Wednesday, November 23, 2005

My Liberal Agenda

Honestly, I suspected that any discussion of liberal men would circle back around to Walt Whitman, but instead, we've arrived at Mark Twain.
Sometimes we'd have that whole river all to ourselves for the longest time. Yonder was the banks and the islands, across the water; and maybe a spark -- which was a candle in a cabin window; and sometimes on the water you could see a spark or two -- on a raft or a scow, you know; and maybe you could hear a fiddle or a song coming over from one of them crafts. It's lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened. Jim he allowed they was made, but I allowed they happened; I judged it would have took too long to make so many. Jim said the moon could a laid them; well, that looked kind of reasonable, so I didn't say nothing against it, because I've seen a frog lay most as many, so of course it could be done. We used to watch the stars that fell, too, and see them streak down. Jim allowed they'd got spoiled and was hove out of the nest.
America, I know you. You skimmed through that and skipped until right here to see what I was going to say about it. So, just keep this one sentence with you--the most beautiful sentence in the American novel, if you must keep anything: "We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened." I don't know if you can get the weight of that sentence from the paragraph. But here are these two beings who aren't men--one because he's just a boy and the other because he's fugitive property--talking philosophy and theology. Do you get that? Do you see how stupid it is for people to object to Huckleberry Finn, as if it's racist because of the word nigger, when Twain is continually insisting that we recognize that Jim, a piece of property, has a life of the mind, when Twain is insisting over and over again that Jim, who isn't considered a man at all, is the only true man that Huck knows, the only man who truly gives a damn about this poor kid? Do we miss the gift for the fucking wrapping paper every damn time, America, or what? Anyway, Huck the blogger wrote me an email about the whole liberal man discussion (which is what got me thinking of Twain). I'm going to share it with you:
Oh, it pains me so to see you pitching fuel into the conservative bon-fires. I know you're offering food for thought, but to add my 2 cents, we liberal males aren't all tweed-wearin', pipe-smokin', organic gardenin', candyasses. Some of us are crazed, gun-totin', cat-kickin', carnivorous anarchists. 3 words: Hunter S. Thompson Some of us are against gun control. Some of us view PETA's and abortion clinic picketer's tactics as cut from the same annoying cloth. Some of us hunt and kill animals for sport. Some of us enjoy red meat, black gas station coffee, cornbread, gravy, Milwaukee's Best, death metal, and pussy. For me, to be liberal is to allow people to be free from fundamentalist and government oppressions. To despise the powerful elite and empathize with the common people. To avoid the slippery slopes that open easy-access routes for fascist controls. It's not whining about sports team names or cigarette ads. That kinda crap gives liberals a bad name. It's about fighting against the government's filthy habit of consuming our personal freedoms. In other words, you can't discount the freaks like me, the liberal libertarians. Sure, we may be nice guys, even "creepy" nice guys, but one thing is for sure. We sure as blackest hell ain't a bunch of sensitive kumbaya-singin' wussies.
Again, in case you missed the most important part, here it is: "For me, to be liberal is to allow people to be free from fundamentalist and government oppressions. To despise the powerful elite and empathize with the common people." (Though, to be fair, I also loved--"Some of us enjoy red meat, black gas station coffee, cornbread, gravy, Milwaukee's Best, death metal, and pussy.") Okay, I do have a point, which we are going to get to in a second, but let's talk about the libertarians I know--The Contrarian, sitting over there on the coast bitching about how the conservatives in South Carolina are too in love with Jesus to be of any use to him; Sarcastro... well, I get your emails, I know you've already formulated your opinions; and the Boy Scout, whose dog has a Bill Clinton chew toy. Why do I put up with such nonsense? Because each of them is ferociously engaged with life in a way that about knocks me over. There's a large contingent of conservativeness that is about establishing and preserving order. Not for these yahoos. They seem to thrive on confronting the chaos*, on challenging themselves and the people around them. I mean, is there anything off-limit to Sarcastro? If so, I haven't seen it. I've been trampled under foot a few times, but, my god, how can I not respect a man who never met a boundary he didn't want to cross? Which brings us back to Huck and to a strain of liberal men I adore, the fierce ones (see Huck, Chris Wage, Steve Pick, etc.) who not only have never met a boundary they didn't want to cross**, they really get that those boundaries are kind of arbitrary bullshit anyway. And, my god, when you read Huck talking about despising the powerful elite and empathizing with the common people, how can you not be reminded of that other Huck? How can you not be in love with this crazy idea that all the best, most interesting shit is happening among and with the regular, everyday folks? If there is some liberal agenda, Huck's totally got the first part and Donnell Alexander's got him covered with the second crucial point. So, here it is, my liberal agenda spelled out in the words of the crazy liberal men I love:
"For me, to be liberal is to allow people to be free from fundamentalist and government oppressions. To despise the powerful elite and empathize with the common people. To avoid the slippery slopes that open easy-access routes for fascist controls." (Huck) "It's about completing the task of living with enough spontaneity to splurge some of it on bystanders, to share with others working through their own travails a little of your bonus life." (Alexander)
Amen, my friends, amen. *With, of course, guns blazing. **Which brings us, of course, to why the libertarians are convinced they can convert me. In this regard, our world-views compliment each other enormously.

