Sunday, December 18, 2011

Brendan O'Neill, and a Sunday reflection on confused wild humans indulging in the odd opportunistic instinctual fuck ...

(Above: click to enlarge).

It being Sunday, let's start with a text:

...ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:
Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.
Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this?
In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. (Job 12:7 on)

Thanks Job, now how about a dash of Shakespeare?

Is man no more than this? Consider him well. Thou
owest the worm no silk, the beast no hide, the sheep
no wool, the cat no perfume.
Ha! here's three on's are sophisticated!
Thou art the thing itself:
unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor bare,
forked animal as thou art.

Thanks King Lear - we are but animals - and now to bring down the tone with a heavy clunk, and a hearty dash of stupidity, how about a flourish of Brendan O'Neill in March of the gay penguins:

We've had stories about gay monkeys, gay dogs and gay sheep (who indulge in "ram-on-ram action", according to one gay writer), leading observers to conclude that "gay sex is perfectly natural". One recent report claimed that "every species, from beetles to shrews to chimpanzees, has a consistent minority who prefer their own sex".

None of these gay activists ever seems to stop and think about how screwed up it is that they try to justify their own lifestyles by pointing to allegedly similar behaviour amongst dogs and insects. It's a bit like a teenage boy saying "I saw an ape masturbating at the zoo, so it is okay for me to wank", or an adulterer saying, "Well, if male hyenas can have multiple partners, why can't I?"

Screwed up? Clearly O'Neill didn't grown up in the countryside, amidst talk of birds, bees, poddy calves sucking, bulls bellowing, horses mounting, dogs getting tangled, dogs dry humping, dogs wanking ...

Of course in those days it was just animals doing their thing, rather like human animals doing their own thing, and neither thought any the worse of any species doing whatever came natural.

But the first, and perhaps the most obvious question, is what's wrong with wanking? And - provided you haven't made vows of exclusivity of service - what's wrong with fornication? What's wrong with multiple partners if the multiple partners consent? (and there are no vows of exclusion standing in the way).

And what's wrong with the human animal - because animal we are - doing what birds, bees, apes and male and female hyenas, and perhaps male and male hyenas, and who knows female and female hyenas - doing what comes naturally?

The hapless deluded O'Neill seems to think that somehow we can transcend our animal origins, and that exceptionalist humans shouldn't talk of salt, sweat, sperm, and the exchange of bodily fluids, when an elevated understanding of the world is to hand which frees us from biology:

Some of the most positive and progressive leaps forward of the past 200 years have involved people shrugging off their apparently "natural" roles and demanding a bigger stake in life and society. People have continually tried to wriggle free from the prison of "nature".

Yet now, some gay-rights activists seem keen to crawl back into that prison, by effectively saying: "We can't help being the way we are. It's biology, innit?"

Nature's a prison? There's nothing natural about wanting a fuck or having a fuck?

Lordy, lordy, it must be that peculiar English thing at work again. Bring out the whips and chains Jeeves, we are in need of a fetish to sublimate human desires into exotic, erotic shadow plays ...

It never dawns through O'Neill's dim perception of the world that there's no need to be at war with nature, that there's a lot to be said for the clever contrivances of biology, and that deliberately confusing certain contrivances - like dressing up biology as "nature" and talking of "natural roles" - is to take the conversation somewhere back around the book of Genesis.

But that is of course his aim, because he gets terribly alarmed about the notion of gay penguins, and sees no harm in gay penguins being re-educated to be straight, and get about the business of breeding, and any talk of a gay gene sends him into a frenzy:

This is the ultimate aim of the gayness-is-natural lobby - to undercut anti-gay sentiment by presenting gayness as a normal biological function which should be beyond reproach.

Of course the ultimate aim of the 'gayness is unnatural lobby' is to promote anti-gay sentiment by presenting gayness as an abnormal biological function which should be constantly reproached - and did we mention how gay penguins should just get on with the business of breeding?

Yet as the veteran gay-rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has argued, this is an extraordinarily defensive, not to mention scientifically illiterate, argument.

Scientifically illiterate means considering the possibility of further discoveries and understandings might still be open for discussion, but since O'Neill routinely adopts this position in relate to climate science, it's only natural he should do the same for homosexuality.

Why only in the last week, the gay gene issue got another airing in good old Pennsylvania:

Most scientists who study human sexuality agree that gay people are born that way. But that consensus raises an evolutionary puzzle: How do genes associated with homosexuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution? (Gay gene, deconstructed)

Born that way? Consensus? Wash out your mouth with Brendan O'Neill scientifically approved soap.

Tatchell says the gay movement's embrace of gay-gene theories suggests a "terrible lack of self-confidence and a rather sad, desperate need to justify queer desire". He says there is a "pleading, defensive sub-text" in the pro-gay gene thesis, which is: "We can't help being fags and dykes, so please don't treat us badly."

Alternatively of course it could show a hearty amount of self-cofidence, a rather pleasant lack of a need to justify queer desire, a resolutely defiant sub-text, which is to say I was born gay, so I don't give a fuck what you think, go fuck yourself, and leave the nature of my sexual desires to me.

