Category Archives: Obscurantism



I am their father

How to get the DNA out of this algorithm?

A cubicle for Montezuma’s ransom

Your lucky rabbit’s foot is a handler’s gland

and second prize is a set of steak knives

What do you feel like eating?

You’ve got a family don’t you?

Because I’ve got this insatiable taste for flesh

You know, character is the barcode of transmutability

and you set the ceiling

I may not’ve determined the number of inches from fly to forehead

but I can decide how vicious I jizz tendons and marrow and keep you in suspense

Whobody? Anybody

Are you what it takes?




This might burn a bit

When a stranger’s blithe gesture outweighs your plodding devotion

and you’re granted the serenity to accept the things you cannot change

When you carry around in you a shattered Jerusalem

and find yourself a stranger, but people aren’t strange

The millstone, the cross, the imperative to forgive

the impulse to murder, the necessity to live

the dread that stalks awake-nights, the antiseptic light

dementia and goosebumps and envy and blight

When lies gain the weight of stentorian tomes

and vigor and vim, and known unknown knowns

Then we ordinary folk can cross bridges in space

secure, validated with spit in our face

and decide when to chase and to now flee our tails

and determine the contours of our own comfy jails

When Might may lie down with the left and right hands

and erode all embankments and count up the sands

Then old Lot and his daughters can go fuck themselves

and grannies and housepets and Santa Claus’ elves

and beat the meatcleavers to swordshares and plows

and secure our slick winnings with purrs and meows

and confide our blanch longings despite no true friends

and incline our ears, trifling, to the way the world ends

Game of Cronies


I think I just became a Hamas supporter

Whatever else you might say about him, Shimon Peres was devoid of intellectual substance. He began his career essentially as an arms-procurement agent for Ben Gurion—the very caricature of a Yid swindler—and ended it as a sort of Yoda to the plutocracy, jetting around in his dotage, dispensing schlock Hallmark wisdom to the planetary managerial class. I’m not saying he lacked actual wisdom (if shrewdness can be called wisdom)—no no, he possessed that in ample reserve, but it was strictly machiavellian. What Peres embodies isn’t so much the thwarted Jewish longing for tranquility (he lived a life of luxury), but the much-decried Jewish mastery of having our cake and eating it, too.

Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon pursued Arafat to death’s very edge, first in a Beirut bunker and later in his besieged Ramallah compound, and they did it with such maniacal abandon that first Ronald Reagan and, later, George W. Bush (each man a mass murderer of Arabs in his own right) constrained them to yield. Arafat was actually a great admirer of his adversaries’ wanton single-mindedness, and was known to have devoured Begin’s memoirs and applied their lessons to his struggle. But you know what they say about swatting at a fly with a hammer. Or a Sbarro with a nail bomb, or a UN school with a bunker-buster.

The thought of the world’s tech, financial, artistic and political elite turning Mother Mary-like for counsel to a Newark mafia don is inconceivable. Yet like Arafat, Shimon Peres was a consummate gangster whose every word about peace was mendacious, and in the end he took Arafat to school, hard, with a kind of rope-a-dope strategy intended to appease the so-called international community’s insistence on peace-seeking while at the same time reducing the Palestinians—whose political prospects today are little better than they were in 1949—under hopelessly absolute despotism, by hook and by crook. If it’s them or the Jews, you know whose side I’m on, but still…. Too much slyness is revolting. When it goes on forever it’s inimical to a morally normal existence. And normalcy is what Zionism was supposed to be about.

Like icing on the cake, not only did Peres live to see the literal demise of his old frenemy, he lived to see that once formidable nuisance reduce himself to the role of supplicant on American television, a kind of Palestinian Al Sharpton, a shucking grievance pimp doing penance before American Jewish Senators and media mandarins, swearing up and down that he had reformed. My family spent the 1990s wondering why Peres didn’t seem to mind that Arafat was lying, but now it’s pretty clear. This long con, and not the bullshit knighthood or the bullshit Nobel or the photo-ops in Hollywood and Palo Alto, is the best evidence of Peres’ profundity, longevity and achievement. For better or worse, this hot-air liberal paragon’s legacy is one of utter ruthlessness.

As the last surviving political father of his country, Peres would’ve been correct to credit himself some for the glimmer of all he surveyed: the start-ups, biotech, aerospace, the relative political liberty, the robust bursa. Yet in Israel tonight, while ol’ Shimi lies interred on Mount Herzl, hapless women who came seeking refuge from the blight of the former Warsaw Pact are selling their bodies beneath the glinting skyscrapers. Mafia thuggery is rife. Relative to its size, Israel is far and away the world’s number one exporter of death, of weapons systems and expertise, without which its GNP would compare favorably only to Serbia’s. There’s a lack of scruples to the Israelis, an incapacity for remorse, and a bottomless sense of victimhood that is totally, totally repugnant. The Jews, Israelis in particular, are a people who conceive of themselves as being in a dire situation where all rules of honor and norms of decency are suspended. For three millennia.

Peres was but one man who, of course, should not be arraigned individually for all these sad realities (unlike, say, an octogenarian former enlisted-man who spent eighteen months manning a guard tower in Treblinka). All the same, you’d be well-advised to shop around before taking a brand ambassador’s word.

The Europa of Rape


we hold these fruits to be self-evident

“It goes without saying that mercy remains the privilege of the most powerful man….” (Nietzsche, “Genealogy” 2:10)

Population control has its ins and outs.

Ins and outs.

Ins and outs.

Ins and outs.

Kind of gives new meaning to the term “DP camps,” no?

Most Muslim societies are very crowded and poor, patriarchal and sexually repressed yet predominantly youthful…. So the dramatic recent uptick in sexual assaults across Europe correlates neatly with the introduction of millions of desperate, mostly young, mostly male Muslims into the continent.

But is this a Muslim issue?

What the Islamic world most notably has, that the west for the most part does not, is Islam; a concept generally grasped in the singular though it denotes quite a number of things. What the west most notably has that the Islamic world for the most part lacks is affluence, which can have multifarious causes and infinite effects but is wholly and exclusively one thing.

Among its more instructive effects is an incident which took place in Morocco in 2013.

One Daniel Galvan, a late-middle aged Spanish national, had been living in that country, in an apartment he owned there, for nearly a decade. In that time he may have sampled a great many local delights, but what he’s specifically known for is the rape of at least eleven local children, ranging in age from two to fifteen, with the compensated connivance of native fixers.

After he’d been prosecuted by Moroccan authorities and served eighteen months of a thirty year sentence, Galvan’s custodians were furnished by the Spanish embassy with a list of forty-eight of its nationals in Moroccan detention, contained in a peremptory demand for their unconditional release, a demand Mr. Galvan (whose name was on the list) became a beneficiary of.

As Galvan’s luck would have it, Morocco’s King Mohammad VI does not in fact rule an independent country. In fact, he has a history of so-called diplomatic gestures entailing the pardon of convicted first world pederasty tourists. Why a postcolonial vassal would release these people on demand is self-explanatory, and less interesting than why an affluent power would want them back.

It seems the Spanish authorities didn’t trust a third world regime to sit in judgment, and mete out punishment, of their subje…. er, constituent. So why did they accept King Muhammed’s verdict when he elected, not merely to extradite Galvan to serve out the sentence in his home country, but to pardon him? For you see, upon his return to Spain Mr. Galvan was turned loose and permitted to taste the sweet air of freedom, which he would have enjoyed indefinitely had public outrage (uncharacteristic in a country with a controlled press) not mounted (pun intended) upon King Muhammed, whose government then declared the pardon an oversight, issuing an international arrest warrant that compelled the Spanish government to act. Even so, in spite of how obliging Morocco had been in releasing the Spaniards in its detention, its demand for Galvan’s extradition was rebuffed.

