Wednesday, December 22, 2004

'We have to protect people'

"'Traditional family values are under attack,' Allen informs me. They've been under attack 'for the last 40 years'. The enemy, this time, is not al-Qaida. The axis of evil is 'Hollywood, the music industry'. We have an obligation to 'save society from moral destruction'. We have to prevent liberal libarians [sic] and trendy teachers from 're-engineering society's fabric in the minds of our children'. We have to 'protect Alabamians'." (Via CP.)

Isn't it wonderful that politicians are so eager to help us? I find it boundlessly encouraging that some total stranger is going beyond the call of duty to protect me. I mean, the utter selflessness of it!

Seriously: I don't "get" homophobia. I suspect that just as there are biological conditions that predetermine if one is gay or straight, there are genes/hormones/enzymes that kick in to make people homophobic. And I have a hunch this biological mechanism is tied to religion, another irrational phenomenon with known neurological aspects (thus the burgeoning field of neurotheology).

In other words, there are sets of factors, intrinsic and cultural, that conspire to turn people into assholes. You might not actually find the term "asshole" in the neurological literature, but perhaps it should be there just the same. Assholes, like the "shits" scorned by William Burroughs, appear fundamentally unable to mind their own business. So they become politicians and corporate hotshots, careers that allow them to make a profitable living screwing with other people's lives in the name of "morality," the worst possible form of ersatz altruism. These are the "functionally dead" people I mentioned in a previous post. They're everywhere.

As far as I'm concerned, they might as well belong to some virulent alien species. And yet, far too often, the rest of us willingly play by their rules. We cow-tow to them. We make it easy, consoling ourselves with the costly fiction that casting a vote once every four years might make a difference.

Meanwhile, the planet goes to hell.

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