60 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankly B, both Huck and Anderson sound more like the current descriptions of liberatarians than liberals.

I've never once gotten the impression that liberals were 'about fighting against the government's filthy habit of consuming our personal freedoms'. Liberals seem more about restricting personal freedoms for the 'good of the whole'.

Both of our two major parties are all about that. It's just that the liberals want to take freedoms so other people are better off, and the conservatives want to take your freedoms so that your soul is saved (or in the case of the elite, for the good of their wallets).

W

11/23/2005 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Exador said...

Amen, W.

B, Sweety, you're a liberal that was born 40 years too late.

You're a Libertarian, like me. I never could figure out why you called me conservative. I'm not even christian, and I think that's a prerequisite.

11/23/2005 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

W is definitely on to something.

11/23/2005 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Wow, I turn my back for five seconds, and the Robert Bly poetry circle breaks out.

I'm not sure how I feel about seeing my name associated with the word "libertarian" considering that I'm not particularly bothered or offended by a large, corrupt government, nor do I own a small arsenal, and I don't mind the government taking my money for stuff, as long as it leaves me alone in general, but maybe if there's some socialist wing of the libertarian party...

11/23/2005 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

I know that I'm not a man, but I am a Libertarian. W summed it up nicely.

11/23/2005 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Poetry circle? What rhymes with "cunning runt"?

Not bothered by large, inefficient or corrupt government? Your post on how Wondermutt could do a better job running the Iraq war begs to differ.

Most libertarians don't mind paying a small amount of taxes for services rendered, but abhor the wasteful graft that cloaks itself as pork and politics as usual. We just want to be left to our own devices without having public money going to enforcing seatbelt laws, for example.

11/23/2005 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

I remain skeptical, but will at least concede that you've apparently gotten some of your libertarian cooties on me.

11/23/2005 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous brittney said...

"Be like us, B! Be like us!"

11/23/2005 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger HUCK said...

I think W is confusing liberal ideals with socialist ideals. This may be a good time to reflect on what it means to be liberal.

Are you socially liberal? Do you hold fast to social traditions, reject change, feel that the smartest social systems are the time-tested systems, or do you think that these systems should be challenged from time to time, questioned, perhaps changed? As for me, I'm for change. I'm liberal.

Are you economically liberal? This has always confused me. Why a free-market economy be considered fiscally conservative. Seems oxymoronic, but I digress. Are you for a free-market economy, do you believe business should be free from government intervention? I do actually. Does this make me fiscally conservative? Perhaps, but wait there's more to it. Do you believe that all taxes should be abolished, that the government shouldn't have any hand in distributing any portion of our wealth? Hmmm... I do, in theory, but realize that a purely dog-eat-dog capitalist economic system would eventually find it nonprofitable to help it's poor, meek, and downtrodden. Oh sure it would be marketable for awhile, but in the long haul the private businesses would drop the practice altogether. So, in my most unsavory liberal opinion, some taxes may always be necessary to help the people in need. Necessary?!? Yes, necessary. Because I realize, that at some point in my life, whether I've made all of the smart financial decisions or not, just as you, I too will be a person in need.