A number of facts are implied here, chiefly that the urchins of Morocco are living under a regime that cannot be inconvenienced, on their behalf, to relinquish the opportunity to prostrate itself before a more powerful neighbor; and that Mr. Galvan is living under a regime that is more concerned to oversee his due process rights than it is with what caliber of subject it has in him. How can such a regime (i.e., a western European democracy) be expected to really systematically differentiate among migrants or, indeed, between anyone subject to its jurisdiction, migrant or non? Its stated purpose is not to prevent its subjects wrongs but to ensure their rights, a moral cover to extend sovereignty and perpetuate the many advantages its franchisees enjoy. The more powerful ones enjoy the advantages they will, the less powerful ones enjoy the advantages they must, and in exchange they tacitly surrender their whole volition (you might say, their spirit), not to a government per se—this isn’t a libertarian argument I’m making—but to an amorphous commercial and administrative hierarchy that nevertheless facilitates highly tangible if ostensibly metaphysical commodities exchanges (“justice”) as a matter of course.

On a related note, the right-wing sector of the US press—Drudge, Breitbart, Fox, etc.—is abuzz this week at the revelation that a last-minute incentive was written into the Iran nuclear deal by the Obama administration, a sum of $400,000,000 cash, transferred to Tehran on the very day (it so happens) when a handful of Iranian-American prisoners were handed over to Uncle Sam. Obama is being accused of capitulation, of paying ransom. But whatever you think of his decision, there’s something to be said for a regime that will spend hundreds of millions of dollars to retrieve a half dozen of its subjects.

Nevertheless, one US citizen exchanged in the deal, rather than gratefully keeping his mouth shut, saw fit to turn on his redeemers by going on record with the opposition press after his homecoming, to describe being brought to the tarmac of the Tehran airport and handed over to US officials only after an unidentified plane had arrived, presumably containing palettes of greenbacks. In the name of his fellow first world denizens’ right to avoid increased risk of kidnapping in the third world, this fellow retroactively opposed his own right to’ve been ransomed—how righteously convenient. And under a brief flurry of media scrutiny, the regime defended its decision to redeem this man so he could fink on them.

Now, you might be wondering how the Galvan case in any way indicates that Europe’s migrant rape phenomenon is something more than a Muslim issue. Migrants=rape, jeezus, it’s not algebra. Besides, rapists are everywhere, in some small proportion, but only Muslim societies seem to be importing and exporting them. But when it comes to the surge in sexual assaults on Europeans by Muslim migrants, in no way is the facilitation of this state of affairs by EU authorities a Muslim initiative. If very many of the goings-on in this world were Muslim initiatives, there’d be no sex tourism in Morocco.

And Morocco is not much less independent a country than many others, Muslim or non. For instance, if a Lebanese murders a solitary Israeli in Denmark, the full force of the Mossad will almost certainly bear down upon him, and his family. But if an American Gentile on holiday in Tel Aviv rapes a Jewish schoolboy, he’ll be afforded a more meticulous due process than many locals are for lesser crimes, and certainly not be killed. What the fuck’s up with that? Likewise, western sex tourists in Thailand are liable, if busted, to be extradited to face prosecution in their home countries, but if they get caught with a dimebag they’ll face execution by hanging, right there in Thailand, whose king picks his battles as surely as his Moroccan counterpart, which is to say, rarely.

So what we have is a handful of inordinately wealthy organizations whose protection, however inadvertent, enables their subjects, for a pittance, to abuse any lesser power’s citizens up to the limit of what that lesser power’s laws allow, its authorities are interested in detecting, and its officials are permitted to prevent.

And this abuse is not limited to rape, though rape is a salient, common-denominator analogy that also takes place literally, in this context, though perhaps not nearly so often as figurative cannibalism. It extends to the sadistic mistreatment of mail-order brides and adopted children, cut-rate reproductive surrogacy, organ harvesting, not to mention labor—almost anything you can name, really. Point is, to not seek a wealthy country’s protection (i.e., US or EU citizenship) is tantamount to leaving yourself open to being ruthlessly exploited and bombed by those very same countries. Rapist or rapee, them’s your options, and self employment ain’t one of them (that’s why rape’s illegal, duh). I’m no more keen on seeing Stuttgart transmogrified into Iskenderun than David Duke is, but if Holocaust guilt is behind all this then the Holocaust is just one more impediment to confronting the depravity our human rights have bought us, digestive systems have to have an outlet. Is a pale German football hooligan more likely to murder a hapless swarthy Semite in a dark subway station, or pay twenty-five Euros to sodomize a Ukrainian teenager in Holland?

In many traditional societies, perhaps especially Islamic ones, female rape victims can be murdered by their own male relatives. This is called honor killing, and like Oedipus, you’d better believe it is comprehensible. Hate me all you want, just don’t look in the mirror: there’s something repellent about a desiccated soul deprived of its most sacred honor. Deep, pre-social instinct impels us to shun the contagious, the needy and the irreparable, and we do it all the time. How often will most people visit an ailing grandparent?

This is why so many prostitutes were rape victims first, why so many boys who are raped take exclusively to homosexuality as adults. Once placed beyond an invisible symbolic boundary, there’s nothing left for them except to affirm fate, to deny that something was taken or lost by declaring that this is who I really was all along. In the modern west, one way or another, rape victims are invariably told either to forget all about what happened and put it behind them, or that they can be made whole again, if only they’ll cooperate with a treatment regimen. For whose benefit? These are lies: confront colon cancer with all the positive attitude in the world and you’ll still be out a colon.

The slut walkers of the world want to re-confer the stigma of rape upon the rapist, but that’s not how rape works (see also: “the international community”). They can fulminate, demand action against pre-crime and publicly shame whomever they please (except actual rapists), but for the victim these gestures are a mirror image: self-abasement in reaction to powerlessness. “Proud slut,” indeed. If she didn’t have all that oil, we wouldn’t have needed to invade her.

The very presence of a rape victim in the community signals the failure and complicity of all would-be protectors and sympathizers. The primitive (i.e., the only) impulse in response to this dread realization is either abandonment (to quarantine the stigma with the primary carrier) or erasure, either active (by honor killing) or passive, by denial—the latter (in some societies) involving the marriage of the victim to her rapist or (in the best case scenario) the revenge-killing of the perpetrator by the victim’s male relatives. In all of these cases (SlutWalk included), the real goal is to drive away the guilt of the people around and associated with the victim, by denying the victim their reality until all that’s left for them is drugs, broken glass and compulsive self-laceration. Get well soon! Please, seriously. You’re making the rest of us uncomfortable. But the reality of rape will only ever be confronted by the victim, whose very existence becomes subordinate, because the community insists on controlling the narrative.

So criticize Islam and globalism all you like, but we get the neighbors we deserve.

Vegas Odds


An idea whose time has come

Professor Woland declaring ‘Black Lives Matter’ is how you know to bet on Operation Human Shield.

As for pelt-head, I’m guessing he gets his orders in a manilla envelope from Jeffrey Epstein, in cartoon cut-n-paste text collaged over a blown-up negative of himself doing unkosher shit to a dog collared eleven-year old.

I dunno. I could be wrong.

Personally, I prefer earnest stupidity to refined guile. So the older I get, the less it bothers me to find myself agreeing with Yet the alternative right—shallowly erudite, media savvy—seems, well, a little… off. 

And not only the alternative right.

How was the Muslim Brotherhood crushed? It was brought to power.

Why are the people who killed Kennedy tolerating a decade’s worth of John Birch in national syndication?

What could the Carnegie Endowment possibly have to do with an ostensibly alternapunk guerrilla news outlet?

