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"One True Purpose"?
Nuh-uh. That's the argument people frequently bring up when they tell you they're against gay marriage: They say marriage is for raising children, and since gay unions can't produce children, gays shouldn't be allowed to marry.

I'm frequently surprised by this argument, since gays can and do adopt, and since straight marriages are often childless. I mean, we don't stop menopausal women from tying the knot...well, not unless the partner they happen to be in love with is a chick.

Eugene Volokh has done a bunch of posts on the topic that clear up this anti-gay-marriage illogic, and takes on another silly argument, the notion that gay sex is not "natural." When one of his commenters argued that gay sex is "natural" for gay people, another commenter shot back:

"You are simply wrong based on human biology. Tab P goes into slot V not slot B."

Volokh made neat work of this one:

Well, tab P goes into slot V, except when it doesn't. My guess is that, as a purely descriptive matter, tab P goes into the P-owner's hand many more times, on average, than it goes into slot V. If the most common use (i.e., the norm) defines the One True Inherent Use, then any sex other than masturbation is unnatural.

Ah, the commenter might respond, but that's not the purpose of the penis. The purpose of the penis, either in the sense of what its biological function is, or in the sense of how God designed it (I don't know the commenter's philosophy, so I'm not sure which he'd focus on), is to be inserted into a vagina so as to procreate.

But biology doesn't have "purposes," except in a metaphorical sense. Biology has developed the penis into a multi-functioned organ — it can be used for urination, for sexual pleasure, for emotional bonding, and for reproduction (I list these in what I guess to be decreasing order of actual frequency of use). Likewise for the multi-functioned vagina, though replacing urination with delivery of babies. More broadly, the sexual act is likewise a multi-functioned act. Likewise, biology has developed the mouth into a stunningly multi-functioned organ: It can be used for (among other things) breathing, communicating, consuming sustenance-producing substances, tasting substances to see whether they are wholesome, expelling vomit, kissing, licking stamps, and at least four different kinds of production of pleasure in oneself and others — singing, eating tasty food, stimulating others' nongenital erogenous zones, and stimulating others' genitals.

The anus is a less multi-functioned organ. Still, it can be used not just for elimination of wastes, but also for prostate exams, for gynecological exams, for the administration of medicine to people (often babies) who can't easily keep it down when the medicine is administered orally, and for the relatively accurate determination of body temperature. The latter four functions are of course artifacts of modern medicine, but I doubt that any of us would condemn them as violations of natural law, especially since learning, thinking, and developing new processes is natural for humans. Likewise, the anus can be used for sexual pleasure, and has been used that way by humans for millennia (and is used that way by some animals). Why then treat the anus, the mouth, or the penis as having One True Inherent Purpose rather than recognizing that they can be used in multiple ways, each of which is fully consistent with our biology.

Likewise if one sees the human being as part of God's design, and tries to deduce proper conduct from such design. (I set aside the separate argument that proper conduct should be deduced from supposedly authoritative religious works, such as the Bible — that's not the argument I'm responding to here.) God seems to have designed the human body in such a way that the penis, the mouth, and the anus can be used in lots of different ways; why should we infer, simply from the fact that one use (penile-vaginal sex leading to reproduction) is so important, that it's the One True Proper Use of genitalia? Likewise, God has designed humans in a way that allows some of them to be attracted to members of their own sex; even if you believe that this preference isn't innate, but is caused in part by upbringing or by personal choice, it's clear that the possibility of this preference is indeed present in humans (and, as I said, other animals). This too casts doubt on the theory that penises or the sexual act have One True Inherent Purpose or One True Inherent Mode Of Employment.

Words can have many functions (in the sense of many meanings). Institutions, like marriage, can have many functions. Parts of the body can have many functions. Human practices can have many functions. One can certainly argue that some functions are beneficial and some are harmful. But I see little reason to assume that there can only be one true inherent metaphysical natural function, or to infer that just because one function is very important, all other possible functions are improper or violations of natural (or linguistic) law.

I also commented on the broader "unnaturalness" argument three years ago, here.

Posted by aalkon at October 3, 2007 10:59 AM

Comments

Thanks for expanding my dirty sex talk lexicon, Amy. Next time someone goes down on me, I'll be sure to remind them of their "One True Inherent Purpose" in life.

