Saturday, September 13, 2014

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up Dept.

I awoke in great pain and a terrible mood. I’d resolved to take the day off from everything, including blogging, determined to sit by myself and grump all day. I figured I’d earned it. But I had to go do a news sweep first, including – of course! – a stop at InstaPundit.

Damn you, Glenn Reynolds!

One of the most piercing of the classic dramatic motifs is Biter Bit: He who has pranked others, whether viciously or playfully, is caught in the same snare he used on them. It’s a subcategory of “poetic justice,” but is usually meant to be ironically funny.

Politically, there’s quite a lot of Biter Bit going on today. For example, we have a passionately anti-American, anti-war, pro-Islam president, who, as Rush Limbaugh said yesterday on the radio, drove his “base” to the edge of insanity with his endless condemnation of Operation Iraqi Freedom, going to war in Iraq to protect America from Islamic terrorists. That’s why he refuses to commit American ground troops to the theater and won’t even mutter the word war where anyone can hear him. It is to laugh, especially for those of us who see Barack Hussein Obama as the pathetic poseur he is...but it’s far too serious a matter to admit of more than a dry, pathos-laden chuckle.

However, there are cases of Biter Bit that can only be greeted with a hearty, soul-refreshing belly laugh:

Heterosexual best mates McIntosh and McCormick, who have known each other since the age of six, are getting married as winners of a competition run by The Edge radio station in New Zealand.

After more than 200 entries, McIntosh, a 23-year-old engineering student at Otago University, and McCormick, a 24-year-old teacher at Musselburgh School in Dunedin, were chosen from three bromance couples to win an all-expenses paid trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

The catch was that the buddies had to get married — a same-sex wedding — and they will do that tomorrow in front of 60 family and friends at New Zealand’s home of rugby, Eden Park, in Auckland.

A celebrant will make the union legally binding, the marriage will be streamed live on the radio station.

The key word in the above, of course, is heterosexual. The marriage is a condition required by the contest; it’s not something McIntosh and McCormick would do otherwise. I hardly think they’ll be “consummating” it any time soon. Tell me, Gentle Reader: What reaction would you expect from the homosexual-activist community?

That’s right:

Otago University Students’ Association Queer Support co-ordinator Neill Ballantyne told the Otago Daily Times that the wedding was an “insult” as marriage equality was a “hard fought” battle for gay people.

“Something like this trivialises what we fought for,” he said.

The competition promoted the marriage of two men as something negative, “as something outrageous that you’d never consider”, Ballantyne said.

LegaliseLove Aotearoa Wellington co-chairman Joseph Habgood told the Otago Daily Times that the competition attacked the legitimacy of same-sex marriages.

“The point of this competition is that men marrying each other is still something they think is worth having a laugh at ...

“Maybe on the day that statistics around mental health for LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people are better, when high schools are safe places for LGBTI youth, we can look back on all this and laugh.

“But competitions like this don’t bring that day any closer.”

I cannot help but be reminded of a passage from Atlas Shrugged:

    “Well, consider the unions’ side of it,” Weatherby said. “Maybe you can’t afford to give them a raise, but how can they afford to exist when the cost of living has shot sky-high? They’ve got to eat, don’t they? That comes first, railroad or no railroad.” Mr. Weatherby’s tone had a kind of placid righteousness, as if he were reciting a formula required to convey another meaning, clear to all of them; he was looking straight at Taggart, in special emphasis of the unstated....He looked straight at Taggart; he merely looked, but his glance had the quality of a wink. “There’s an awful lot of them, Jim. They’re not very happy at the moment about an awful lot of things. A government that would bring the railroad rates down would make a lot of folks grateful.”
    The silence that answered him was like a hole so deep that no sound could be heard of the things crashing down to its bottom. Taggart knew, as they all knew, to what disinterested motive Mr. Mouch would always be ready to sacrifice his personal friendships.
    It was the silence and the fact that she did not want to say it, had come here resolved not to speak, but could not resist it, that made Dagny's voice sound so vibrantly harsh:
    “Got what you've been asking for, all these years, gentlemen?”

But there’s another passage, from a writer better known for his rollicking, often self-mocking humor, that comes to mind as well:

    “What I wear around my neck,” Cordle said coldly, “becomes what it is intended to be. If I wore a piece of figured silk around my throat,, would you call it ladies’ underwear? Linen is a suitable material for a necktie, verdad? Function defines terminology, don’t you agree? If I ride to work on a cow, no one says I am mounted on a steak. Or do you detect a flaw in my argument?”
    “I’m afraid that I don’t fully understand it....”
    “Then how can you presume to stand in judgment over it?”

[Robert Sheckley, “Cordle to Onion to Carrot,” in his collection Can You Feel Anything When I do This?]

Sheckley pinned the matter accurately and with absolute precision:

Function is supreme over the terminology applied to it.

The function of marriage has always been twofold:

  1. To protect women and minor children from faithlessness or abandonment by a husband;
  2. To protect a husband from having obligations imposed upon him by an adulterous wife.

A “marriage” that does not address those functions is no marriage at all – and the homosexual activists who’ve been banging the drum for State-recognized same-sex marriage know it as well as you and I. McIntosh and McCormick have forced the subject into high and public relief, for the Australian audience at least.

The dudgeon of the homosexual activists is a truly delicious item of Biter Bit. Having trivialized marriage by demanding that it be stripped of all relation to its functions, they have discovered that they’re not the only players in the game – and that the rules are not in their favor.

Have a nice day, Gentle Reader. I shall now return to my previously scheduled grumping.

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