Every several months brings a new and oddly polished YouTube huckster positively brimming with esoteric supposed revelations. There’s so goddamned much truth afoot you’d think deceit was a revolutionary act. I mean, 9/11 gabs don’t have firmer ground to stand on than WTC 7?

Rand sang himself to sleep on a Rodney King cover. Papa Ron’s selling doubloons for JP Morgan Chase.

An arid, inverse 1968 is being ring-led by a gay Jew fratboy and an ex-academic outer-DC trust-funder.

And Donald surrogates are legion.

Ain’t that some shit?

When the Syndicate wanted to keep the Constitution suspended, they had [what does a white racist call] a black professor lead a Tracy Chapman hum-in. Now, seven years into the Trayvon administration they’ve got a method actor—one of TS Eliot’s lost golf balls—on the stump intimating 49% of what 51% of voters want to hear like it’s a Gods Must Be Crazy coincidence.

Ironically, responsive government’s what you get when everything you say is backlogged.

The bait ‘n’ switch


Trump 2016

As a youth I admired a man, an experienced man with the wisdom of a poet. He was the hunter and I, the dog. I subsumed his instruction like a sultry musk. But when I asked a poignant question the smoke cleared, and he had vanished….

The promise of the good life is the bane of examination

Orchestrator of spectacle

Capturer of imagination

A grand discovery indeed, that connected fear and loathing to vices

Fool me twice, never again: an ancient, malevolent license.

The obscurantist’s inimitable art is to put a price on the sublime, not from town to town, but everywhere, for all time.

A discerning host, your merry diversions are his constant attendance to business.


The 48 Laws of Powerlessness

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the great cornholio

“Do not consider yourself wicked when forced to rely on your own efforts.” —Pirke Avot

“Consider the birds.” —Jesus of Nazareth

News broke this week not only that Mexican authorities had recaptured infamous cartel head El Chapo, but that during his time on the run, actor Sean Penn met the escaped narco in secret to conduct an interview for an American magazine.

As in the example of the otherwise forgotten gangster with which Dale Carnegie opens his seminal self-help guide, El Chapo’s self-image is decidedly counterintuitive. He told Penn,

Look, all I do is defend myself, nothing more. But do I start trouble? Never.

I’m not saying he’s a nice guy, but—strictly speaking—El Chapo is probably right. In places where life is as dire and cheap as it long has been in Mexico, for all practical purposes, people are little more than animals.

In contrast, the sterility of our lives in the US has retarded natural selection, proliferating cancer, androgyny, nervous ticks and strange new addictions. Decency has become lethargic and peremptory, a sort of Americanized building of communism, prodded by public service announcements and corprobureaucratic mission statements, maintained on life support with wiggle words and mealy euphemisms. The most thoroughly inculcated mental habits in the US are entitlement, deference, and delusion, the attributes of children, dogs and madmen. We call our goals “dreams” and our desires “rights.” Despite a zeitgeist of hardening cynicism we cannot untangle ourselves from the neuroses our congenital brutality as creatures entails under First World conditions, a respite which eventually reverts to war, by other means, of all against all; a melee of passive aggression.

A few years back, a man looking to make a quick buck authored and managed to have published a compendium called The 48 Laws of Power, a set of machiavellian precepts distilled from manipulative behaviors and business tactics he noted while living in Hollywood and trying to peddle screenplays to movie producers.

But what is power?

I submit that there are two kinds: innate power, e.g., intuition, integrity, native intelligence and physical strength; and then there is worldly power, the societal mediation and oftentimes stifling of its innate counterpart. Unless otherwise noted, this is what “power” will refer to here.

Worldly power is a quotient, a currency to be haggled over in various ways, and it’s perfectly conceivable that it adheres innately to a system of laws (perhaps even forty-eight of them) that might be discovered by scientific methods. Under the right circumstances, such power can be applied to effect wondrous good, and its cultivation can uplift the soul. But it can also be also a soul-retarding, necessary evil that must ultimately be lamented the way aboriginal hunters used to pray for the souls of their animal victims. If living with integrity within its constraints can be likened to practicing a martial art for self-defense, The 48 Laws of Power, in contrast, is more like a guidebook for carrying out a school shooting. If you’ve ever felt thwarted or bullied, it’s an intriguing read. But beyond self-preservation, what can you really hope to win by the tactics it recommends? Certainly not peace of mind. Besides, very few people stand a chance of ever ruling anything worth lowering themselves to the grasping sleaze and darting paranoia prescribed by The 48 Laws of Power, which sells itself flattering the avaricious self-importance of ass-licking middle managers, foul harpies, excessive selfie attention-felchers and reality TV-like personalities.

More likely, you’ll just continue being subjugated by a web of agencies, conglomerates and remorseless, buck-passing apparatchiks—your neighbors, fellow peons and self-styled social betters—by means of transcripts, credit scores, criminal histories, licensure and various other cudgels. You’ll pay retail, you’ll pay innumerable taxes and ancillary fees with sub-Orwellian gibberish names that go to fund cheating, malingering and addiction, while precious few of the protections promised from the cryptocubicle hives those compulsory tithings funnel through will ever extend to you, unless you have a quarter-million budgeted for attorney’s fees. Should you require a hospital stay, overworked nurses may leave you to shit yourself and profit-driven doctors may fail to make more than the most cursory, mechanized inquiries into your condition. Employers and landlords will wring you dry with snickering disdain for the law. School authorities and later, cops will harass you for defending yourself, but do less than nothing (i.e., harm you somehow) if you turn to them for protection. Lawyers, creditors and sundry predators will constrain you to sign beneath utterly incomprehensible fine print, while hucksters of every variety tell you the most exquisite lies, entirely without shame, every single day.

In short, you will be reduced under absolute despotism, in America of all places. And however subconscious they may be, the by-now automated and seemingly disparate forces arrayed against you adhere giddily to an inverse-Christian ethic of glad-handing, back-stabbing, inveterate insincerity, and an incentive system that punishes manful forthrightness, rewards slithering guile, demands gratitude of the exploited and remorse for the highest attributes of humaneness cultivated over centuries of civilization’s rise, unless that humaneness is pressed somehow into ulterior service. What you need aren’t laws of power, but laws of powerlessness, a guide for coping with the invisible shackles you’re dragging around, so that you can at least preserve some sense of self-worth and alertness to objective reality despite the obscurantism your many nibbling predators are constantly throwing up in attempting to convince you to hate yourself.

Here are 48 of them.

(1) In the beginning, there was you. The inscription at Delphi read know thyself, not “know everything.”

(2) Before you are reptile or mammal, hip or square, believer or apostate, right or left wing, you are a creature, a rack of meat that somehow possesses the capacity for understanding.

In the words of the poet, “He understands things only as he senses and smells them.”

Gaze past the abstruse layers of expectation built into your field of vision by education, convention and the interests of others in your interpretation of the things your vision beholds.

(3) You can take and be taken from, fuck and get fucked up, become prince or pauper. But in the end, the capacity for understanding, your independence of mind, is the only real power you ever will have.

(4) The pursuit of power over others may arise from any number of noble, guiding principles. But once that power is attained, the principle of power is power, and power alone.

(5) Despite whatever inordinate estimation you may have of your worth or prospects relative to others, chances are, you’re a nobody, and nobodies are liable to have to answer to anybody and everybody. You can try to mitigate this the sisyphean way, by pursuing power over others on contemporary American terms, or you can mitigate it in the only real way possible: by guarding your capacity for understanding from the efforts of those who seek to co-opt it.

(6) You may be a nobody, but you’re only a nobody relative to society, to the limitless world of names and masks. Give too much of yourself over to that world’s approval and even as president or plutocrat, you’ll still be a nobody. Commune instead with your own soul, and set your own terms accordingly, because they’re going to get set one way or another.

