Adventus

"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Thursday, February 16, 2012

At the risk of sounding Pecksniffian....


I'm going to spend my morning more productively than usual.

I'm going to try to figure out why sexual intercourse is the most desired practice of males in America (I'm limiting my sample to what I know), yet all metaphorical references to sexual intercourse involve failure, disaster, complete loss, absolute powerlessness, loss of autonomy, loss of control.

Cognitive dissonance doesn't begin to explain this......

10 Comments:

Blogger The Thought Criminal said...

I'll forgo the analysis of sexual intercourse but point out what I pointed out elsewhere this morning:

Here's some Tony Perkins news you won't see much of anywhere.

Gay Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson and other clergy members are calling on MSNBC to cease giving airtime to Tony Perkins, head of the antigay Family Research Council.

“FRC has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for using dishonest, incendiary rhetoric about gay and lesbian Americans,” notes a press release from the online action networkFaithful America, “but MSNBC has continued offering a friendly venue for Perkins, neither informing their viewers of FRC’s status nor including any rebuttal from progressive religious leaders. Perkins has appeared on MSNBC more often this year than on any other cable news network.”

... The clergy group will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Rockefeller Center in New York City, the building where MSNBC is headquartered, then deliver petitions bearing 20,000 signatures from Faithful America members. “The delegation will remind MSNBC that the hateful views of Perkins and the Family Research Council aren’t reflective of the faith community and demand that the network stop inviting him on the air to represent the views of Christians and other people of faith,” says the press release.

http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2012/02/13/Progressive_Clergy__Get_Perkins_Off_MSNBC/

Anthony McCarthy

8:34 AM  
Blogger The Thought Criminal said...

Here Also:

http://mediafiles.ptsem.edu/audiolibrarypts/2011/8068/mp3/8068MR0411_02.aiff.mp3

8:38 AM  
Blogger Rmj said...

I especially like this bit:

the hateful views of Perkins and the Family Research Council aren’t reflective of the faith community and demand that the network stop inviting him on the air to represent the views of Christians and other people of faith,”

I am so tired of arch-conservatives, from the US Conference of Bishops to Perkins, being trotted out for the "religious" point of view, esp. the Xian pov.

Nobody ever asks for any input from the Methodists, the Episcopalians, the UCC, etc., etc., etc. Lots of non-archconservative Xians in the country, but the mass media considers them voiceless.

Or a voice in the wilderness, and who wants to go out there?

9:57 AM  
Blogger rick allen said...

If I understand your question, the key lies not in the meaning of the verb, but the grammatical voice.

The expressions to which you refer, if I understand you correctly, are all passive participles. And that which a male might naturally desire to do is not, for the majority of males, what he desires to have done to him.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Rmj said...

The expressions to which you refer, if I understand you correctly, are all passive participles. And that which a male might naturally desire to do is not, for the majority of males, what he desires to have done to him.

A term of absolute desire becomes, alternatively, a term of absolute derision.

It speaks volumes about the attitude behind the term. The two share a root, IOW. The only difference is: done by, or done to. One is good, the other terrible. The grammatical voice just allows you to find one desirable, the other (which is a necessary component of the first), reprehensible.

Grammatical voice doesn't exactly separate the dancer from the dance. Which is why I find it so interesting.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Rmj said...

It also reminds me that rape is not a sexual act.

It's an assertion of power.

Gee, wonder where they got that idea?

11:42 AM  
Blogger rick allen said...

"...rape is not a sexual act."

This is commonly said, but, the more I think about it, I don't think it's really accurate.

Rape is an expression of hatred and contempt, as well as being an exercise of power over another. But how are those things inconsistent with sexuality, the experience and acting out of powerful bodily desires?

So far as I can tell, sexuality may be loving or hateful, integrative or exploitive, an act of unity or an act of domination. It's a matter of definition, I suppose, but, unhappily, it seems that sexual acts quite often have little to do with love. When, for instance, Lovelace rapes Clarissa, it certainly has nothing to do with love. But I don't see how one could deny that it was a sexual act.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Rmj said...

Well, the concept that rape doesn't equate to sex is to remove responsibility from the female (usually) victim for the violation. "Suggestive" clothing, etc., is not an excuse for a crime of violence. So "rape" is not considered simply "non-sensual sex," but an act of aggression, an assertion of power.

One could argue the issue of consent; I've seen it examined in a very thoughtful essay, and it gets quite complex. OTOH, rape as a criminal act is generally not regarded as a matter of unrequited sexual desire, nor of mere miscommunication. So rape as an act of aggression, is not the same thing as aggressive sex.

And aggression is an act of power. Which comes back to the grammatical distinction. If I tell someone to "Go fck yourself!," I'm not encouraging them to perform an anatomically impossible act. (Nor am I speaking in the passive voice.) And the verbal act itself is undeniably aggressive, as well as an act of power (it's the ultimate verbal dismissal). The implicit aggression is not just the verbal challenge, but the idea that you should be the recipient of something clearly meant to be regarded as shameful. It's the ultimate shaming, in fact.

And yet it's the act all men are (presumably) obsessed with performing. So, one could say, we do screw ourselves.

And we don't examine the implications. Or we seldom do, anyway.

2:33 PM  
Blogger The Thought Criminal said...

The extent to which sex is seen as a violent act probably can't be teased out of the way the media habituates people to think of it.

If you want to see an example of that removed, to some extent, from gender politics, gay porn is illustrative. It is typically about domination and degradation and endangerment of a passive partner by a dominant one. I've noticed a definite change in how gay men think of sex and each other with the shift to anal sex becoming the predominant form of gay sex. It used to be relatively rare in gay life, back in the early 60s, when I first knew about it, certainly.

Yet, when I've pointed out that these things are internalized oppression among gay men, I've gotten lectured about being anti-gay, quite often by straight men. As recently as last weekend it was by a straight woman who made the accusation. Believe me, it's interesting to get lectured about my own civil rights by straight men, but, then, so is the history of punctuation when I'm dead bored.

Anthony McCarthy

7:20 AM  
Blogger The Thought Criminal said...

Since this is sort of an open thread, I'm inthe process of committing another major thought crime.

Maybe This Has Something To Do With Why People Don't Vote for Atheists

http://zthoughtcriminal.blogspot.com/2012/02/maybe-this-has-something-to-do-with-why.html

Your thoughts are welcome.

8:24 AM  

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