Thursday, March 28

Kicking The Blind Elephant In The Room While It's Dead

Megan-Jane McArdle-Galt, "Why Gay Marriage Will Win, and Sexual Freedom Will Lose". March 26

LET'S deal with the fine print at the start:

• Yes, I know the entire internet has already hooted about this.

• Yes, I still hold that, in the case of Megan McArdle, it is impossible, whatever rich loam of unintentional self-parody she's spreading at the moment, to make sport of her one-hundredth as cutting as the fact that she chose "Jane Galt" as a nom de flume.

• There seems no possibility that "Megan McArdle" is a leg-pull.

• The only alternate explanation for her continued blipping on the most sensitive of our nation's radar screens, the idea that she's engaged in a lifetime effort to prove, redundantly, that the real point of Objectivism is that one needn't be able to write, or think, in order to do either, is mooted by the fact that her own attempts at communication make Ayn Rand sound like Tolstoy.

• "Why" continues to reign as the most indecipherable adverb in the history of English, for some reason.
In some sense, it doesn't really matter how the Supreme Court rules on the gay marriage case it's hearing today.

Yes. That would be the sense of "Republicans are up shit creek both without a paddle and in a canoe manufactured by a company Bain Capital took over".
The culture war is over on this front, and gay marriage has won.

Right. Just a little matter of forty-one state legislatures agreeing, not counting those with civil union laws that differ from their marriage laws. Including some which have enshrined heterosexual marriage in their constitutions, and/or prohibited themselves and their posterity from recognizing homo nups from other states. But I'm sure it'll all be cleared up by spring, if that ever gets here.
Even if it loses at the Supreme Court this term, it will win in the legislatures . . . because it is already winning in popular opinion.

As goes popular opinion, so goes the legislature.
Few people much under the age of sixty see a compelling reason that straights should marry and gays should not.

Yeah, and there are no young racists, either.  Today's maritime forecast: smooth sailing forever.
At this point, it's just a matter of time.  In some sense, the sexual revolution is over . . . and the forces of bourgeois repression have won.

I can't believe you just said that.
That's right, I said it:

No, see, Megan-Jane, the reason I couldn't believe you said it is it's so fucking stupid.
this is a landmark victory for the forces of staid, bourgeois sexual morality.  Once gays can marry, they'll be expected to marry.  And to buy sensible, boring cars that are good for car seats.

Megan-Jane, darlin', the practice of same-sex marriage was going on long before James Buchanan was a girl. We're just arguing over the legal recognition, okay? Now run along.
Wait until all those fabulous "confirmed bachelors" and maiden schoolteachers...

Oh dear God. Ladies and Gentlemen, and "Others", your new, hip, under-60, Tolerant America.
are expected to ditch their cute little one-bedrooms and join the rest of America in whining about crab grass, HOA restrictions, and the outrageous fees that schools want to charge for overnight soccer trips.

And people ask where the new Dennis Millers are supposed to come from.
I know, it feels like we're riding an exciting wave away from the moral dark ages and into the bright, judgement free future.  But moral history is not a long road down which we're all marching; it's more like a track.

Jesus Christ, my junk drawer is better organized than her brain.
Sometimes you're on the licentious, "anything goes" portion near the bleachers, and sometimes you're on the straight-and-narrow prudish bit in front of the press box.  Most of the time you're in between.  But you're still going in circles.  Victorian morality was an overreaction to the rather freewheeling period which proceeded it, which was itself an overreaction to Oliver Cromwell's puritanism.  (Cromwell actually did declare a War on Christmas, which he deemed to be sensuous paganism.)

"Victorian morality was an overreaction". Fuck a duck. While there's still time.
We've been moving away from the Victorian view of marriage for a long time, which means that we're probably due to circle back around the prudish front that drove Charles Dickens to lie when he left his wife for another woman.