Posted by: Lena at October 3, 2007 8:29 AM

We aim to please!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 3, 2007 9:16 AM

"penile-vaginal sex leading to reproduction"

What's THAT? Sounds kinda icky.

Posted by: Lena at October 3, 2007 9:20 AM

Well, I'm not a big fan of the "leading to reproduction" part.

I love a New Yorker cartoon Gregg told me about. Somebody is looking over at a kid or some kids, and says, "They're cute, but what are they for?"

My sentiments, exactly.

I have friends who are kids, but I find many children I encounter in public in need of either leashes and muzzles or parents who actually parent.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 3, 2007 9:38 AM

Amy -

I have friends who are kids, but I find many children I encounter in public in need of either leashes and muzzles or parents who actually parent.

My partner and I actually do parent. Though a leash isn't really an issue, I am occasionally tempted by the notion of a muzzle. Unfortunately, this is considered child abuse and thus is illegal, as is simple duct tape.

Kind of sucks, of the two, the one that I could actually use once in a while, is illegal, while the other is not. Still, leashes are also handy for some kids, even mine when he was younger.

On the morons who parent front, I saw the top last night on the MAX (Portland's light rail). About five or six years old, speaking in grunts, he literally had his mother in tears. He kept getting up and running around on the train, until he finally actually escaped the train at one of the stops. Came very close to losing track of momma, as the doors started to shut just as he leapt out. It was my stop and I caught the door, so momma could get off too. Were it my kid, he would have been having trouble sitting down when he got home. She got him the treat he wanted, as the reason he ran off, was to go to the corner store to get one.

Of course my kid is very, very careful when disembarking the trains (getting on too) to make sure that he has the hand of whichever of us is with him. Though we have drilled on what to do if we do get seperated, he is also afraid of really bad people that might try to take him away from us. I have no problem with propagating that notion. . .

Posted by: DuWayne at October 3, 2007 11:05 AM

> "They're cute, but what are
> they for?"

> My sentiments, exactly.

Seinfeld: "Make no mistake... They are here to replace us!"

Posted by: Crid at October 3, 2007 11:40 AM

You people just don't get it.
Tax breaks are handed out by straight married politicians to their straight married constituency for a number of purposes, not the least of which are (1) creating more straight married voters and (2) using up the Earth that Jesus gave us so we can bring on more strife and, eventually, the Apocalypse and the Rapture, leaving behind a burned-out cinder of a planet, above which the Chosen Ones will float with Jesus, laughing at the sinners as they suffer for failing to pay their weekly 10% tithe.
I wonder if we can tax the breeding pairs in direct proportion to the damage their over-sized litters do to the planet.

Posted by: Gog_Magog_Carpet_Reclaimers at October 3, 2007 12:39 PM

I believe kids are for your future.
So dose this mean that heteros can not have there own institution of marriage? Why should they have to change it? Because a bunch of folks who don't believe in it anyway want it changed?
Can't the gay community invent their own institution for themselves are do they have to take away a millennium old tradition away from the straights?
It seems to me that much of the gay issue is they are being denied special government perks, perks that they feel can be rectified by marriage. Well aren’t singles being denied those perks?
Perhaps the real solution is an amendment that forbids the federal government from discriminating in any way against adult members of this country. Of course many of the same folks who want gay marriage, support other types of discrimination when it comes to taxation or other issues that benefit them. Personally I don’t believe our government should be able to offer any benefits to select members of our population. If the government wants to hand out something they should have to hand it out to every one.

Posted by: rusty wilson at October 3, 2007 1:02 PM

Gog_Magog_Carpet_Reclaimers,
Then can I assume that you are against this unfair income tax that is in place? I believe that it exempts around %50 of the tax payers. Also, could you be a little more specific about this; Tax breaks are handed out by straight married politicians to their straight married constituency. Just what are you referring to? Married couples actually paid more tax than unmarried ones until the Bush tax cuts, six years ago and temporary.

Posted by: rusty wilson at October 3, 2007 1:07 PM

Can't the gay community invent their own institution for themselves are do they have to take away a millennium old tradition away from the straights?