(7) You do not have rights. Rights are a pretext for arbitration, for power, like the Messiah, a fairytale to placate the powerless.

(8) What you have instead are imperatives, mainly self-preservation, the mitigation of discomfort, face-saving, and maintenance of spiritual and intellectual autonomy if yours is more worth guarding than it’s worth trading. It may not be, in which case this blog post isn’t for you.

(9) Think of it from a Marxian perspective: imperatives and the will to invoke them are natural resources. Power, on the other hand, is extracted, rationalized and propagandized into an end product to be hoarded. But there is raw power, and then refined power. El Chapo possesses a great deal of raw power. George Bush possesses a great deal of refined power. When I say power here, I’m speaking narrowly about the latter form.

(10) Power is pretentious. For example, both George Bush and El Chapo are powerful Mexican druglords who’ve wrought untold death and destruction. But only one of these two claims to derive his power from, and wrecks his destruction in the name of, a lofty values system that he supposes makes the world a better place. Whereas El Chapo simply pretends to be innocent of any real crime, and guilty only incidentally.

(11) Because in the United States power is always exercised in the name of decency and righteousness, those who exercise it tend to exhibit smug self-satisfaction. Despite what anybody says, sterility of conscience—not justice or decency—is a primary end to which power is a means.

(12) Imagine (1) a young guy who’s homely and diminutive but conniving, who utilizes his non-threatening demeanor to lure a self-esteem deficient young lady and obliquely impose his jealous prerogatives on her using various mind games. Now imagine (2) a mechanic trying to repair the engine in a Ford. Those who seek to transform society, devising all sorts of protocols for how “We” should order affairs, perceive themselves as similar to the second guy, the mechanic. But they’re the first guy.

(13) You are not a participant in the transformation of society—no one is—only in its composition. Society on the scale we’re familiar with is a force of nature. If you’re part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

(14) Don’t ever worry about what others do and think and say when it doesn’t impact you directly. Nobody asked you.

(15) If, like me and most other people, you simply must take an interest in the affairs of others, recognize that interest for what it is: a lurid little diversion.

(16) There is no such distinction as abuse of power. Power is abuse, domination, the divestiture of others from their will to invoke their imperatives. Like dogs, people are evolved over many generations of socialization to yield that will without first thinking. You may not have the option of exercising or getting out from under it, but you can at least peer past the euphemisms and slights of hand to see things for what they really are.

(17) Power in the current grey-race global order of mass-organization antfarms is not the triumph by force of one lowly person’s (or even El Chapo’s) imperative over another’s that conflicts with his, but a vast epistemic matrix of falsehood. Ledgers and algorithms are manipulated, fast-moving assets are transmitted and skimmed with nothing of value produced, and glittering iconographic pornoganda is deployed upon our deepest hopes and basest fears. Withdraw your assent to the premise that public life requires anything genuine from you and you withdraw your consent to this madness, clarifying your vision of the monstrous powers arrayed against the autonomy of your mind. Keep what little is yours for you: better you should be forced than be first convinced, then force yourself.

(18) Consent is the hot air that inflates power. It comes in three varieties: unconscious, willing, and forced. Though still prevalent in some sectors, forced consent is basically an antiquated business model, while unconscious consent is the most advanced and cost effective. Willing consent is more costly—because power must be delegated in exchange for it—but yields greater gains. That’s why cops and bureaucrats get such generous benefits. It’s also why whores get jewelry.

(19) Cravenness, vindictiveness and treachery are the only reasons for willing consent to power.

“We’ve got a great team here and a product I really believe in.”

“I’d do anything for Bill and Linda because they have a unique vision and they really care about their employees.”

“We’re here to demand equality.”

“You have the right to an attorney.”

…..the language of felching vermin. They would watch Bill and Linda be raped in a stairwell, and do nothing.

(20) If you don’t wish to be dealt with by power, i.e., to be rendered dependent, then don’t deal in power. Don’t accept little titles or adopt organizational prerogatives as your own. Don’t sweat other people’s business—and it’s all other people’s business.

(21) When it comes to minimizing your subjugation, no possible benefit can derive from chiming in about what is to be done, what rules should be encoded, how the common till ought to be divvied, and what should or should not be rendered unto Caesar. It’s none of your business. It’s none of Caesar’s business unless you agree to Caesar’s terms. It’s not even any of God’s business, for He left these decisions to man. When, in exchange for others taking action on what you believe is your behalf, you accept—by voting, liking Facebook pages, calling the cops—that they are better qualified than you are to arbitrate your prerogatives, you spurn God by trading His incredible gift of volition, of capacity for understanding, for a leash and a poop baggie. At least Judas got thirty pieces of silver. 

(22) Policy positions are not beliefs. Stop conflating the two.

Policy positions are not philosophical—they’re pecuniary and vindictive. Right and wrong have nothing to do with them. For nobodies like you or me, any policy position is only the starting off point of dogma, of make-work neurosis, of lending your energy to those who would usurp your imperatives and do so, despicably, in the name of the common welfare, for no purpose other than their own.

(23) Conceptualizing morality in terms of “the common welfare” is just a way of rationalizing our sense of entitlement.

For example, this week, it was publicized that the rock musician Ted Nugent had called, on Twitter, for Obama and Clinton to be hanged for treason. I, too, would love to see the crows pluck out their eyes, but what’s this notion of treason? Were you, or was the public, owed something that Obama and Clinton failed to deliver? They didn’t betray anyone: their many crimes are entirely unsurprising. To feel betrayed by them requires a babblingly delusional sense of entitlement.

This same week, a major news story has been the occupation of a federal wildlife refuge by a rabble of self-styled militiamen in Oregon. Left-leaning sorts are all over Facebook calling for them to be shot or locked away in Gitmo. Why? Who cares? Have they done you any wrong? Are they more deserving of unnatural death or imprisonment than, say, Clinton or Obama? To feel effected by the story requires a monumental sense of self-importance. And yet, thousands are clickety-clacking about it on the Twitters and the Facebooks as if they have something personal at stake.


(24) ” But I pay taxes, I should have a say!” That’s adorable. No one cares what you have to say, obviously. Besides: a manifest dictate of self respect is that you minimize or evade taxpaying (duh). If you can’t (I certainly can’t), well… When did it ever occur to you to have an opinion about what the school bully eats or shares with you using your lunch money? 

(25) Think of the US like Wal-Mart: an evil corporation that has trademarked a name, but embodies none of the virtues—thrift, diligence, free enterprise, risk-taking—that name represents. It cannot be revived, because it is undead.

The United States, its departments and subsidiaries, may perform certain functions very well and others not so well, but it is morally bankrupt in any case. When you accord it moral legitimacy by supposing that it has any, that it should or shouldn’t do this or that for the common good, that you can improve it by putting in your two cents, you’re consenting to its meddling, not just in your own affairs, but in those of other people, of strangers who’ve never done you a bad turn.

Well that’s just not very considerate now, is it?

(26) Stalin is supposed to have said that “Gratitude is for dogs”, a sublime turn of profundity if ever there was one. Gratitude and hierarchy are well and good when love or respect are their bases. The problem is that gratitude in the global job market is really just sycophancy: submission on the part of docile rubes and ruthlessly self-interested chameleons to mass-organizations intended to be staffed by cheerfully interchangeable podlings whose allegiance to organizational prerogatives must be absolute (in “an eternal present where the party is always right,” to quote Orwell.)

The employee may shift allegiances between organizations, but the essential relationship, the happy-talk lexicon, the aversion to all cognizance of certain of our basic needs and darker impulses, is always preserved.

