With a Little Help from My Friends.
    In terms of iconic images and the like, I’d probably suggest the cover of Sergeant Pepper (I’ll give you the riff to that as a potential ‘blinker’, FWIW, though I do take issue with the notion that it’s a concept album) rates more highly with me, purely because the number of iconic images and individuals on that cover renders the Beatles iconic almost by association, if you catch my drift. I’m not certain – so feel free to ignore this unless I can find a proper citation – but I’m fairly sure that the Abbey Road cover was itself a reference to something else, or started out that way. I just can’t remember what it was, or where I first read it. It may well have been a book in the Vinyl Frontier series.

  • Launcifer

    And apologies for the slaughter of the innocent, non-italicised words in my last post *shakes his fist at typepad code*

  • Jason

    This is an attempt to fix the italics… Let’s see if it works.
    It seems to me that you understand why the Beatles are considered great. Its just that you don’t personally like them as much as a number of people do, which is perfectly fine. Music is a matter of taste. I’m kind of in the same boat about Elvis.

  • Jason

    Italics be gone!!!!!

  • Launcifer

    I’m in the same boat as where Elvis is concerned, for what it’s worth. I also feel the same way about Hendrix. I think it’s an either/or thing with me. I can accept that, somehow, the Beatles are and were part of a distinct cultural watershed where music is concerned. I get that they have a certain primacy given that they hit the public consciousness before the Who, the Yardbirds or the Stones. I just happen to feel that, musically speaking, the Beatles are less gifted musicans than their peers (Harrison excepted). In terms of songwriting, though, I think that at their best, Lennon and McCarntey have an ability to tap into a feeling or sensation that’s only really matched by Ray Davies during that period.
    Like said, I think it’s a personal thing. I don’t really get it, for whatever reson. I’m happy for the rest of the world to get it, so long as they’re willing to leave me behind with my copy of Led Zeppelin II and a few bags of crisps.

  • penny

    “The Abbey Road cover album is one of the most immediately recognizable images that I can think of and may have been parodied almost as much as American Gothic which I think holds the official record for the world’s most parodied image.”
    Surely The Last Supper is the world’s most parodied image?

  • http://slythwolf.livejournal.com slythwolf

    Also, as a single woman, I have learned to run far and fast from anyone calling himself a “nice guy”.

    THIS SO MUCH. Except I’m not single anymore, but anyway. It’s generally been my experience that if someone has to tell me zie’s nice–as opposed to my noticing it on my own–zie isn’t.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p00e393318b308834 David K. M. Klaus

    @Hobbes:
    > Unfortunately, all of our slang female equivalents of “guy” are either
    > regional (like “gal”) or insulting (like “broad” or “dame”).
    “Gal” is regional?
    As for “dame”, it would seem to me that Dame Judi Dench or Dame Helen Mirren might disagree with you.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p00e393318b308834 David K. M. Klaus

    Would whoever hasn’t learned to use the “stop italics” tag please learn it and use it?


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X