How is allowing gays the same rights as straight people taking something away from straight people?

I'm against marriage privileging, but I'm even more against marriage privileging only for a specialized few.

Rusty writes: "Of course many of the same folks who want gay marriage, support other types of discrimination when it comes to taxation or other issues that benefit them. "

Such as? Let's say this is the case. You don't deny somebody rights because they're an idiot or a hypocrite if you're already granting those rights to loads of other idiots and hypocrites.

You, Rusty, can go to your church and marry some woman. I totally support your church's freedom (based on the silly, evidence-free belief in god, and all the trimmings) to deny gay people marriage. But, since marriage licenses come from the state, any taxpayer should be allowed to get one to marry the person of their choice if they so desire...despite whether a bunch of religious nutters think they'll go to that place there's no evidence exists called "hell," etc.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 3, 2007 1:11 PM

Amy,
I am not denying gays the right to join in some type of union. I am saying that marriage is between a man and a woman. If it is called something else dose it actually matter?
At present, it seems to me that both straights and gays are denied marring their own sex, so I don’t see the discrimination. Furthermore many of these arguments stem from the rather recent notion that marriage is for love, yet history shows that is hardly the case.
Why not get rid of no fault marriage, make it harder, and then invent some other type of union that gays, straights all can use? Couldn’t two aging sisters use many of the benefits that gay marriage is supposed to provide?
And Amy, do you oppose an amendment that would make it illegal for the federal government to discriminate against it’s citizens? Do you think that many folks would truly want marriage if there weren’t any nationally sponsored financial advantages?
So as you can probably guess I feel that gays have the same rights as straight people. They can both marry the opposite sex. Now why not invent something for same sex couples and singles? Do Dinks actually need to be married? Wouldn’t some sort of marriage lite be better? Should marriage rules be stronger for those that have kids? Are should they be allowed to divorce for no reason and run from their parental duties?
Such as? Uh, how about income tax for starters? Why should one citizen pay a different rate than another? Isn’t this a bigger trvisty? And if not, then you must fell that the Federal government dose have the right to discriminate...game over.
You, Rusty, can go to your church...I don’t
marry some woman...my girl got pregnant. Been married 25 years now. Raised them well, they both are strong contributors.
I totally support your church's freedom...It would be hard to find a church with my views, I am a scientist after all.
But, since marriage licenses come from the state, any taxpayer should be allowed to get one to marry the person of their choice if they so desire...despite whether a bunch of religious nutters think they'll go to that place there's no evidence exists called "hell," etc.....................In other words marriage means nothing, we say it is so, everyone can marry who cares.
Well, I do and I don’t believe children are bad. You’re not a bad child are you>? Do you take care of your folks? Well then there you go. The youth take care of the old.
And if you think no more kids, do you also think no more immigration? Isn’t tit the same thing? We allow immigrants because Americas population has negative growth.

Posted by: rusty wilson at October 3, 2007 1:35 PM

> How is allowing gays the
> same rights as straight people
> taking something

Psst- Gays are allowed the same rights as straight people, Precisely the same rights. No distinction is made between gays and straights under the law.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Posted by: Crid at October 3, 2007 1:56 PM

Crid,
Exactly

Posted by: rusty wilson at October 3, 2007 2:00 PM

What, silly, evidence-free belief in god? Oh please there is plenty of non evidence on both sides. There is plenty of pro evidence on both sides. You don’t get to declare that there is no evidence for God unless you are one of those idiots and hypocrites that you referenced earlier.
Nor do you get to blanket all Church goers as religious nutters either, unless you are as prejudice as those you accuse.....making you one of those idiots and hypocrites that you referenced earlier.
You don't deny somebody rights because they're an idiot....Uh I believe the insane are denied their rights, and they most certainly are idiots.
I'm against marriage privileging...uh how about all privileging? Shouldn’t that be what we are all against? You seem to argue for bestowing more privilege.
Such as?...Uh I wrote,” many of the same folks who want gay marriage, support other types of discrimination when it comes to taxation”. Was that not clear or something?