So, overall, when it's all weighed out, and each character flaw is tallied. It's undeniable, really. I'm still a *ptooee* liberal.

11/23/2005 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Now, Brittney, think of the male to female ratio. If they don't convert some women (or at least make peace with fucking liberal women), they'll go the way of the Shakers.

11/23/2005 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Keep recycling jokes from yesterday, and you will go the way of the Shakers.

11/23/2005 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger bridgett said...

Does it really matter what I label myself? Or what B labels herself? Why is it of such urgent importance that we all "learn to call ourselves a-right" -- meaning that we call ourselves what you'd prefer rather than happily proceeding as nations of one? Why does it matter to any libertarian what the hell I believe, as long as I'm not foisting my tedious and wrong-headed ologies on his or her checkbook?


I hate to burn your straw men, but it is the self-labeled champions of free thought and personal responsibility around here that are bloviating away like TV preachers about the straight and narrow path we all should tread. (This would be an example of trying to crowd everyone in the Kumbayah corner, would it not? Hell, you're even amen-ing one another!)

I don't like evangelists and I can't abide bullies. If language is the dress of thought, I can't say I care for your wardrobe.

11/23/2005 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous brittney said...

I hate to burn your straw men, but it is the self-labeled champions of free thought and personal responsibility around here that are bloviating away like TV preachers about the straight and narrow path we all should tread.

WORD.

11/23/2005 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Leave it to the sob-sisters to see an argument where there isn't one.

What straw men? What bloviating? What straight and narrow path?

Some people are kicking around some ideas about where we all sit on the political spectrum for the fun of it, and the "Give us bread and circuses" crowd wants to chime in.

11/23/2005 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

I guess my whole philosophy of many liberals being angry all the time has just been shot to hell by the comments on this thread.

Does it really matter what I label myself? Or what B labels herself? Why is it of such urgent importance that we all "learn to call ourselves a-right"

Seeing as how that's kinda sorta what the original post was about, I guess we're all just playing along,maybe.

11/23/2005 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Exador said...

D'ooohhh, Huck, you had me right up until the end.

Unfortunately, these days you are stereotyped in with the fringe elements of the left, much the way B stereotypes anyone right of Mao in the the Pat Robertson wing of the right.

I'll post the same question to you that B failed, (although she WAS distracted by a certain Catholic Schoolgirl at the time)

If a man robs you at gunpoint in an alley, does it make just/right if he was robbing you to feed his family? What if he was robbing you to buy himself a new car? Subsidize his rent?

My point is that robbery is wrong, however the thief uses the money. You giving him the money doesn't make you generous. You did not provide charity; you were robbed.

When the government takes from you at the point of a gun, which is ultimately what taxes are, and they are not using the money to run the government, it doesn't matter that they used the money to give to someone "less fortunate".
It's stealing, and they have no right to do it, other than the right gained by force.
From the time man made fire until approximately 40 years ago, the safety net was handled by charity, which is noble because it is not forced. The other benefit of charity is that it reinforced local communities and is rarely given without some requirement of the recipient to change the behavior that put them on the dole. Government subsidy rarely comes with any such strings, in fact, generally giving more for worse behavior, thereby subsidizing it. Worse yet, when government takes over the role of "safety net" charity drops, as people, justifiably, think "I pay taxes for that sort of thing", but government does it, like anything else, exponentially less efficiently.

That's enough run-on sentences, I think.

11/23/2005 12:06:00 PM  
Anonymous brittney said...

Speaking of labels...

Which are you, Katherine? Baptist or Quaker? I saw you nearly converted to Catholicism as well at Sharon Cobb's place, so I guess your multiple religions are confusing to me.

11/23/2005 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Exador said...

I just re-read some of this,

B, Fucking liberal women has never been the conflict. It's the conversations afterwards that's always the hassle.

11/23/2005 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

I've never in my life been a Quaker.

