1. It’s Newspeak. If you don’t know why Newspeak is bad (or what Newspeak is), read (or reread) 1984.
2. Not too long ago, we were told (about once ever 20 minutes or so here in the Bay Area – YMMV) that marriage was just a piece of paper at best, and at worst was a the perpetuation of misogynistic patriarchal hegemony, nothing more than institutionalized rape. Homosexuals, in particular, made constant hay over the stupidity of ‘breeders’, specifically and pointedly mocking those of us married with children. We got the point: Marriage, in the opinion of vocal homosexuals and other enlightened thinkers, was stupid and vile, and not getting married was a primary *positive* feature of the gay lifestyle.
Well? Where is that Greek chorus now? Because given this very recent history, we should be hearing a lot of the following:
– railings against gay marriage by the people who have long railed against marriage;
– conversion stories, of the ‘I used to think marriage was idiotic, but now I see the light’ variety.
But since we don’t, one is compelled to some less than hopeful conclusions:
– the people who attacked marriage then are still attacking marriage now, just using different tactics;
– gay marriage doesn’t really mean marriage, which circles back to objection 1.
Note that these conclusions ore not in the least mutually exclusive.
3. Since marriage has functioned primarily to perpetuate the culture from which the local politics, if any, spring, it is socially, culturally and politically prudent to insist on a careful and thorough definition of what we now intend by this new definition of marriage. Marriage as understood by virtually all cultures at all times simply excludes the sort of relationships contemplated under the term gay marriage. So, what DO we mean?
I’m still waiting. Note that saying that ‘it’s just like marriage now, only gay couples get to do it’ is the Newspeak equivalent of saying ‘it’s just like black, only white’ – in other words, meaningless unless one merely intends to redefine black to mean white. We should be clear on this.
Commentary: We have reached this goofy pass, we have come to boil the lobster of marriage, by small steps that have warmed the water in the pot imperceptivity. These include the commonly recognized steps of 1) divorcing marriage from child rearing (birth control drugs and devices only ease the implementation of this divorce); 2) creating no-fault divorce, which remade marriage as solely a vehicle for the satisfaction of the married couple. The goals and duties of culture and society were mooted; 3) promulgating the iron law that sex is no big thing, do whatever makes you happy.
I propose several contributing developments:
– near total ignorance of history and culture. Speaking of Orwell, ‘Multiculturalism’ is term that deserves its own wing in the Newspeak Hall of Fame – it means exactly the opposite of what the words might lead one to suspect it means. Because in order to have or appreciate more than one culture, one must first know what a culture is, and appreciate at least *one*. But the effect of multiculturalism is to prevent, under the aegis of anti-eurocentrism, the understanding of our own culture. Dead white guys, and all that. It should be clear that failure to understand ones’ own culture effectively prevents understanding any body else’s culture. If you refuse to be inside and saturated by the culture that largely made you who you are, then you have excluded the intellectual and emotional key to understanding people who are inside and saturated with the culture that made them who they are. Multiculuralists, in their purest non-judgmental form, both understand no cultures and have been immunized against understanding any cultures in the future.
So, imagine the level of discourse that will take place in such a world. Actually, you don’t have to imagine – just listen. The very idea that something both as universally human and as intensely integrated into particular cultures as marriage could be coherently discussed in the ‘multicultural’ environment we find ourselves in would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic.
– near total ignorance of what a legitimate scientific claim is. This ignorance allows claims that Science Has Shown any number of remarkable things about marriage, sex and homosexuality that science could not even in theory show, to not only not get laughed off the public stage, but to get treated like the secular version of the cellophane-wrapped Word of God delivered from on high. This it the bed made by the promoters of Science! worship (Sagan, I’m talking to you!) that we are expected to lie in when the Sacred Lab Coat of Infallibility gets picked up by the APA.