Posted by: rusty wilson at October 3, 2007 2:22 PM

Rusty -

Personally I don’t believe our government should be able to offer any benefits to select members of our population. If the government wants to hand out something they should have to hand it out to every one.

Agreed, thus why the legal security that marriage provides, should not be restricted to hetero couples. Thank you for such a great argument for marriage equality.

Posted by: DuWayne at October 3, 2007 2:32 PM

He said every one, not every couple.

Posted by: Crid at October 3, 2007 2:38 PM

Rusty -

Why not get rid of no fault marriage, make it harder, and then invent some other type of union that gays, straights all can use? Couldn’t two aging sisters use many of the benefits that gay marriage is supposed to provide?

Damn, we are totally together on this. That is exactly my argument against marriage as a civil institution.

Posted by: DuWayne at October 3, 2007 2:40 PM

Rusty -

Why not get rid of no fault marriage, make it harder, and then invent some other type of union that gays, straights all can use? Couldn’t two aging sisters use many of the benefits that gay marriage is supposed to provide?

Damn, we are totally together on this. That is exactly my argument against marriage as a civil institution.

Posted by: DuWayne at October 3, 2007 2:40 PM

Oy, Crid,

I thought I was too mean for you to bother with. . .

Posted by: DuWayne at October 3, 2007 2:42 PM

DuWayne,
The security of marriage is so that the children can be raised. Some animals are able to dump their young at a young age. Humans need to raise their young for at least ten years in order for them to survive. In this new environment/society that we have created it takes sixteen to twenty years to prepare a newly born human to survive. Therefore the security of marriage is to insure the proper training of our young. If this was actually taking place, instead of the single parent trend that is occurring in our nation many of the problems that Amy points out involving children would go away.
I am not denying legal security for anyone. In fact, as I wrote earlier I encourage some new form of union between two folks. For that matter, why limit it at two? Marriage lite is obviously needed in this litigious world that we have created. I myself make numerous legal arrangements with other folks. They are called LLCs.
I am just saying, leave marriage alone. Gay marriage is not marriage. It is something else so call it something else. Make a new institution. And while we are at it, why limit it to gays?

Posted by: rusty wilson at October 3, 2007 2:45 PM

Rusty -

Gays raise kids too. So lets limit marriage to those who are raising kids. Straight or gay, if you are raising a family, you can be married. Gay or straight, if you're not, no marriage. Glad we got that settled.

Make a new institution. And while we are at it, why limit it to gays?

I am all for abolishing marriage as a civil institution and making the standard civil unions that anyone in a domestic partnership, whether in a romantic relationship or not, can take part of and enjoy the security of.

While it is less common, there are plenty of people in domestic partnerships, who accrue property together and should also have the legal authority to make medical decisions for incapacitated partners. I see no reason for having several different institutions, that provide the exact same legal securities.

This standard would also mean that everyone would have a right to deny the legitimacy of any marriage they felt was not valid. Marriage could actually be a sacred institution to those who see it as such, everyone not falling into their definition of what legitimate marriage really is, just aren't really married. Including people who are religious and don't believe inter-religious, non-religious marriages are really valid, hetero or not. It would also eliminate people getting married to accrue legal security, as I have known platonic domestic partners to do.

Posted by: DuWayne at October 3, 2007 2:57 PM

> too mean for you to bother

Too young... But it would be a shame if anyone twisted Rusty's maaning, doncha think?

Posted by: Crid at October 3, 2007 2:58 PM

Crid,
Oh I am twisted...in the sid sense. Isn’t that enough?
DuWayne,
The State/Feds have to have a way to enforce accountability for the children, such as forcing folks to stay together and raise their children. Therefore it has to remain a civil institution.
As for your main point, it is a good one upon which I will ponder. I have never had it suggested to me. But I can tell you that I have wrestled with the concept of gay men adopting boys. I have no problem with gay women adopting boys or girls.
Like wise I have a problem with straight men being able to adopt girls. Should two straight guys be able to adopt girls?
I also oppose gay scoutmasters just like I oppose men running the girl scout troop.
Men are such sexually aggressive creatures. And of course it is not our fault. We are designed that way.
Anyway I am slowly turning on this point as more data comes out from countries that allow that sort of thing.
I hope I wasn’t overly crude or harsh there but I do feel that way.

