December 05, 2003
how the world ends

I followed a link on die puny humans about how tiny black holes rain on the planet every year, and was disturbed by the final paragraph:

It would also show that the CERN particle physics laboratory near Geneva will soon be able to churn out black holes to order. Particle collisions at the Large Hadron Collider, due to start in 2007, would have enough energy to create thousands of black holes every day.
Ok, just in case the sci-fi alarm bells haven't started ringing in your head, let me be perfectly clear: It is NEVER a good idea to try to make black holes on your OWN PLANET.

I'm assuming I do not have to spell this argument out in too great detail.

Posted by illovich at 02:58 PM
she's so hot right now

It's true, she is. I really like the idea of Jesus and Mary being married, it make Jesus a lot more accessible, more human.

I know it doesn't square as well for people who believe that Jesus was God, and everything, and I guess I can see that too, but still:

"As for the Wisdom who is called "the barren," she is the mother of the angels. And the companion of the [...] Mary Magdalene. [...] loved her more than all the disciples, and used to kiss her often on her mouth. - The Gospel of Philip
Go Jesus!

Posted by illovich at 02:05 PM
December 01, 2003
Naked Lunch Partner

EroTech Industries has invented Bill Lee's dream/nightmare lunch date.

I guess it's more David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch than Burroughs, but still.


Posted by illovich at 12:36 PM
william safire: pro-gay?

That might be overstating, but apparently he is the rare, yet delightful conservative that realizes that liberty demands equality, and that even those one disapproves of (communists, witches, homosexuals) deserve equal rights under law:

That encouragement to making homosexual relationships more permanent is the primary argument for "civil union," the euphemism for "legal marriage but don't call it that because it makes most straight people angry"...

The libertarian in me says: civil union corrects an inequity in the law. There should be no legal or economic discrimination against homosexuals anywhere in the U.S. And what is lawful in Vermont or Massachusetts should be recognized in every other state because we are one nation when it comes to basic rights, popular statutes to the contrary notwithstanding.

I'm really impressed that Safire would write such a thing, but he stops short of the full prize:
The conservative in me wonders: if equal rights can be assured by civil union, why are some gays pushing so hard for the word "marriage"?

The answer is that the ancient word conveys a powerful message. Civil union connotes toleration of homosexuality, with its attendant recognition of an individual's civil rights; but marriage connotes society's full approval of homosexuality, with previous moral judgment reversed.

The pace of profound cultural change is too important to be left to activist judges. As moral-political issues go, this big one deserves examination in communities with minds that can deal with internal contradictions which is the libcon way.

Safire is a bit cagey here, and I'm not sure I take his meaning. Is it that he understands the desire of gay folks to be married, but just thinks people aren't ready for it, or is he of the mind that "marriage" is a special state which can only happen if the majority allows it?

If his attitude is the latter, then his own value system ("personal freedom is central") falls apart.

Marriage, as my mother was taught in Catholic School, is a union by a man, woman and god. I'm pretty sure that most christian denominations, not to mention the Jewish and Muslim faiths, also hold this as their essential definition of marriage.

In the secular world of Western Democratic Law, there is no god--at least not one that gets a say in what happens. Therefore any definition of marriage from the point of view of the State can not include any religious values whatsoever, or the fundamental principle of the separation of church and state is violated.

The question can be approached in this way: If non-western marriages are recognized by the State, so then must Gay Marriage. In other words, if I worship the god Nuada of the Silver Hand, and I'm married to Kat by a clergy of that religion (hey, it's a thought), theoretically the State will recognize such a union as valid, even though it's a so-called Pagan religion and completely outside the mainstream of Western Civilization.

If this is true, then there is little ground to stand on for the prohibition of gay marriage. The point, if I seem to missing one is this: Marriage is a commitment between two people (and god if you believe that), and those two people ultimately decide the parameters of what that commitment is. Some marry for love, others for security, or many other things. What a marriage is--and more to the point what is a marriage--is decided not by the State nor any religion but by those who say that they're married.

If you can understand this, then you realize that there is only one difference between same sex marriage and civil unions: The attitude of those being joined.

Posted by illovich at 12:23 PM