I grew up Mennonite, but there are no active Mennonite churches around here, so I joined a Baptist church so that I could experience corporate worship.

Philosophically I'm still more Mennonite than Baptist, but they have the same historical roots so there isn't much of an idealistic conflict. I'd still rather my church gave more to missionaries than it spends on internal payroll, but that's nothing that I can do anything about at the moment.

The whole thing about converting to Catholicsm was also when I was flirting with Liberalism. Around 19 I had a bit of a period of questioning. Not uncommon, I guess.

I hope that clears things up a bit.

11/23/2005 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

S., it was so funny I couldn't leave it with just you alone. You don't see me knocking the Boy Scout for reusing Pat Robertson, do you? No, it was funny the first time and it remains funny for a larger audience.

Oh, Wayward Boy Scout, I'm sorry if you were burdened by my conversation. I promise, next time, more mind-altering chemicals, less words.

But here's the question I wanted to ask you--but for that delightfully cute stripper--what is the basis for your morality? You're not Christian, so presumably you aren't operating from some understanding of how the Christian god wants us to get along. And you don't have much use for government, so you presumably aren't operating from some sense of social arrangement.

And yet, clearly, you want to talk about these things in moral terms.

I want to, too, make a moral argument against you, but I want to understand where you're coming from before I do.

11/23/2005 01:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Oh, I get it. You try out the Shaker line on me first, then depending if it was a hit or not, you trot it out for the rest of the class.

11/23/2005 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Exador said...

I was just raised right.

That, and the golden rule.
http://monosyllabic-pedantry.blogspot.com/2005/11/golden-rule.html

You didn't burden me with your conversation. I didn't hear a word you said all night; I was looking at your rack.

No offense.

11/23/2005 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

S., for better or for worse, I do respect your opinion. If it works on you, I assume it's good.

Boy Scout, very classy. Is that what you mean by raised right? Talking about a girl's tits right out in public?

Anyway, it's very cute that your idea of what's right is based on the golden rule, but why? What oomph does it have behind it if not an oomph provided by religion? If it's just a good idea, you can't really be pissed at people for not realizing its value. I mean, it's like you want people to bend to your will, but you want them to bend to your will because they just inherently know that you're right. How's that going to happen?

Anyway, to answer your question--If a man robs you at gunpoint in an alley, does it make just/right if he was robbing you to feed his family? What if he was robbing you to buy himself a new car? Subsidize his rent?--it depends.

As I said, while you were busy watching my heaving bosom, I think the individual is just a social construct. Really, I think, we're people in community. We have obligations to the community and, in return for meeting those obligations, we get to be a part of the community.

If a man has an obligation to his family (usually his primary and most important communal relationship) to put food on the table and he has no other way but to steal it, then we've failed the community by not providing everyone in the community a way to fulfill their obligations. So, no, it's not right for him to steal, but that's kind of secondary to the crisis of community that his stealing reveals.

If he's stealing for personal gain and not to fulfill his obligations, then he's out of right relationship with the community and needs to make restitution. If he can't or won't, he doesn't get to be in the community any more.

But, as you may have noticed, the complexity of communities in which we live has grown (and though I don't think a democracy as large as ours is sustainable, I remain committed to it) and I now have obligations to state and federal communities. I, as one person, lack the time and resources to fulfill my obligations to those communities, so I don't feel bad about the community taking resources I acquired and redistributing them based on the needs of the community; that's what the community does.

I don't see how that's stealing. If I want to be in right relationship with the community, I have to be a part of the community. And if being part of the community means throwing money at a corrupt and bloated government, well, that's how it goes.

11/23/2005 01:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Well, you won't respect my opinion after this.