Posted by: rusty wilson at October 3, 2007 3:10 PM

Too young... and immature?

But your the one failing to make a single rational argument that isn't based in bigotry. Your also the one who decided to identify yourself, entirely to the argument you were making, which is what I actually called moronic bigotry. Your the one who is making the assumption, without any rational argument, that hetero relationships are superior to those of gays. You are also the one saying it is "cosmic" then changing it to a more ambiguous "force."

You are also the one making arguments against gay marriage, that equally apply to hetero marriage. Likewise, your the one making arguments for hetero marriage, every single one of which, would equally apply to gay marriage.

Finally, your the one ignoring every single argument that I have made, in support of gay marriage, ignoring my pleas for a rational argument, that supports your position, yet still declaring victory. We haven't even had an argument yet.

Too young... But it would be a shame if anyone twisted Rusty's maaning, doncha think?

Not really. I was agreeing with what he said. If he doesn't mean it, then he should have been clear.

Posted by: DuWayne at October 3, 2007 3:16 PM

My only concern here is the nature of men and the right to adopt. Two men and a boy, hum. Well if the boy is actually someone’s son of course then you are right. But I am concerned about adoption rights. They would of course have to be conveyed if man and man marriage were the same as man and women marriage...which of course they aren’t.
Why? Well one involves two members of the opposite sex and one involves two members of the same sex. Men are sexually aggressive women are not. And I know it is generalizing but hey even facts are general trends.

Posted by: rusty wilson at October 3, 2007 3:28 PM

Got to go drink beer. DuWayne, I enjoyed talking with you. Feel free to email if you want to continue exploring this issue.

Posted by: rusty wilson at October 3, 2007 3:34 PM

> he should have been clear.

He was, you weren't.

As you're the petitioner, I know that you carry the burden of proof, so I'm just trying to help here. It's important that we call stay on the same page.

Posted by: Crid at October 3, 2007 3:50 PM

"They're cute, but what are they for?"

Very cute indeed, especially when they're pushing around a mop or a vacuum cleaner.

Posted by: Lena at October 3, 2007 4:11 PM

Lena -

You would simply adore mine then. His favorite birthday present, at his last birthday, was a hoover cleaning set that included a broom, mop and various cleaning supplies. He was even more thrilled when I bought him a blue (his favorite colour) vacuum cleaner, that is small enough for him to run.

When we go to our favorite toy store, he loves going to the bins with all the small toys, animals, cars, etc. He will spend hours, putting all the toys back into their proper bins. I have to call ahead, because if the bins are not in disarray, he gets very disappointed. He doesn't actually care if we buy anything, as long as he can organize the bins (though they invariably give him something. A little OCD, but it's manifestation could be worse.

Posted by: DuWayne at October 3, 2007 7:44 PM

Crid -

I have made several coherent, reasonable arguments. You have yet to actually respond to any of them, or the accompanying questions. You have not put forth anything. I would love to debate you, but it's a little onesided thus far.

Rusty -

I would like that, but I would need your address. Or you can click my name, emails on the upper right corner. I will respond here later, have to go get groceries, after I put the boy to bed.

Posted by: DuWayne at October 3, 2007 7:47 PM

Actually, Crid, in all fairness, you have made a argument, but I refuse to get into a "my cosmic force has a bigger dick than your cosmic force," sort of argument.

Posted by: DuWayne at October 3, 2007 7:54 PM

Martin and others do that too, screeching "Your argument has had no effect!" a little too loudly and a little too often. It's fun to have gotten under your skin... It gives the illusion that you might finally have been compelled to think things all the way through.

But we'll not hold our breath.

Posted by: Crid at October 3, 2007 8:17 PM

Your kid sounds like a winner, DuWayne. What's his name?

Posted by: Lena at October 3, 2007 9:38 PM

Lena -

Caleb. He is, but he also has ADHD, courtesy of me, which makes things interesting. He's also got this weird perfectionist attitude, if he can't do something right, he doesn't want to do it at all. An example, he took a long while to start talking, but when he did, he could express complete ideas coherently. Walking was the same. He went from the elbow crawl to full tilt, never toddled.

