Thursday, January 13, 2011

Something Borrowed, Something Blue. Oh, And A Bloody Sheet.

Over at RightNetwork, Stuart Schneiderman warns us that by allowing gays to tamper with reality and perception, we risk tearing open the very fabric of the space-time continuum, which would be disastrous, because it would let all the stuffing fall out.  So we civil rights absolutists have been playing a very dangerous game by pretending that same-sex marriage exists when it really doesn't, and now we don't know if we're Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi dreaming we're a butterfly, or  if we are, in fact, a butterfly dreaming that we've gay-married Zhuangzi.

So who is Stuart Schneiderman?  According to his bio, he has "taught English literature and practiced psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Currently, he works as a consultant and life coach in New York City. Throughout, he has written articles and books about topics psychological and cultural. He is currently the proprietor of the blog: HAD ENOUGH THERAPY?"

Well, I've probably had less than I need, but I somehow doubt that Stuart's column is going to meet the court-ordered definition.
The Grand Pantomime: There Is No Such Thing as Same-Sex Marriage
Same-sex marriage is a fiction. Even if everyone believes that the fiction is real.
So it's sort of like the Bible.

I'm all in favor of marriage equality, but I do think it's kind of unfair that gays and lesbians who wed get to become fictional characters.  I believe that option should be open to all matrimonial couples, and I think you should be given the chance to select your fictional alter ego from the same window where you purchase your license.  Personally, I would have gone with either Fantômas, Spring-Heeled Jack, or Scrooge McDuck.
When a happy young couple says “I do,” their marriage is contingent on their performing a specific sexual act.
It's called "The Hammer Dulcimer" and requires a penis, a vagina, three feet of twine, a quarter cup of waffle batter and a picture of Eve Arden.
If they want to make their marriage real, they must consummate it.
While Stuart is filming them.  Pics or it didn't happen!
And that means that the meaning of marriage lies in the possibility of procreation. A marriage unconsummated is not a marriage. It is nullified, as though the ceremony had never happened.
The caterer's invoice begs to differ.
To become real, a marriage requires the possibility of conception.
This new ruling should make Rush Limbaugh's next divorce much smoother than the previous three.
It does not require conception. Failure to conceive has never been grounds for nullification.
Annulment, sure, but South Carolina didn't threaten nullification because it couldn't get the federal government pregnant.
Older, presumably infertile, couples are allowed to marry because if they had performed the same act in the past they might have conceived a child.
So your mom is free to remarry so long as the ceremony is performed in the Time Tunnel.  Then she and the groom can just nip back before the reception to 1969 and do it in the mud at Woodstock.
From its inception, the institution of marriage has always granted male/female couples the presumption of fertility.
It's just like our justice system, except with more sperm.
A couple that can never, between themselves, perform the generative sexual act cannot be married, regardless of what the state and the courts say.
The state has nothing to say about marriage, which is why we had to buy our license from  Lady Footlocker, and get married at Pinkberry.  And though my mother would have loved to have taken my father to court, she had to obtain her divorce from the cut-out bin at Licorice Pizza.
Moreover, marriage has always been a universal human institution.
If you don't count all the gay people.
If Jack and Jane are married in Paducah or in Xian they will be commonly recognized as such anywhere in the world.
Unless Jane was black, in which case their marriage was recognized anywhere in the world except Virginia.
You cannot say the same of Jack and Jim, regardless of whether they were married in Boston or Buenos Aires.
Unless they were married in Boston anytime in the last six years.
If Jack and Jim travel the world and present themselves as a married couple, most people will be sufficiently polite not to challenge them. But they will look askance at Jack and Jim.
Gays have had an easy ride in life up till now, but if they persist in shoving this equal rights thing down our throats, they'll have to put up with people glancing at them!
For their marriage to be real, a couple must perform a specific action.
To you, it's the sacred bonds of Holy Matrimony.  To Stuart, it's a live sex show.
Similarly, if you attend a funeral where all of the ceremonial requirements have been fulfilled… except that no one has died, you have not attended a funeral.
However, if you perform a certain sex act with the corpse, it's a marriage.
And you cannot have dinner if you sit at a table and go through the motions of eating, when there is no food or drink on the table.
If this happens to you, don't panic, because there's a good chance you're just Marcel Marceau.
Same-sex marriage is a fiction.
Well, at least it's not a blood libel.
Even if everyone believes that the fiction is real-- or be too afraid to say otherwise-- that does not make it less of a fiction. The world does not become flat just because everyone says it is.
And people don't become 3/5s of a person just because it counts them that way in the Constitution.
In many ways the strangest part of the current debate over same-sex marriage is how little of it involves rational argument.
But if you're looking for sexual repression and unreasoning hatred, dig in -- there's loads!
Proponents of same-sex marriage declare that if infertile couples are allowed to marry, then fertility cannot be a basis for marriage.
Grant that they do not understand the difference between possible and impossible. More importantly, it is nonsense to say that same-sex couplings are infertile.
If two people, between themselves, cannot perform any action that might lead to conception...
Like juggling, chiropracty, or turkey-brining...
...they are both might be perfectly fertile. Since they cannot perform an action that would actualize their reproductive potential and resolve the issue of their fertility, we cannot say that they are either fertile or infertile.
Grandma will be happy to know that wherever her uterus is right now, it's potentially fecund.
If Jack and Jill or Jack and Jim shake hands, and if no conception results, we would not say that this makes them sterile.
Just graduates of an Abstinence Only sex-ed curriculum.
Others have argued that without same-sex marriage then gay couples cannot fall in love or live their love. Does anyone really believe that, given the absence of institutionalized same-sex marriage, gays have never fallen in love? And since when did marriage become the way to find romantic love?
It is, and always has been, a medium for the orderly transfer of livestock.
Throughout most of human history romantic love and marriage have existed in separate domains. The Western tradition of romantic love begins with courtly love, which was, by definition, adulterous. Only a miniscule percentage of all human marriages have even pretended to be expressions of romantic love.
More often than not people have considered marriage to be the graveyard of romantic love.
You can see why the gays want to get in on it.
What happens if Jack and Jim are declared by the state to be married? At the least, everyone will be required to play along, for fear of hurting their feelings.
Courtesy is the new fascism.
Anyone who might be inclined to tell the truth will be forced to shut up.
And since nothing seems to be impeding your gum-flapping, I guess that means this column isn't exactly an affidavit.
It’s like the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” ... Only one boy was sufficiently naïve to blurt out what everyone knew: “He isn‘t wearing anything at all.” If same-sex marriage becomes the law, you do not want to be that little boy. You will instantly be denounced as a bigoted hate-monger.
Or you'll be a spectator at the West Hollywood Pride Parade.
After all, it’s just a harmless illusion, so why not just go along?
Not to be too dramatic, but what happens to us when we are forced to accept that reality is what we say it is? What happens to us when we believe that we can change reality by controlling what people say and how they think?
All of a sudden, this does not feel quite so harmless.
I know there's been a lot of debate and disagreement about the real meaning of the Chris Nolan's Inception -- often, it seems as though no two people watched the same story -- but I'm pretty sure that Stuart is the only who sat through it and saw a gay porn film.