And sleeve garters. Don't most people sink into a reverie about this when they're, oh, fifteen or so? And is that actually a contradiction in Megan's case?
The 1970s were an open revolt against the idea of the dutiful pair bond, in favor of a life of perpetual infatuation.  The elites led the way--and now they're leading it back.  Compare Newt Gingrich or John McCain to the new generation of Republican hopefuls.  Jindal, Ryan, Christie, Rubio . . . all of them are married to their first wives.  Jindal met his wife in high school, Christie in college.  By their age, McCain was preparing for his first divorce, and Gingrich was just a few years from his second.  

This is what made me read an entire McArdle piece. Because, even granting that Megan's grasp of the imaginary 70s is no better than her grasp of the imaginary 50s--and for the same reason--how th' fuck does anyone choose Newt Gingrich and John McCain as arbiters of 70s fashion? Especially seeing as how neither man made it to national semi-prominence, nor to divorce court, before that decade was up? What, you should pardon the expression, was the thought process here? Are those the only two divorced politicians McMegan can name? Or the only two she imagines as alive in the 70s? Did she pencil in Ronald Reagan before someone explained to her he actually would torpedo what passes for her argument, if she had one? Sheesh.

For fuck's sake, being divorced is still a bit of a political liability, and if you don't believe me, ask First Lady Cheri Daniels. This may go some way to explaining what "born after the horrors of Perpetual Infatuation" does not, namely, why a bunch of ambitious pols in the Family Values party might yet want to avoid Alimony. Not to mention the fact that Chris "Ladykiller" Christie is the only one of the bunch to've gone past 44, the age where McCain divorced his first wife, reportedly amicably, before running for office. Newton Leroy was 38, but that man had lots of travelin' to do, and knew it.

Is the argument that social morality is an Cosmic Hamster Wheel any smarter than that Henny Youngman routine about why should The Straights suffer alone?


And for the record, Megan, why th' fuck do you care?


Kathy said...

But its so clear what she's saying: For eons, Gays have been sneering at bourgeois married folk, and now they're gonna become them by marrying. "Neener!Neener! all you silly Gays! Now its side whiskers and corsets all the time."

gocart mozart said...

Well, that's one way to stop all the gay sex, get the gays married.

Unknown said...

Look, this is actually pretty simple. Teh Libruls are gonna win one, so McArdle, who pretends not to be a straight-up doctrinaire Republican but totally is, HAS to sneer.

Plus, she's setting up the conservative view on gay marriage once it's widespread: "Well, SURE it has beneficial effects on society and doesn't harm anyone - that's because it's really a CONSERVATIVE idea!"

A year or so ago, David Cameron said he was for same-sex marriage not despite being a conservative, but BECAUSE he was a conservative. Expect that quote to get wider and wider play in the conservative media over the next decade or so.

This is what she's doing; she just isn't a good enough writer to finesse it. Or explain it.

P.S.: "That's right, I said it:" Your friendly signal that absolutely nothing in the rest of the post will be non-stupid.

Unknown said...

I want what she's smoking.

This isn't satire, right? I'm not missing something, here? She's serious?

I know this, yet she still makes me snort wine out of my nose.

Besides, all the Cool Kid Conservatives have a gay or lesbian relative they now acknowledge for the first time in yonce.

Anonymous said...

Since you referenced Chris Christie, I am still waiting for a parody of Clint Eastwood's convention speech, with Handsome Joe Biden lecturing a broken chair !

prairie curmudgeon said...

We'll grant em a cultural gimme once in a while, while we rule the roost in the real pecking order of things important. Richer to us will be poorer to them. Pisses to them.

wiley said...

I think it was Foucault that critiqued early anthropologists for portraying people in other cultures as having no real agency or spontaneous feeling that springs forth in them from a genuine center, but forever being actors in rituals who respond according to their part in an hierarchy and an unvarying script.

How totally fucked up is it when someone sees their own culture that way?

satch said...

Are you kidding, Doghouse? Being divorced was the only thing that made Mitch Daniels interesting!

Anonymous said...

What, you should pardon the expression, was the thought process here?

Well, see, there's your problem. Using the term "thought process" in regard to anything in one of McMegan's idiocies.