Unfortunately, this is a lot different with things such as writing, that really have to be practiced. That and his ADHD issues, really make kindergarten a challenge. Still, the OCD cleaning and organizing issues are kind of cool.

He's also as obsessive as I am, about organizing his library. Everything must be alpha by author and separated by subject. Granted, the subject distribution is, shall we say, creative, but he is all about his books being in the proper order. He also needs to do this regularly, because books end up off the shelves a lot. I was very excited when he decided that his shelves should be next to mine, so we could do it together.

Posted by: DuWayne at October 3, 2007 11:22 PM

Crid -

It's not a problem of your arguments not having an effect. It's a problem of you not making any, that don't boil down to some ambiguous, cosmic force, or just force. You claim that hetero relationships are somehow superior, yet fail utterly, to explain how. You say that gay marriage will have a cost to society, but fail to explain what that cost is, beyond some measly tax breaks that heteros get for being married. You claim that marriage is a positive thing for society, yet fail to explain how gay marriage would be any less positive for society.

If marriage is really this great, positive force for stability and growth, then you should be screaming for gays to get married. If it has a cost, in tax breaks and court dockets, that is not worth it, then you should be screaming for the abolition of marriage.

So no, it's not that your arguments have no effect, its that you haven't fucking made one, that doesn't boil down to, "I don't like teh Gay, hetero relationships have more value, the kids of hetero couples have more value, though I really can't say why, except that my cosmic beliefs say they do."

Posted by: DuWayne at October 3, 2007 11:31 PM

Someone named Rusty, who doesn't seem terribly supportive of the gay community, make this comment earlier:

"Can't the gay community invent their own institution for themselves are [sic] do they have to take away a millennium old tradition away from the straights?"

It's funny, because this sentiment doesn't seem so far removed from those of the queer theory/studies professor Michael Warner in his book, "The Trouble With Normal." Warner, who had the honor of being named one of the "100 most dangerous academics in America" by Norman Podhoretz, might have said it more like this:

"Can't mainstream gay activists establish cultural institutions that honor and affirm same-sex relationships without reproducing the traditional model of the heterosexual marriage?"

As a fag with no interest in marriage rights, I have moved away from this general position over the past few years only with great reluctance, because gay marriage and the official acceptance of gays in the military will be the final death knell of everything groovy about gay culture. I know that grooviness isn't so important to conservative fags like Andrew "Muscle Buns" Sullivan, but I for one will miss it greatly. It's as inevitable as the eventual sagging of Madonna's ass: Gays are quickly becoming as tiresome as straights.

Until then: Pass me those poppers. And that cum-stained copy of "Swann's Way," of course.

Posted by: Lena at October 4, 2007 12:21 AM

1. Sullivan isn't nicknamed "Muscle Buns", he's nicknamed "Pillar Neck."

(I made that up, but so did you!)

2. Cammy countermands Volokh!

"Homosexuality is not "normal." On the contrary, it is a challenge to the norm; therein rests its eternally revolutionary character. Note I do not call it a challenge to the *idea* of the norm. Queer theorists- that wizened crew of flimflamming free-loaders - have tried to take the poststructuralist tack of claiming that there is no norm, since everything is relative and contingent. This is the kind of silly bind that word-obsessed people get into when they are deaf, dumb, and blind to the outside world. Nature exists, whether academics like it or not. And in nature, procreation is the single, relentless rule. That is the norm. Our sexual bodies were designed for reproduction. Penis fits vagina: no fancy linguistic game- playing can change that basic fact.

"However, my libertarian view, here as in regard to abortion, is that we have not only the right, but the obligation to defy nature's tyranny. The highest human identity consists precisely in such assertions of freedom against material limitation. Gays are heroes and martyrs who have given their lives in the greatest war of them all."
(V&T p. 71)

Posted by: Crid at October 4, 2007 1:15 AM

I almost didn't include that second part. If you choose, you may now applaud the generosity of my rhetorical comportment.