D. Sidhe said...

Thank you for the laughs, Scott. A welcome antidote from a week spent staring at CSPAN and thinking about crazy people with guns.

It was all lovely, but:

Courtesy is the new fascism.

That's going on the sampler. (I'm pretty sure I caught Tim Pawlenty arguing that on the Daily Show. And, having seen him use the word "Effenheimer" in a sentence, I suddenly understand why a married guy is going out of his way to rebrand himself as straight. Which makes a nice segue.)

In fact, Stuart is wrong. Not about the therapy thing, believe me I've had too much, but I don't see how Stuart can help that unless he has a time machine. But couples can get married if one of them is paralyzed, and incapable of piv sex. Men who are impotent can absolutely get married. And, hey, couples can also get married if one of them is in jail, and will never have a chance to consummate the marriage. Really, the only people who require piv sex (aside from certain pagan rituals) are those fuckers at the immigration office. Nobody else cares.

I've known a few gay people who tried straight marriage for whatever reason and didn't consummate, either by design or because they couldn't force themselves into it. They were still married under the law, which actually doesn't have much to say about nullification of marriage.

I suspect Stuart's problem is in starting with the assumption that he's right. Which would be okay if he was right.

Does he know he doesn't actually legally have to attend weddings for gay couples? Really, he can probably just ignore gay couples. And does anyone have the impression he'd be any happier if they didn't actually get married but instead owned houses together and walked around hugging and kissing in public and showing off pictures of each other and their pets and kids, just like straight couples do? I bet he wouldn't.