I think the individual is just a social construct. Really, I think, we're people in community. We have obligations to the community and, in return for meeting those obligations, we get to be a part of the community. What kind of horseshit is that? You as an individual are a social construct, but the Sylvan Heights Neighborhood Association is to whom you owe your natural allegiance. Sweet Zombie Jesus, woman!
As for religion providing the "oomph" behind moral behavior. Don't even bring that weak shit. Let's put aside the relative morality of all the fine things like cliterectomies, holy wars and televangelists and just concentrate on the common sense approach. For example, why is their a prohibition on eating pork amongst the Hebrews? They would tell you 4000 years after the fact that it is God's law. Or maybe the smart "priest" class figured out that bacon doesn't keep in the desert and if you don't want God's chosen people to get wiped out by trichnosis, you better ixnay the igpay. Same thing with keeping your paws off the neighbors wife. It is bad for a people trying to protect themselves from marauding tribes if they are at odds internally about who knocked up Abe's wife. What the Army today calls "unit cohesion".

So the modern person finds morality out of common sense, good judgement and an appreciation of treating others with mutual respect. The superstitous primitive finds that his way is determined by an invisible, all-seeing,all-knowing daddy figure who will punish him if he is bad.

The password is gnplord

11/23/2005 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

So the modern person finds morality out of common sense, good judgement and an appreciation of treating others with mutual respect. The superstitous primitive finds that his way is determined by an invisible, all-seeing,all-knowing daddy figure who will punish him if he is bad.

Nice, but you're forgetting the large segment of the modern people who see the beauty and logic behind what our all-knowing daddy said many years ago.

You know. Those things like "Love thy neighbor as thy self"; "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"; "Whatsoever you do for the least of these you do for Me."

Embracing Christianity doesn't presuppose stupidity.

11/23/2005 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

I suspect you deliberately misunderstand me. Perhaps you were distracted by the thought of your friend ogling my breasts. Fair enough; I was, too.

So, let's start in reverse. Clearly, you've been reading me long enough to know that I wasn't suggesting that the "weak shit" of religion is the right oomph to put behind moral behavior. I was merely suggesting it was the most common one and one that means a lot to a lot of people, while at the same time trying to ascertain what gives the Boy Scout's morality its oomph.

Yours--common sense, good judgment, and an appreciation of treating others with mutual respect--seems based, in part, on professional wrestling. (I kid. It's just that one rarely hears "mutual respect" outside of professional wrestling.)

Mine is not based on the bylaws of the Sylvan Heights Neighborhood Association, but on the belief that I have a series of obligations. My natural allegience is to the people I'm closest to, not community in some neighborhood way, but community in this way, what we have, right here, like this.

11/23/2005 02:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Embracing Christianity doesn't presuppose stupidity.
It doesn't exactly ward it off, either. Just ask the snake-handlers.

11/23/2005 02:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Of course I'm deliberately starting some crap, B.

Just trying to draw out Brittney and the rest of the Ellen James Society.

When I see the Boyscout this weekend, I'll tell him your breasts said hello.

11/23/2005 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger HUCK said...

Oh come on, Exador. Are you telling me that you're above taking advantage of public resources built from tax dollars? Did you ever attend a public school, drink from a public waterfountain, take a walk in a state park, drive on a public road, or did you instead turn your nose up in disgust, and boycott such wanton thievry?

Now wait. I agree, the pie-in-the-sky ideal would be to have private charities fit the bills for all of these things. I'm all for it. I don't like the idea of anyone or anything telling me what to do. But who's going to step up and start all of the charities that will do this?

See, this needs to be done before you can vote government out of the equation. Otherwise you get people thrown out into the streets to fend for themselves. Then the real fun begins...

I know. I know. That's being naive. It wouldn't be an overnight process... but tell that to the Tenncare folks...

OK, so where's the solution? If you complain about paying taxes to pay for public schools, should you stop paying? OK. Then don't complain when your radio's ripped from your dash as you sit in front of the TV watching Fox report on the spike in junenile crime.

Where are the charities going to come from to pick up the tab for these students? Are you going to be willing to drop some change in their buckets to keep the kids edjucated and off the streets?

Look, I'm all for a libertarian utopia, filled with all of the freedoms that go with it, but in the meantime, while we're trying to figure out a better way to end all of the world's ills, I'll pay my taxes and vote for the people I hope can best manage them.

...And if that doesn't work, I say we loot all of the rich fuckers.

11/23/2005 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

When I see the Boyscout this weekend, I'll tell him your breasts said hello.

