How far have we really come?
1. Opponents of gay marriage sometimes argue that legalizing it logically leads to legalizing polygamy -- which wouldn’t bother me, since, basically, (A) as a libertarian I think people should be able to make whatever contracts they like and (B) as a quasi-traditionalist I’m aware polygamy’s about as old and time-honored as monogamous marriage anyway -- arguably on firmer traditional ground than gay marriage, even.
So, I’m often disappointed when people in favor of gay marriage hasten to add that they would never condone legalizing polygamy. Why not? This just makes them sound capricious and emboldens their social conservative foes.
Thus, I was pleased with what happened when (intelligent and patient) foe of gay marriage Ryan Anderson appeared twice on Kennedy et al’s show The Independents. I’ve met and like both of them, so I don’t really want to see either of them destroy the other. And indeed, what ended up happening was that Ryan ended his first appearance by pointedly noting that Kennedy (as I’d noticed before) was guilty of the gay yes, polygamy never inconsistency, and she sounded a little defensive about it. Lo and behold, they had Ryan back on a later show, and Kennedy revealed that she’d changed her mind -- and now embraced legalizing both gay marriage and polygamy.
I’m going to call that a victory all around.
2. Fascinatingly, the character of old-timey newspaper magnate T. Herman Zweibel has been resurrected as an avatar of The Onion’s feelings of anti-capitalist guilt over now running sponsored “comedy” (h/t Tushar Saxena), for which the fictional Zweibel does the profit-loving disclaimer. I can’t really blame them, but they’re sort of going the “if it’s ironic, we’re not really sell-outs” route.
(This is a slightly less-weird mixed message than the Snickers ad that features construction workers offering messages of female empowerment clearly meant to please real female viewers, followed by the message that people just aren’t themselves if they haven’t had their Snickers.)
3. As if that report of hospitals heated by burning fetuses wasn’t disturbing enough, it appears that even in the twenty-first century, you shall eat your gods’ flesh -- and so the ritual cannibalism literally begins, in the form of a new service offering sausages made from samples of celebrities’ flesh. At least meat’s not just for speciesists anymore.
4. One of the most prominent anti-sexual-violence organizations is calling for an end to the recent feminist hysteria over “rape culture” (h/t Vulgar Libertarians). I have been reminded by that whole misguided feminist meme -- according to which we are all guilty of enabling rape every time we accept gendered culture -- of the “I blame society” death scene in Repo Man. As a thug dies, he makes that claim as an excuse for his actions, to which our protagonist says, that’s ridiculous because you’ve led a pleasant and pampered life just like the rest of us.
If we want to understand a recurring crime, we should focus on what differentiates the guilty from the rest of us, not throw a warm, aimless blanket of universal guilt over everyone (but then, leftists -- and particularly feminists -- are often too cowardly to hold individuals accountable and thus prefer to drag us all down in egalitarian fashion).
The worst possible route to responsible individual behavior, then, is blaming society. Yet, tragically, that’s what anti-rape activists recently chose to start doing -- and just as they had been on the verge of getting almost everything they wanted, in the form of a nearly 90% reduction in occurrences of rape over the past three decades.
At least the organization that Christina Ricci and others represent seems to be taking the high road.
5. Cathy Reisenwitz has become the default example of a (still rare) libertarian who plays these blame-everybody campus-leftist-style culture analysis games. Naturally, these sorts of culture critics (or Social Justice Warriors, as some have taken to calling them) are oddly selective about which cultural pressures they take to task and which ones they accept (in accordance with their own predilections, of course).
So Reisenwitz deplores “privilege” and “rape culture” -- but is deeply offended if anyone thinks that Duke pornstar (and fellow libertarian) Belle Knox’s participation in rough, violence-themed porn might have something to do with the emotional problems that made her a “cutter.” Of course, I’m also told that cutting became such a common ritual among “emo” youth in recent years that it’s hard to tell the unstable from the fashionable lately. None of this will ever lead the Reisenwitzes of the world to campaign against porn, emo, or crazy chicks, of course. The problem will always somehow be old straight white guys.
Libertarianism, unnoticed by most of the mainstream, is being destroyed from within by leftists lately, and the real question is whether its impressive simultaneous rightward growth can outpace its leftward dissolution. Perhaps every tiny movement is doomed to emulate the clashes and stupidity of larger, more dominant ones.
6. A terrible AlterNet article (h/t Lucy Steigerwald) listed