D. Sidhe said...

Also, I find I'm a little disappointed Stuart didn't tie this into the crazy guy with his "grammar is mind control" thing. "If the left hadn't been so busy convincing crazy guy that words--like marriage--have no objective meaning, he never would have killed anyone. But they knew that, so they did it on purpose so that they could pretend to be victims, confiscate our guns, put conservatives into reeducation camps, and incite violence against Sarah Palin, which is the only way to keep her from becoming president and making sure gay people stop kissing each other in public!"

Hell, I'm not even a wingnut and I managed that A-->B-->873Potatoes in less than an hour. Surely he could have worked it up in time for his deadline? Alan Keyes will never hire a loser like that.

James Briggs Stratton "Doghouse" Riley said...

Mr. Schneiderman? Okay, since you're a week late registering, the only two classes available are "Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy I" and "Elementary Logic". I'm sorry, which? Okay, we've got you down.

77south said...

What the hell. Is Logical Fallacy House having two for one specials on tautologies this week? Does this guy realize there is no primogeniture in the US, nor aristocracy either? Does he realize that with out dynasties, there is no need for dynastic marriage? Does he realize that laws are made by human beings and not handed down from on high?

"Not to be too dramatic, but what happens to us when we are forced to accept that reality is what we say it is? What happens to us when we believe that we can change reality by controlling what people say and how they think?"

We don't control reality by what we say and think. We control our perceptions of reality. And when we realize that, we realize that we are not bound by the prejudices of the past, and have no need to perpetuate injustice for the sake of tradition. That's what happens.

Ugluks Flea said...

It's called "The Hammer Dulcimer" and requires a penis, a vagina, three feet of twine, a quarter cup of waffle batter and a picture of Eve Arden.

Only a quarter cup? Jeez, maybe you really ARE Scrooge McDuck - try to live a little, man! That's the point you want to be LEAST stingy with the waffle batter.

s.z. said...

What is it with all the crazy psychotherapists lately? Is this part of the liberal plan to stop putting the insane in instituations to they can shoot public figures - did the Left also let out the crazy therapists to they can write stupid columns and annoy everyone else?

Scott said...

I think you're right, it's got to be part of the liberal deinstitutionalization conspiracy.

Worried Family Member: Um, Bobby has a large gun collection, and thinks the Department of Agriculture is controlling his mind with punctuation. Do you think maybe he should be admitted for psychiatric evaluation?

Wingnut Psychotherapist: What? No! He's as sane as me!

Brian Schlosser said...

Hey, who says that gay couples CAN'T conceive a child? Miracles have happened before, right? A gay or lesbian couple having a baby would qualify as a miracle, right? It hasn't happened yet, but maybe THIS time it will! Why does the good doctor want to subvert God's possible plan for miracles, huh?

So! My gay friends, brothers and sisters, you must keep trying to have children! Try often, and in many different positions! It's your duty to God, country and the future of Marriage! Even if you never conceive a child, you are doing your part!

FlipYrWhig said...

Um, see, the idea that marriage is about _companionship_ rather than reproduction is itself CENTURIES OLD -- and most of those centuries-old commenters themselves suggested that such a notion was, in fact, Biblically based. (John Milton comes to mind.)

Someone should get around to telling "Dr." Schneiderman.

Butch Pansy said...

Yes, orderly transfer of livestock IS what marriage is all about and always has been: it's about shared, transferable property rights, dynastic continuity, agreements of mutual responsibility, and further orderly civil behavior. Children and dogs are property, of course, and wives were until very recently.

Love? As the song asks: what's love got to do with it?

Marriage is a cultural institution and can change as the culture sees fit. Modern culture, even in America, sees fit to count marriage as a civil right and gay people of equal importance and validity as the hetero-dominant members of society. There are pockets of very vocal resistance and willfully blind bigots who loudly proclaim otherwise. I wish they would STFU but know it will be a balmy day in Beelzabub's backyard before that happens.

preznit said...

their marriage is contingent on their performing a specific sexual act.

Even if everyone believes that the fiction is real-- or be too afraid to say otherwise-- that does not make it less of a fiction. The world does not become flat just because everyone says it is.

would be fun to ask him to reconcile those statements with the "virgin birth" just to watch his head go all 'splodey

It's just like our justice system, except with more sperm

unless you wind up in front of that judge with the pen!s pump or clarence thomas

StringonaStick said...

I dunno, seems like the guy is saying all sex requires a license, and he damned sure wants to know exactly how yer doin' it so he can be in charge of denying licenses, which means no more gay sex, followed by de-gay-ification since ya can't have gay sex anymore, and then ponies and rainbows for everyone! Or some other fucking nonsense.