Just be sure to use your sultriest voice. I've always imagined my boobs, if they could speak, would have very sultry voices. Even when they said, "Please don't rest hot things here, sweetie," they'd do it in a very sexy manner.

And, really, if you and the Boy Scout are going to be sitting around talking about my tits, I have to hope that something about it is strange and awkward--like you doing a sultry girly voice at him.

11/23/2005 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

Just because there's a large common set doesn't mean you can track the greater inferrence.

11/23/2005 02:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think W is confusing liberal ideals with socialist ideals.
Huck, seriously, that's not really a good way to begin a post. If you tick me off with the first sentence it makes it more difficult to pay attention to the good stuff below it.

I'm not confusing liberal ideals with socialist ideals. At worst I'm confusing liberal ideals with ideals of the Democratic party. (and these days, those terms are used interchangably an awful lot). I may be wrong in those statements, but they are perception not fact. You liberals may have a PR problem.

You're liberal like the dictionary defines it. Not so much like how the current political environment defines it.

I don't like evangelists and I can't abide bullies.
You're on the edge of being a bully yourself. Coming in and shouting at everyone for discussing political ideals. Where's the bullying in dialogue? I wouldn't do things the way I do if I didn't think it was the best way. So what's wrong with telling everyone my experience? Personally I think you may be misreading the mood. This is still pretty close to genial discussion.

W

11/23/2005 02:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Sarcastro on this one B. Individual is a social construct? The individual is the only thing that isn't a social construct. Community, government, anything with the word 'social' attached is a construct. The community is a construct which allows individuals to get along together and to pool resources to accomplish things that an individual can't. It's just a larger version of the family unit.

W

11/23/2005 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Exador said...

Oh, poor confused B,

First of all, you talk about your tits more than anybody.

How can a communist think all morality is based on religion? Or is that just what you think conservatives (i.e. everone without a red book) think?

I'm more of a Thoreau fan, although his writing can get a bit tedious.

The individual is not a social construct, it is the smallest minority, and as such, should be protected from the will of the majority.

Where does morality come from?
God? Until I hear him, I don't trust the translators. Society? Look to SS's genital mutilation example.
Parents? Ever heard that band, Prussian Blue?

No, I'd say I observe the world and make my own decisions about what is right and wrong.

It is not the role of society to ensure that its members uphold their obligations, except to the extent of protecting their inalienable rights. Beyond that, it is the responsiblity of the individual. If he fucks it up, it's not society's fault. The other members of society that DID uphold their end of the deal should not be punished for Mr Fuckup.

Taxes are required to pay for the operation of government and to provide community services, such as roads, etc. These are services that the community, as a whole, use.

11/23/2005 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

Sar,
I'm assuming you're being ironic.

I'm not seeing Brittney et. al. exactly choosing to remain silent.

11/23/2005 02:49:00 PM  
Anonymous brittney said...

Ha!

I've said one word in this thread. While the rest of you blah, blah, blah...

Sarcastro, you're going to have to try much harder than that to my attention.

11/23/2005 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Exador said...

Huck,

Public education is the extortion I am forced to deal with for the reasons you mentioned (hords of illiterates and me low on ammo)

The other things you mentioned are used by the public at large and as such are ok with me.

I didn't say I'm Ayn Rand. Libertarians are also against the Iraq war, which i'm in favor of. (as much as anyone could be "in favor of" a war)


I'm getting off work early
Woo Hoo!

11/23/2005 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

Ha!

I've said one word in this thread. While the rest of you blah, blah, blah...


I guess I'm talking in general. You, B, and Bridgett don't strike me as charter members of the Ellen James Society

11/23/2005 03:13:00 PM  
Anonymous brittney said...

I had to google "Ellen James Society."

I'm so uncool.

11/23/2005 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger the Professor said...

Would that sultry voice be more porn star or more Scarlett O'Hara?