The fascist esotericist Julius Evola deserves quotation in this connection:

Entrepreneurs and employers have come to realize the importance of the ‘human factor’ in a productive economy, and that it is a mistake to ignore the individual involved in industry: his motives, his feelings, his working day life…. The private lives of employees are not forgotten – hence the increase in so-called personnel counseling. Specialists are called in to dispel anxiety, psychological disturbances and non-adaptation ‘complexes’, even to the point of giving advice in relation to the most personal matters.

In these circumstances, gratitude is absolute submission.

(27) Someone who tells you, “respect is earned” is probably a con-artist who wants to use you. Respect is earned, like trust is earned, affection is earned, and bread is earned. Respect can be maintained, it can be tarnished, it can be withheld or just not be established in the first place. Like love, it isn’t a constant: it germinates, it grows, it can wither. But it is a prerequisite to, not just an outcome of, any non-exploitative relationship.

This is not true of things that simply must be earned.

(28) You can’t respect everybody. You can’t love everybody (if you’re a Christian, that’s what Jesus is for, it’s called outsourcing). It’s better to hate everyone and leave them alone than to love one person and push an agenda on them.

(29) People who have an agenda—naked power, “social justice,” corporate profit, “policy outcomes,” government funding, “family values,” new laws, “acceptance” (i.e., acquiescence), “a more perfect union”—are called busybodies. Busybodies are nobody’s friend.

(30) When there is no particular power above a busybody—as in the case of David Rockefeller or Bill Gates—the busybody will operate based on their conviction of the serendipitousness and moral necessity of their place on the world.

(31) On the other hand, classic gangsters and warlords like El Chapo, who proffer no morally aggrandizing rationale for fucking people over, do not usually qualify as busybodies. They are simply bastards.

(32) When you try to gain something from a busybody, you become one.

(33) Busybodies thrive on power asymmetry—the permission of those above (i.e., felching), and the sufferance of those below (i.e., leeching).

(34) No true act of friendship can obtain in a relationship of power asymmetry. When a supposed act of friendship makes its way up from below, this is called ass-licking. When it flows downward from above it’s called soliciting prostitution.

(35) Because a near consensus in this country equates morality with “the common welfare” on a scale so vast as to be meaningless, most people are busybodies of some sort, full and equal franchisees, voting and commenting on Facebook and whatnot. And because anyone who manages to have the media disseminate their grievances without being officially disparaged can claim the mantle of that righteousness, a visible enough busybody can get some power without really answering to anyone, at least not formally.

This is called democracy.

(36) The most despicable class of busybody, the thwarted aspirant who plateaued or didn’t have what it takes and now enforces for a higher busybody, is called a rat. Longing to sate his vindictive sanctimony by attaining a commanding position, the rat ends up worming into some middling, protected one that merely enables him to warm his ass while issuing petty directives.

(37) Power doesn’t work without rats to carry it out. So rats think of themselves as performing functions essential to the common welfare.

(38) Rats are especially characterized by the tendency to adopt the prerogatives of those who aren’t particularly interested in them and who have far more to gain, in exchange only for the smug satisfaction and protected outlet for aggression that comes with investiture, e.g., titles, badges, the conditional power to bully and extort fellow untermenschen. Even the president of the United States is a rat.

Especially the president of the United States.

(39) Power over others is compensation for uncorrected powerlessness over one’s self, for failure to maintain sole ownership of your capacity for understanding. This is why so many cops evince no critical capacity, only a rote vocabulary.

Another example: have you ever noticed the predominance of pasty, androgynous, narrow-chested sorts in government and corporate middle-management? A general, a mob boss or a CEO exudes some virility or sense of menace; an inmate, NCO or blue collar stiff displays some basic, non-negotiable dignity in the face of his lowly travails. But visit a medical billing cubicle bank, or go to the office of a government agency and locate the wall at the end of the elevator bay with the flag stands and framed portraits of their honors so-and-so, and you can’t tell the men from the lesbians. Supervisors in these environments are the types of thwarted, inadequate souls who lack all passion, but possess infinite patience to follow the scent of meniality and disaffectation straight to the easiest, most conspicuous victim. Cops do this all the time.

(40) By its very nature, the investiture of rats incentivizes bullying and mediocrity.

For example, where I work there was an on-duty supervisor who for all intents and purposes was equal to everyone, performing the exact same function alongside the rest of us. The only difference was that he received a slightly higher wage in exchange for the aggravation of making final determinations regarding assignments that couldn’t be parceled out from off-site. But recently, he has been given a special shirt, a desk and the use of a company vehicle, and exempted from the work he supervises. He’s still on-site, only now, all he does is keep tabs. Before, if he chewed someone out, it would be a last resort and in response to a near consensus among us all. Now, ostensibly, he seeks out violations, which is bad enough. But in actual practice he invents them, otherwise he’ll have nothing to show for his investiture without having to make an effort disproportionate to the power his superiors are willing to grant him.

(41) Should you be affected directly by their activities, the best way to deal with a busybody is by hammering out a vicious beating.

(42) Unfortunately, most of the time this is not feasible, as busybodies are adept at marshaling the protective energies of the authorities.

(43) Rats can be swayed by emotion, but can never be reasoned with.

Where the proverbial garbageman makes the fewest compromises with power and just settles for the shortest end of the stick, the bureaucrat or cop or simpering corporate apparatchik imbibes a whole inhuman lexicon his superiors may not even bother with, and be damned if he isn’t going to employ that impossible vocabulary to have a randy go at anyone unwary enough to become ensnared in his two-fingered jackoff web of knit-pickery.

(44) The mass media, the military, police, public primary education, the university system, the civil service, large corporations, courts of law, organized religion…. These institutions thrive on your indebtedness, and none has your interests in mind. That isn’t to say they do no good, but they thrive on power asymmetry, on leeching and felching. Never accept that this is fitting or morally necessary. Never lie to yourself at some other, more powerful party’s behest.

This is important enough a point that it’s worth bringing in heavier guns than my own. Another writer put it like this:

One of the fascinating facts of American politics today is that both progressives and conservatives hate their government. They just hate different parts of it, and they love and cherish the others. In foreign policy, for example, progressives hate the Pentagon, and love and cherish the State Department. Conservatives hate the State Department, and love and cherish the Pentagon….

But none of them hates Washington as a whole. So they can never unite to destroy it, and the whole machine is stable….[But] you can decide that none of these politicians, movements or institutions is even remotely worthy of your support. Trust me – it’s a very liberating feeling.

(45) If someone gives you shit, give it back as devastatingly and quickly as possible, if you can get away with it. If you can’t, let it go.

(46) Break any rule that impedes you, as often as you can get away with it.

(47) As often as you can get away with it, practice the art of completely ignoring anyone who wants something from you that isn’t theirs to have, especially your time and energy. Beggers, attention seekers, pushy co-workers, supervisors desperate to test your respect for their authority, people who talk too much, or who only take and never give.

(48) Finally, the Inverse Golden Rule: Don’t practice ethical precepts with those who ignore them. Don’t hesitate to abuse those who abuse you, as often as you can get away with it. Don’t greet, wish gezundheit or break bread for those who don’t do the same for you.

Steal high, sell low/The only true devil’s the Devil you owe/Scuttle the excess and burn off the lies/Your only defender’s the God of the skies!

A Tissue of Lies

This is what democracy looks like

This is what democracy looks like

Are you pro-choice or pro-life?

What is meant, respectively, by these monickers, pro-choice and pro-life?

If by the former we refer to someone who generally believes abortion to be morally acceptable, and by the latter we mean someone who finds the procedure morally abhorrent, then I, for one, am certainly pro-life.

