Culture Warriors category archive
Historiann has a blast from the past, complete with an echo from the now.
Wilkie Collins, in The Moonstone, Part 29:
Miss Clark affectionately reminds Mr. Franklin Blake that she is a Christian and that it is therefore quite impossible to offend her.
The self-styled “Christians” we have in the States seem to delight, no, wallow in, even seek out, offense.
Then, again, theirs is a religion of “an eye for an eye.”
Is that in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John?
Oh, yeah, it was Hammurabi.
It’s been a long time since I started my day with a bowl of cereal.
I am genetically blessed with low cholesterol, so one of my few little luxuries is a traditional breakfast with really good coffee (no payola here–I’m just a very satisfied customer; it’s one of those aforementioned luxuries which comes by UPS at regular intervals).
Nevertheless, I just might have to buy myself some Cheerios.
Laurie Essig reflects on the passing of Jean Stapleton and nostalgia for Archie Bunker’s fanstasy of the Good Old Days. A nugget:
But what no one watching the show (“All in the Family”–ed.) in the 1970s could have foreseen was that Archie’s side would not go the way of the dinosaurs. Instead, they would breathe new life into new generations. This “new nostalgia” is evident in many contemporary political movements, but it also a very clear part of contemporary love in the US.
I missed this column, in which Leonard Pitts, Jr., discussed the Boy Scouts of America’s recent half-anatomied decision on allowing gay scouts. Pitts points out the essence of Republican Family Values: perpetuating privilege.
It is, of course, a mistake to seek logic here. This isn’t about logic, but about a conservative group doing what conservative groups always do when social change comes. Meaning, they bring up the rear, the caboose on the freedom train lurching belatedly to where the rest of us have already been.
It happened with racism, happened with sexism, happened with anti-Semitism, all of which conservatism loudly and proudly embraced long after the rest of us came to see them as evil and wrong.
This seems to be a typical sentence from the coverage of the Boy Scouts of America’s recent policy change:
Finkel, from Mount Airy, who is straight, no longer has to worry about gay scouts being kicked out. The Boy Scouts of America voted Thursday to allow gay scouts within its ranks starting Jan. 1, a policy shift that, while engendering controversy nationally, was generally welcomed with open arms by many scouting-affiliated area residents.
Most of the coverage has been framed in terms of “allowing gay boys.”
It’s a matter of emphasis, but an important one: It’s not about “allowing”; it’s about not persecuting.
Boys typically joined the Cub Scouts at eight or nine and the Boy Scouts at 11 or 12. At those ages, they are still pretty much asexual.
“Openly gay” boys did not join the scouts.
Boys matured into their sexuality after they are already scouts.
Then the Scouts persecuted them for who they became.
I find this story disturbing, then I start to wonder, suppose it had been an 18-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl . . . .
Traditional Marriage, Life on the Streets:
Follow the link for more traditional values in NYC.
Let Joel Connelly explain at SeattlePI. A snippet:
Last week, after Minnesota became the 12th state to say that people of the same gender can wed, Minnesota’s Council of Catholic Bishops described the new law as “a serious threat to the religious liberty and conscience of Minnesotans.”
While doubtless poll-tested, the language is Aesopian. The “liberty” and “freedom” being defended is the right to deny freedoms to other Americans, and to refuse goods and services to a defined class of citizens.
As well, the language heard now, directed at gay and lesbian Americans, has been heard in the not-too-distant past — and even the present — to justify discrimination against African-Americans, women, Jews, Muslims . . . heck, even the Irish.
Leonard Pitts, Jr., looks at the rightwing tendency to manufacture panic over nonexistent threats. A nugget:
Because it isn’t. Kokesh’s (planned armed “protest” in defense of gunnuttery) march is just the latest product of the great American panic machine, the mechanism by which the extreme right works itself into spasms of apoplectic terror over threats that don’t exist.
“We’re going to be under sharia law!”
Except, we’re not.
“We’ve become a socialist country!”
Except we haven’t.
“There’s a War on Christmas!”
Except there isn’t.
“They’re trying to take our guns away!”
Pitts suggest that the danger of these waves of panic is in distracting us from actual threats to the polity.
I go further.
I think that’s not only the danger of them, I think that, as far as the threat meisters are concerned, that is the purpose of them.
As I listen to this, it occurs to me that the folks who are against Plan B emergency contraception are de facto in favor of more pregnant teen-aged girls.
Doghouse Riley skillfully dissects Kathleen Parker’s squeamishness over admitting that teen-aged girls might actually, like, you know, do it.
Just read it.
The Booman wonders what’s up with Plan B.
Atrios nailed it earlier yesterday.
What’s up with Plan B is that grown-ups get stupid at the prospect that their children, particularly their daughters, might actually have matured into growing-up sexual human beings.
(They deal with it better with their sons. “Wild oats” and all that. Funny how the sower gets a free pass, while the field gets ostracized.)
They want to pretend it didn’t/doesn’t/can’t/won’t happen.
They don’t want to admit that their horny teenagers will act as they did when they were horny teenagers.
I know that I didn’t like it when that realization came to me.
Fortunately, my now-ex kept me from being stupid.
At SFgate, Amy Graff is alarmed at the sexed up images she sees in children’s board games. She says that the Candyland she remembers was nothing like this (Nor is the one I remember).
I’m not sure how I feel about this. I’m torn between “Grow up, already,” and “This is one more signpost on the road to perdition.”
I do believe that when persons scream, “What about the children!” they often aren’t really talking about the children, but about themselves and their own hangups.
Children are lot more matter-of-fact than the adults who desire to shield think they are. I’m not arguing for “kindergarten, life in the streets,” but I am convinced we have slid from protectiveness to paranoia about our kids (though sometimes they do give us reason).
I wonder what has pulled the games in this direction: Kardashians or Disney princesses?