I think I might feel safe to put some words in Aunt B's mouth: Because individuated human beings are not self-sufficient (definitly not at birth and generally not even as adults) but exist in communities, then ascribing rights and responsibilities firtly and mainly to individuals is a social decision. And, I think that understanding this claim will also help us to understand why B thinks it's funny that some of you are trying to say that he can step back, look at the world, and make moral claims without significant (and often unknown) social and historical influence. The Golden Rule sure. But are you motivated by self-interest ala Hobbess, thus proving the point about the imaginary individual and it not actually being a moral claim but a political one, or by pleasing God and seeking redemption, which is a moral claim?

11/23/2005 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

First of all, you talk about your tits more than anybody.

Yes, but I never claimed to be raised right.

How can a communist think all morality is based on religion?

Oh, this morning you're convinced I'm just a libertarian who doesn't know it and now I've been reduced to commie with fun tits. I see how it goes. Anyway, I don't think all morality is based on religion; I just think religion is the most popular basis for morality.

No, I'd say I observe the world and make my own decisions about what is right and wrong.

Yes, exactly. Me, too.

The individual is the only thing that isn't a social construct.

Okay, so we're back to the HPV vaccine and Plan B. If I am an autonomous individual, why can't I have these medications?

Not to get all essentialist on you, but I suspect its much easier for those of you who never have to consider what it means that your body can play host to both you and someone who is not you to talk about The Individual.

It'd be interesting to bring up Irigaray and Cixous now, but I suspect we're already treading too close to words that put some of you to sleep.

11/23/2005 03:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, so we're back to the HPV vaccine and Plan B. If I am an autonomous individual, why can't I have these medications?
I think I'm missing your point there. For now I'll just have to say you can't have them because the social construct that we call 'government' won't let people sell it to you.

W

11/23/2005 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

I had to google "Ellen James Society."

I'm so uncool.


Not really. You just probably didn't wade through The World According To Garp for a postmodern fiction class.

11/23/2005 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Oh, I thought we were talking about a band. Oops.

W., I just mean that I don't think that I ever experience myself as an individual the same way you do and, in fact, I would argue that society doesn't either, hence the reason that part of what goes into deciding what medicines are available to me has to do with their percieved effects on making it easier for me to be immoral, as if everyone should have a say in my behavior.

11/23/2005 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

Hmmm. I'm getting very confused about what politcal party I am now. Thanks a LOT, guys! ;)

11/23/2005 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger HUCK said...

Don't be confused, OZ. There's still really only 2 political parties that have any hope of winning the next election.

You can either vote for the party that dropped us into a cataclysmic clusterfuck in the middle east, or the other one.

This wacko liberal, by definition but libertarian according to current political convention, will be voting for the latter.

Come join me. Won't you?

11/23/2005 04:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huck now you really have confused me. I can't decide whether to feel annoyed because you're making fun of me, or vindicated because you agree with me. The world is spinning...

W

11/23/2005 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

Oh, believe me, Huck, I'm gonna be voting liberal, unless something better comes along, that's fo' shizzie.

11/23/2005 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

You can either vote for the party that dropped us into a cataclysmic clusterfuck in the middle east, or the other one.

Translation:

You can either vote for the party that dropped us into a cataclysmic clusterfuck in the middle east, or the other party that dropped us into a cataclysmic clusterfuck in the middle east.

11/23/2005 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Church Secretary said...

Well, Aunt B., this is another fine and fascinating discussion I've had the privilege of trolling into.

Being a new parent and late-blooming college student and all, I've had a bit less energy of late for the metaphysical and the philosophical. However, I do have two things on my mind based on what I've just read here.

1) exador wrote:
No, I'd say I observe the world and make my own decisions about what is right and wrong.


I know I'm being a smart-ass by asking this, dear exador, but just where did you obtain the behavioral heuristics that allow you to make said decisions? Personally, I received mine from a variety of sources, including dear old Mom, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and Star Trek (love that Prime Directive!).

In other words, is it true that you are a spontaneously emerged exception to the aphorism "No man (or woman) is an island"?

2) Aunt B., as wholesome and progressive a family man/male feminist as I try to be, I'm thoroughly enjoying all the conversation about your breasts. It could be the psychic strain of being halfway through a six-week postpartum copulative moratorium, but I think nothing spices up a melee of semantic rugby like a few good references to delectable mammary pulchritude.