However, pro-life and pro-choice are not simple states of thought or feeling about the relative moral acceptability of abortions. In public discourse these labels primarily denote policy positions, i.e., administrative propositions, and/or degrees of objection to or concurrence with same. They are answers to the question what is to be done about community business, about who is to be on the pitching and whom on the catching ends of officialdom, and in the case of abortion policy the greatest convenience to the greatest number is derived by giving prenates (babies, if you please) the short end of the stick. Yet these mundane considerations are almost always referenced in intangible moral terms. Granted, the pro-choice side tends to base their arguments on utilitarian grounds, but their bottom dollar is on an alleged, essentially sacred right to abortion that the government, by its very purpose as an institution, is entrusted to ensure. And those who are pro-life argue that legalizing abortion violates an alleged and no less sacred right to life that the U.S. government is uniquely ordained by History to protect.

This hinging of rationales on intangible moral authority stems from America’s claim to actual authority being rooted in a supernatural supposition, that men have intrinsic (“natural”) rights and that governments are instituted among men for the purpose of securing them.

An alluring induction, this high-flown catechism upon which Americans (meaning, nearly every modern bourgeois on the planet) base so many of our operative assumptions about propriety in the conduct of temporal affairs, falls far short of probability—though it raises (and manages to settle in its proponents’ favor) the prosaic line of inquiry, what is to be done? 

But if I possess something intrinsically, what need is there for a third-party guarantor? And if this guarantor’s powers can only be considered just if derived from the consent of the governed, what happens if I don’t consent? We know the answer: the Whiskey Rebellion. Ruby Ridge. A 5150 hold. Criminal syndicates that reject the premise get more leeway than political opponents who accept it.

But as individuals and families, either you buy this notion that some terrestrial party other than you is responsible for securing your rights, or you don’t. If you don’t, then you have no business demanding the government implement justice, not for baby seals or baby humans or victims of airstrikes or of faulty airbags. If the government happens to be tolerably just and responsible, great. If not, make a contingency and suffer what you must. Rights are as ethereal as the soul, and with mine I prefer not to bargain.

But even if neither God nor nature entitles us to x, y or z by simple virtue of our humanity, is decent treatment not a manifest good? Must we capture this Sasquatch and christen him Rights, or will a positive ID suffice? Say, the Golden Rule? What if the government took it as its job to simply enforce a consistent measure of decorum and propriety? Could we then declare ourselves pro-life, or pro-choice, or advocate for animal rights or a minimum wage, without thereby appointing a terrestrial arbiter of first things? And anyway, by advocating for this or that policy, aren’t we simply attempting to shape the notion of propriety we’d like to see enforced?

If you consider yourself a stakeholder in the business of enforcement, then yes.

A thought experiment: God forbid, your school-age child is raped by his or her soccer coach. You know right where this man lives, you own a gun, and can easily kill him, or kidnap and torture him horrifically. Knowing that the government forbids and very effectively punishes kidnapping, killing and torture (this is a hypothetical), and that it also forbids child-rape but that official punishment for the latter, though forthcoming and harsh, would be insufficient to satisfy your sense of justice—what is to be done?

Now, let’s pose this exact scenario, assuming (to be certain) that no one other than you is in a position or would be willing to break the law to exact a vengeance that would more nearly approximate your idea of justice than the government’s exertions, but in this case the kid isn’t yours, and the rapist isn’t your kid’s soccer coach. Do you avenge this crime, with the near-certainty of punishment (of you) vengeance entails, if the victim is your child’s classmate? What if he lives in the same neighborhood? The same town? What if he lives three towns over? Or in another state? If not, why not?

If you’re pro-life, I expect you’ll agree that the state sanction and subsidization of prenatal infanticide is pure madness. And that there are fashionable, highly educated people out promoting the mental gymnastics required to believe this abortion regime is a symptom of some virtue inherent in our system of government is maddening. But life was cheap back when Tamerlane was lopping off heads, and you want me to believe the intervening centuries have made it less so?

Granted, life in the US can be pretty expensive. As someone who works in EMS and has lived abroad I can say that the extent to which this notion is taken seriously (that we’re all equally entitled to a modicum of decent treatment) is impressive, and so are its results. There are many complaints that can be made about the insufficient and deteriorating maintenance of public health, order and education here, but all things considered, it isn’t half bad. I hear public order is kept better in China, where abortion is mandated by law. In America, it’s encouraged and subsidized. The latter regime maintains control with psy-ops, the former with bi-ops. You want hamburger, or egg fu yung? But the proliferation of supposed rights is inversely proportional to the steady deterioration of civilized life we’re witnessing so poignantly today. How many more of us do you really want out walking around with these laundry lists of rights? Granted, giving babies the shaft is stupendously chickenshit, but them’s the times, and I don’t make the rules.

How did we get here? The way I once countenanced the proposition that “all men are created equal” was by crediting it as a slightly overwrought recapitulation of Marcus Aurelius’ response when asked how he knows the gods exists, having never seen them: “Neither have I seen my own soul, and yet I honor it.” You have to be a real postmodern knit-picker to quibble with the Emperor on that score. Of course it is self-evident that we all intrinsically possess some unquantifiable dignity as creatures. And creatures come in all shapes, sizes and capacities—who are any of us to quantify these differences?

Then again, it’s inevitable that in the course of human events they will be. And this intrinsic dignity is reduced to so much pathos and puerility when it takes up the pitchfork and the petition. From its inception America ordains government as arbiter of the ethereal. At least Shylock’s pound of flesh was tangible. The more far-fetched these pitchforked petitions become—the right to public funding and social approval when suborning a physician to commit prenatal infanticide, the right of poofters to adopt little boys, first from Thailand, then from Church orphanages; the right of the well-off and late middle-aged to harvest their preciouses out of cut-rate rental wombs abroad—the clearer it becomes that, like Marx’s bourgeoisie, the tendency of this enterprise is to round ever southerly Capes and open ever more novel markets. If the prenate is an “undifferentiated clump of cells”, what does that make the Congolese miner? The Bangladeshi seamstress? The migrant produce picker? The Pakistani drone victim? Always diluting its shareholders’ stock, by-and-by this Beelzebub eats its own head. Like the Church, democracy is always locating and innovating temporality onto the transcendent, and vice versa. When it isn’t a lead pipe, the consent of the governed is a conjurer’s sorcery, and we’re happy to be entranced. We tell ourselves that 120 million more hungry, subliterate mouths would be something we could live with, or that infanticide is a right enshrined in the Constitution which devolves to us from Mother Gaia. I, for one, would rather minimize my involvement with Beelzebub than see him co-opted to my way of thinking.

So, though I and Hippocrates know (he without aid of the advanced insights into embryology that inform us) that abortion is murder, a natural crime and a morally reprehensible act; though I would make every effort to dissuade a loved one from committing it (and possibly attempt to restrain them physically), I cannot concern myself with the pretend moral arbitration of an authority that bases itself on uncorroborated claims, without as a consequence recognizing them. And since it only recognizes my rights—my soul—as a product of its protection, I would rather secure my own, such as I am able.

Next year in Montana?

American Diaper

“I stick my neck out for no one…”

“I beat cancer. I never had it.” –Doug Stanhope

I once watched Stephen Colbert interview a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, an enlisted Afghanistan vet from Kentucky. The sight of this flag-draped charlatan straining to make awed conversation with an actual American, clearly his intellectual inferior, was embarrassing to behold.

Fun fact: despite a service record that made fine fodder for Hollywood, the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle had a noted tendency not only to boast, but to fabricate whole tales of heroism. Ain’t that some shit?

Not long ago, the actor Seth Rogan (whose doughy mediocrity is the very image of anything Kyle might be said to’ve defended) offended a great many in the hamster wheel by tweeting that American Sniper reminded him of the (fictitious) Nazi propaganda film being shown to (fictional) German officers in a theater of the fictional occupied Paris of Quentin Tarantino’s ahistorical left-cheek sneak, Inglorious Basterds.