Posted by: Crid at October 4, 2007 1:18 AM

Lena -

I love that quote. I have a very close friend, who moved out here from MI about a year before I did. S/he (24 now) quickly got involved in a very serious relationship with her partner (21 now). My first roomie out here, an older queer's exact words upon having them over for dinner; "fucking queer kids today, as tiresome as any breeders." They are rather a doting couple, nearly insufferable since they began raising a dog together and going to relationship counseling.

Posted by: DuWayne at October 4, 2007 8:45 AM

I hate to see gay people become as boring as straight people, but I'm for granting everybody the right to be dull, engage in marital bickering, and raise irritating brats. As a lifelong fag hag, I just hope more fags stay faggy than not.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 4, 2007 9:46 AM

Crid, that was enormously generous of you. I've always thought that my penchant for buttfucking was nothing more than a pervy little diversion. Little did I know I've been "defying Nature's tyranny" for all these years. Get out of my way, motherfucker! Beyonce has arrived!

Where does Cammy get her sense of drama? It's like she never stopped listening to her scratched-up copy of Volunteers. Or maybe the schmutz from all those Philly cheesesteaks crossed the blood-brain barrier at a young and tender age.

Posted by: Lena at October 4, 2007 10:08 AM

On a more serious note: I think Sullivan's neck is "pillar-like" because of his HIV medications (lypodystrophy, I guess). Serious props to him for living long and well. May his muscle buns flex for years to come!

Posted by: Lena at October 4, 2007 10:13 AM

I think Paglia's faults cost her more dearly than they should. I think she's just fucking wonderful. My favorite people are bright & pugilistic, and she's certainly both. For whatever reason --and I think it's a big mix of heritage and individual character-- she's a person who isn't afraid of bad news. She's one of the few who understands that the natural world is not friendly, and that includes the nature of one's own heart. So as people get upset when she shares some gloomy truth, they whip out all these superficial complaints about her style.

Nobody has to be perfect. But even her faults are interesting. She obviously has a superb sense of irony, and I think she's gotta pretty good sense of humor as well. But she couldn't tell an actual joke to save her life. Despite being so alert, she's incapable of playful wisecracks that that aren't connected to some grander theme. (And that's usually a problem for drab liberals.) I think this is a 'genetic marker' for something about her intellectual nature. It's like when Hitchens says his inability to do fiction has something to do with his disinterest in music. Or when Zappa confessed that he couldn't balance a checkbook for the same reason he couldn't write melodic counterpoint.


Sullivan has said that he got his neck from years of rugby. (He also said schoolmate Elizabeth Shue thought he was gorgeous and hit on him... A tragically wasted opportunity. Shue! As a fertile coed!) Anyway, we'll except whatever conjecture you care to offer regarding his buns.

Posted by: Crid at October 4, 2007 1:58 PM

Lena,
Someone named Rusty, who doesn't seem terribly supportive of the gay community. Dose one need to agree with every single issue the gay community has in order to be supportive? I don’t think so.
You seem to tag me with this; "Can't mainstream gay activists establish cultural institutions that honor and affirm same-sex relationships without reproducing the traditional model of the heterosexual marriage?"
I am not sure that is what I am saying although I am hesitant about two gay men with out children that they have fathered adopting boys. However, that said I am still open to change. That is why I am watching countries that have approved gay adoption. Other than that all I asked was why can’t the union of two like sexes have a different name than the union of two opposite sexes. After all, they are different as I just pointed out.
I too like counter culture. It just loses it’s luster when it becomes main stream.

Posted by: rusty wilson at October 4, 2007 2:20 PM

Hey, Rusty --

You said:

"all I asked was why can’t the union of two like sexes have a different name than the union of two opposite sexes."

That's not such a bad question! And I think most gay marriage advocates would accept something "less than" marriage at this point, since any kind of progress would add a little more grease to the slippery slope of policy change.

But again, marriage rights don't matter all that much to me, personally. I'll write a check every once in a while for a gay rights organization, but honestly I'm just looking for a good time.

Happy trannies!

LC

Posted by: Lena at October 4, 2007 3:27 PM

Crid -- Such a funny photo of Andrew. I guess he was feeling a little lonely and, um, empty at the time.

Posted by: Lena at October 4, 2007 3:40 PM

Here is another good reason for gay marriage.

Posted by: DuWayne at October 6, 2007 10:57 AM

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