I wonder if old Samuel Clemens was a breast man like myself.

Ah, the classics...

11/23/2005 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger Exador said...

B,

There are worse things than being a commie with fun tits.



Church sec,

Your "variety of sources" translates to "acquiring wisdom through life", which is exactly how one makes the decisions that one makes.

11/23/2005 05:18:00 PM  
Anonymous brittney said...

52!

11/23/2005 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Church Secretary said...

Your "variety of sources" translates to "acquiring wisdom through life", which is exactly how one makes the decisions that one makes.

My infant daughter's suckling (see how it all goes back to breasts?) is an instinctive action; the acquisition of wisdom is not. One is taught how to acquire wisdom-- indeed, one is taught what is wisdom-- within a familial and cultural framework.

In other words, the individual's personal development involves interaction with and dependency upon social (and often political) structures. (Is this what Aunt B. is referring to when she says the individual is a social construct?)

There's no getting around it: we are in a community, no matter how individualistic we imagine ourselves to be. We are going to affect and be affected by those around us and by many who we'll never know or see.

So, do we honor our fellow human beings and respect their uniqueness as we would our own? How do we consider that question when deciding how we'll define our community? Or do we all just pretend that it's every glorified amoeba for him/herself, and deny the importance of community?

Ah, screw it. I need to get laid.

11/23/2005 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger HUCK said...

You can either vote for the party that dropped us into a cataclysmic clusterfuck in the middle east, or the other party that dropped us into a cataclysmic clusterfuck in the middle east.


HA!

Sounds like OZ and W aren't the only ones suffering from confusion.

11/23/2005 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

55 comments, now that I'm adding mine! Poor B's inbox!

(Says Ivy, as she adds this comment)

I believe I'm going to forget what political party I want to be, and if someone asks me what political party I am, I'll tell them I'm a librarian, just to confuse people.

11/23/2005 07:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Great Tasty Spaghetti Monster!
I go to have a beer (or two) and 55+ comments break out.

Brittney, I'm trying. Hell, why did you think I dropped the Ellen James reference? Chances were good you would have to take time to look it up and figure out if I was talking about the band or not.

Yes, I'm also deliberately trying to piss off Miss Kitty with some anti-Jesus stuff. I really want her to demand that I "Take down this post and apologize."

B, unless you hopped up on a table at the Clermont Lounge and crushed beer cans with your tits, I'm afraid any conversation regarding said mammaries will have to be brief.

As for the rest of you, look up libertarian in Wikipedia. It talks about how it is more closely aligned with "classical liberalism" of days gone by, than the current brand of Fox News epithet/Nanny State provider it is known for today. Also don't confuse small 'l' libertarians with big "L" Libertarians. You can be a libertarian and still vote Democrat, Huck. So relax.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving and may the God of your choice bless you.

11/24/2005 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

B, unless you hopped up on a table at the Clermont Lounge and crushed beer cans with your tits

Damn it, Boy Scout, you said you wouldn't tell anyone!

11/24/2005 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Church Secretary,

I'm sorry to hear about your lack of nookie. And your poor wife! I haven't had kids, but orgasms are so good for what ails you--cramps, stress at work, minor colds, boring parties, etc.--that I'd think that, after childbirth, you'd be a little sad you couldn't get with your partner and let the healing begin. True, various cooter issues prevent it, but you both have my sympathy.

11/24/2005 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Steve Pick said...

58 comments? 58 comments about libertarianism, socialism, Plan B, and Aunt B's tits? Holy moley!

First of all, thanks for the shout out, Aunt B. I've never been called fierce before, but I kinda like it.

And secondly, never mind all the confusing, messy discussion in the comments section. The post itself was damn beautiful and inspiring stuff.

11/24/2005 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

postpartum copulative moratorium
Excellent use of the English language sir. I applaud you. But you have no pity from me. Six weeks is nothing.

Darn you Huck, would you quit talking mysteriously and unconfuse me.

W

11/24/2005 08:32:00 PM  

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