In other words, a movie reminded Rogan of a movie portrayed in a movie. The similarity between Nazi propaganda and Inglorious Basterds itself apparently escaped his notice. American life is nothing if not art imitated.

But the suggestion that Chris Kyle had much in common with his Nazi commando counterparts (not necessarily a bad thing), and that the Kyle hagiography is transparently akin to Nazi propaganda, is quite correct. There’s an Orwellian quality inherent in Americans’ attitude toward the US military. No one supports or is able to make sense of the wars, yet everyone supports the troops. America’s soldiers are merely obeying orders. This is pure mental gymnastics.

Kyle’s demise couldn’t have been more fitting: a simian, professional sucker-punch with no more personality than a deadening brew could draw out, done in by surprise, courtesy of an acolyte bully-narcissist who ultimately exceeded his mentor only in actualization of emotional necrosis. Rather than the paucity of symbolism inherent in a death by cancer or car-wreck, Kyle’s fate richly symbolizes the perfect inverse of the meaning it was mined for by the media, his killer being far more apt a representation of what the US military produces.

Nothing about the military makes sense anymore, and back when anything did, it wasn’t much. Since the abolition of the draft, no one who has served can correctly claim by doing so to have done anything in the interest of their fellow citizens who, like people in most other times and places, lack the capacity to give a shit with any practical viscerality about the travails of those outside their small scope of family and friends. Why should they, anyway?

But they do revere symbols—idols—and, accordingly, a lot of veterans of the post-9/11 wars have very little to talk about other than their veteran status, which they’re fond of conspicuously reminding others about.

Of course, military paperweights aren’t the only offenders—lots of us pursue the appearance of courting danger without ever footing the bill. Every tattooed petty-thug bitching about police mistreatment, every cop who wears a kevlar vest when he goes out harassing street urchins, or shoots a tethered dog in a drug raid. My own lost, self-righteous stint in the Israeli army. My EMS co-workers bragging gleefully about the misery they witness. Not to mention the schlocky, neo-American support-our-troops bluster from all those greying welders and owner-operators who own untested sidearm collections and were busy rolling fatties when the last war was raging.

Chris Kyle would’ve been a true badass in any time and place; it’s the essential spiritual emptiness and vulgar malleability of his character, the anticlimax in his legend, that speak so mockingly to our time.

Gaying away the Prey, Part Deux

A queer theory field day

….a Queer-theory field day….

Pt. I here

Thomas Jefferson famously wrote, “There is not a truth existing which I fear or would wish unknown to the whole world.” That’s taking things a far sight beyond the categorical imperative. But if TMI is a universal law, then (as it turns out) the emotionally spread-eagle American public and its Orwellian overseers cannot be said to have disregarded all of our third president’s advice. And though whether and to what extent to telegraph or conceal our sexual inclinations remains largely a matter of personal choice, when it comes to others’ choices in these matters, we mustn’t mind being made captive audiences. For instance,

At Wonderland Avenue Elementary School in Laurel Canyon, there are lesson plans on diverse families — including those with two mommies or daddies — books on homosexual authors in the library and a principal who is openly gay. But even at this school, teachers and administrators are flummoxed about how to carry out a new law requiring California public schools to teach all students — from kindergartners to 12th-graders — about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans in history classes. (LA Times, October 16, 2011)

I’m going to assume that Laurel Canyon skews a bit left. But for the past several decades, parents in certain less enlightened school districts have proven liable to voice opposition to their first and second-graders receiving instruction in such sensitive subjects, and this legislation of California’s is designed as a sort of preemptively lubed-up middle finger to such small-minded recalcitrants, whom progressive policymakers apparently consider inveterate bigots entirely unworthy of regard. (Not their kids, though.)

Ironically, the periodic, local culture-war skirmishes this California mandate is designed to forfend place gay advocates in the once-counterintuitive position of challenging public lack of concern for what goes on in other people’s bedrooms. After all, parents who object to the topic of homosexuality figuring early in elementary school curricula never (but never) demand their views, nor any particular view of gays, be taught, at least not in the public schools. In fact, I think all will agree that socially conservative parents are generally less likely to discuss birds and bees with their school-age kids at all. Supposing you picked your six-year old up from school and asked him “What did we learn in school today, Timmy?” and he told you, “Well, mommy, today Sister Agatha taught us about heterosexuality.” Is it conceivable that there’s a Catholic phalangist or evangelical troglodyte anywhere on the face of the planet who’d be okay with that? Get real.

But even within more liberal families, sex can be a hugely uncomfortable, generally unnecessary and potentially harmful topic to broach with a small child, which is why most parents (whatever their politics) would probably prefer to limit their children’s exposure to the topic as they see fit. Of course, such parental discretion can never be absolute, but plainly it cannot be maintained at all if a public body is empowered to override it. To cede this discretion is to relinquish the necessary intimacy of a time-honored dialogue through which children’s personalities negotiate family dynamics with those of their parents. Such delicate developmental processes cement familial ties which serve (even under far less-than-ideal circumstances) to outweigh relationships that don’t sufficiently take a child’s best interests into consideration. Interference in them is characteristic of autocracy, no matter the rationale.

So when those who demand that other people’s six-year olds be compulsorily taught about a single, narrow facet of sexual identity insist that their purpose is merely to foster recognition of “families [that] come in all shapes, sizes and configurations” (as one school official told the author of the LA Times story block-quoted above), they’re being disingenuous, because although their program promotes diversity of sexuality and “configuration”, it enforces homogenization of otherwise idiosyncratic family dynamics that depend on the initiative of childhood curiosity to inquire, and the prerogative of parental care to determine when and how best to reply.

On the other hand, on the cultural left it’s axiomatic that children are already becoming aware of sexual identity at very young ages, since awareness of heterosexuality is filtering in through every aspect of their lives—often with adult intervention via children’s literature taught in school that refers to mommies and daddies, princes and princesses, etc. But to suppose this necessitates the provision of comparable information about gays doesn’t follow. Regaling children with tales of princess and princesses follows upon the emergence of inklings of concepts that are beginning, gradually, to dawn upon them without formal elucidation; whereas getting very young children to grapple with concepts that are significantly less readily apparent and comprehensible to them represents not a response to their pace of perception and inquiry, but an imposition of adult interests in rank disregard of that largely self-directed process.

Regardless of politics or sexual orientation, adults should not need it explained to them why, by-and-large, naturally procreative relationships are of greater societal import than the alternatives, and that the practices of the vast majority of people are more liable to garner children’s awareness earlier than less prevalent ones are. Either way, what small children don’t inquire about in these areas, they generally aren’t ready to learn. Gays who feel this falls short of affording them all the validation they’re entitled to would do better to look to themselves for equanimity, rather than to other people’s children. Sexual identity is a mighty idiosyncratic lurch toward enlightenment to be setting collective timetables for.

Of course, other than LGBT advocates, practitioners of precisely zero minority romantic arrangements are agitating for the inclusion in first-grade lessons of information about the life-patterns arising from their novel inclinations. Neither are most alternate family configurations’ demanding their arrangements be formally elucidated as part of fucking kindergarten curricula. Is there really such harm in awareness of homosexuality setting in later that’s egregious enough to justify granting it so high a priority?

Perhaps, yes. But that’s a highly debatable supposition for which there’s no conclusive evidence. So by demanding formal elucidation (however gradual) of sexual orientation in first grade classrooms, gay advocates are implicating the pace of children’s maturation in a dubious definition of societal ill. The corrective measures they’ve managed to implement in California are adult initiatives to conscript children to the cause of affirming the emotional needs of select adults, designed without the slightest real consideration of actual children’s (pawns) needs in mind.

Again—if we’re going to teach public school pupils that “families come in all shapes, sizes and configurations”, all equally deserving of respect, then why does only one such configuration merit mandatory formal elucidation to six-year olds? I understand that gay couples parenting children are sometimes denigrated or excluded on the basis of their sexual orientation, while divorced or adoptive heterosexual parents are not usually shunned or condemned in the same way (i.e., because of their sexual identity), but isn’t this about children before all else? If the dubious starting assumption is that elementary school is ground zero for redress of social maladies—a sort of pre-reeducation program—then is divorce, domestic turmoil or the absence of one or more biological parents in the home really less traumatic for a child, and therefore less deserving of some emotional redress by the school authorities, than having gay parents or experiencing same-sex attraction in a less-than-accepting world?

Interestingly, not all gay activists are quite so circumspect as to demand mere equality. Author Dan Savage is one of a handful of high-profile gay pundits (Masha Gessen and Andrew Sullivan among them) who have famously advanced one form or another of the thesis that, because adultery and divorce are so common, monogamy is inherently untenable. Moreover, he suggests that, because gays (particularly gay men) tend more than straights to openly eschew exclusivity even with long-term partners, the mainstreaming of gay marriage holds out the benefit of eroding monogamy’s demands by diluting them with the less exacting standards that more often pertain among gay men.

In other words, sex is far less relevant to our familial and social bonds (i.e., to love) than we’ve been led to believe by nefarious white church fathers who want to control us through our loins, and we would all be happier if we were to scrap the mutual self-sacrifice and impulse control that marriage entails and just act more like feral dogs, who don’t hold out for approval in these matters from arcane authorities. (It gets better): to that end, we need the highest, most arcane authority, the state, to approve our updated definition of marriage, because we’re pro-marriage. As an added bonus, straight people, whose intimate pursuits we have some opinions about, will get divorced more.

This is precisely the kind of high-hatted meddling in the private affairs of strangers that gay advocacy once claimed to stand against. Indeed, Savage is keen to argue that nearly any kind of sexual relationship whatsoever must be worthy of outside approval as marriage if the parties to it so desire, because peoples’ private lives are not to be meddled in by high-hatted outsiders bent on fashioning society the way they see fit. By this formula, gay marriage is less a diffusion of the power to rank and sanction social arrangements than a reallotment of it. And despite the past two decades’ increasing affirmative publicity regarding gay monogamy, gay advocates like Savage can hardly be expected to face accusations of slander when they assert, in making their case, that gay marriage is often anything but monogamous.

But Savage’s point, shopworn though it is, cannot be brushed aside peremptorily. Of all the features of American life, divorce (the fate of roughly 50% of marriages) is far more prevalent than any societal ill that might conceivably be imputed to gays. Why the resistance to the mere mention of gay marriage in public school classrooms when we’ve got an epidemic of straight divorce on our hands? (What’s the big deal, guys? All we want is to mold your friggin’ children. We swear: we’re good).

The motive imputed most often to social conservatives is vestigial bigotry, and there may be many, many people who are anti-gay because Leviticus, or somesuch. But the uncomfortable question (muted though it often is) that divides gay advocates from social conservatives is not a purely moral one. It’s whether and to what extent human sexuality is malleable, and what’s divisive about the question isn’t its answer, which is obvious. It’s why that answer disconcerts us.

The fact is, parents who wouldn’t like their first graders being taught in school that some boys like other boys just aren’t entirely confident that their kids are impervious to being turned through early normalization because, like gays, they see sexuality as inextricably linked to values systems.

When I say that Christians/social-conservatives and gays/progressives both share a sense that sexuality is linked to values systems, I’m reiterating what you already know: that a gay dude’s values wouldn’t be quite the same if he wasn’t gay, and a Christian’s would be quite different if he was (for our purposes, gay Christians worshipping among liberal denominations fall in the former category). So, while the gay guy’s kid, through some innate personality quirk, might have in him the seeds of a rabid right-winger and will one day decide to become a Catholic and consult for the Heritage Foundation, in the meantime that gay guy wants to teach the kid acceptance and openness. And while the Christian’s kid might one day be gay, or might have been born gay already, in the meantime the Christian wants to encourage his kid to one day marry and procreate.

Ironically enough, gay advocates who advance the proposition that we’re all more or less bisexual, and that traditional discouragement of homosexuality explains its lack of prevalence, are actually in agreement with social conservatives. But when it suits them to drop this meme about heterosexuality’s predominance being culturally determined, gay advocates insist that homosexuality arises less in response to environmental factors than hereditary ones. Well, which is it? We just don’t know for certain. If most people had to bet, no wishy-washing, I think they’d say it’s hereditary. On the other hand, most every aspect of behavior is malleable. Putting aside questions of degree, it would be odd indeed if sexual behavior is exceptional in this regard, or impervious to prevailing norms—which is why God learned Greek when he wished to become an author*, right?

Those who would implement a sexual-identity curriculum so early are driven by the conviction of their values system’s superiority. They’re proselytizing, and they want  captive audience—the more tender, the better. By comparison, socially conservative parents opposed to these curricular innovations exhibit far greater reticence in the face of all the information we have yet to uncover about childhood development and human sexuality. Even supposing some of them believe gays should be stoned to death—at least they aren’t proposing that the topic be broached with everyone else’s five-year olds.

But supposing there are parents who actually prefer to see heterosexuality take root and, in that interest, wouldn’t like their kids being taught an inimical set of values. Is that so strange? After bare survival, procreation is the highest priority of billions of years of our evolution, all the way back to those ignominious first protozoa. Of course, children who exhibit homosexual or gender non-normative tendencies should be afforded all the love, acceptance and protection that their parents would extend to them if they were straight. But it would be odd indeed if it isn’t embedded in many of our hardwirings for parents to want their kids to procreate naturally, far before they want them to find strictly romantic fulfillment, or professional success, or to marry inside the religion of their upbringing, or whatever. Leviticus has fuckall to do with this, because modern civilization can’t possibly stray farther than it already has from monotheism’s original strictures, yet gays (of all people) are jumping at the chance to mimic Eisenhower-era family values. This is Frankenstein’s monster seeking a mate, it comes not from a place of love, but of hate. The system rejected me, so I’m going to fellate it. Love wins, according to five of out of nine jurists emeritus. It just requires approval now.

Considering the extremely high relative incidence of mental illness, pederasty, suicidality and venereal disease among sexual and gender non-normative communities—which have remained constant in spite of over half a century of changing attitudes, and which do not present among comparably marginalized minorities—proponents of gay-friendly elementary school curricula may be motivated as much by the promise of inoculating children against a deeply cultural animus toward gays as by a taboo cognizance of a widespread, innate, evolutionary aversion to homosexuality itself that cannot be readily done away with, but can be further repressed by making it a grave social liability. Perhaps in some sense this is a worthy endeavor, though I doubt it, and I hope I’ve made clear here what other important societal interests are at stake in its pursuit.

Of course, many gay advocates would argue instead that homophobia of any variety stems in significant part from self-identified heterosexuals’ terror of their own latent passions, and that in order to preempt intolerance these must be gently validated before small-minded parents have the chance to discourage them. Such certitude about the inner lives of others is classic projection that shouldn’t ever contribute to informing any school curricula, anywhere.

For the foreseeable future the jury is out when it comes to the nuances of nature’s and nurture’s respective contributions to our indices of sexual proclivities. But to the extent that behavioral outcomes can be molded and attitudes inculcated, responsibility for attempting this should rest primarily with parents, and with the community only secondarily. This is the least that gay partners raising kids together are asking for their families, and traditional families have at least as much right to it as they do.