But then you wouldn't be O'Neill, in desperate need of a 'gay' quotient to quote to bolster his feeble argument:

Indeed. The aim of those who bang on endlessly about how beetles and penguins are just as likely as humans to be gay is to avoid testy moral debate about homosexuality in favour of effectively presenting gayness almost as an animalistic instinct, which therefore cannot be helped or "corrected" and which should not be criticised.

Uh huh. So in O'Neill's world we're back in the arena of testy moral debate about homosexuality - perhaps somewhere in the Old Testament - and since humans aren't animals, we can canvas the need for gays to be helped and corrected, and such helping and correcting needn't be criticised because it's all part of a useful if testy moral debate.

Well let's revert to that Penns State conference:

Blanchard said he was not particularly worried that parents could someday abort their fetal Leonardos or rearrange their brains with immune therapy.

For one thing, he said, the most avidly homophobic people deny any link to biology. And speculative fears of nefarious technology shouldn't turn people against science. "What scientists do is to discover the truth," he said, "or model the truth as best they can."

Run that line past me again Doc:

The most avidly homophobic people deny any link to biology ...

Why it's about time to quote O'Neill again ...

Homosexuality is not "natural". It is not a mere biological instinct.

Indeed. And it almost goes without saying that sexuality is not natural. It is not a mere biological instinct. Why I think we can say conclusively that heterosexuality is not natural. It is surely no mere biological instinct. As if mere biology has anything to do with being human! Is that why the pond will live for a thousand years? Mere biology is dead and buried.

So tell us what sex is, please, Mr. O'Neill:

Rather, like all human relations and interactions, it is a complex mix of desire and choice and love and lust. The campaigners who hold up the grunting antics of penguins and dogs as evidence that being gay is okay imagine that they are doing gay people a favour.

Oh dear. It seems grunting antics while having sex is impossibly animalistic. Henceforth the pond will only adopt a mute missionary position, and the couplings must proceed in silence, for fear of being mistaken for a penguin or a dog.

In truth, it is extraordinarily insulting to compare the loving, human bonds forged by gays and lesbians with the opportunistic instinctual thrill occasionally pursued by a confused wild animal.

In truth, it is extraordinarily insulting to berate wild animals for being confused about their sexuality and indulging in opportunistic instinctual thrills, in contrast to humans, who allegedly have nothing in common with animals, and somehow exist on an ethereal, elevated plane, perhaps like those Victorians who covered up piano legs, so they wouldn't be caught rutting and fucking like some common animal in a field or a forest or on the beach, with the sand all clinging and gritty and getting into nooks, crannies and crevices ... Oh for god's sake, can we just have a shower and go home ...

And in truth, it is extremely unlikely to have read anything in one lifetime that manages to confuse so much about animals, humans, heterosexual and homosexual relationships, and all by conjuring up in fervid prose the notion of confused wild animals doing what comes naturally, which is to indulge in occasional opportunistic instinctual thrills, and somehow turn this into an argument about whether homosexuality is 'natural', as opposed to 'unnatural'.

If there were a Newt Gingrinch award for writing about human relationships, surely O'Neill would in it hands down. After all, Newt won the very first award for explaining how people mated for life in a natural marriage, and then did it three times just to prove his natural point ...

And now a couple of heterosexual readings. Rousseau in bed:

Added to my temptations, too, were the circumstance in which I lived, in the house of a pretty woman, fondling her image in my secret heart, seeing her continually through the day, and surrounded by objects at night to remind me of her, lying in a bed where I knew she had lain. How much to stimulate me! Let the reader imagine my condition …


And Henry Miller, constructing one of those loving, human heterosexual bonds which features in all his writing:

I will go directly to her home, ring the bell, and walk in. Here I am, take me - or stab me to death. Stab the heart, stab the brains, stab the lungs, the kidneys, the viscera, the eyes, the ears. If only one organ be left alive you are doomed - doomed to be mine, forever, in this world and the next and all the worlds to come. I’m a desperado of love, a scalper, a slayer. I’m insatiable. I eat hair, dirty wax, dry blood clots, anything and everything you call yours. Show me your father, with his kites, his race horses, his free passes for the opera: I will eat them all, swallow them alive. Where is the chair you sit in, where is your favorite comb, your toothbrush, your nail file? Trot them out that I may devour them at one gulp. You have a sister more beautiful than yourself, you say. Show her to me - I want to lick the flesh from her bones.

Uh huh. Well all this is by way of Sunday fun, because one of the comments said it a lot more succinctly:

If you find yourself on the same side of an argument as Brendan O'Neill, I would seriously suggest changing your position!

And this from another:

To prove that homosexuality is not simply a deviant product of societal conditioning, we can very legitimately point to similar behaviours in the animal kingdom. That we see the same behaviour occurring in a totally different environment strongly suggests that human homosexual behaviour is not largely influenced by the environment - hence the behaviour is natural.

But perhaps this whole article has been written simply because you have forgotten that humans are animals.

Sock it to us elephant man:

I am not an animal. I am a human bean.

Conclusion? The ABC runs pieces by Brendan O'Neill because it conclusively proves that the readers are more intelligent, capable and understanding than O'Neill, and so it's a win win situation, and thus nature balances itself.

More than enough to justify pissing taxpayers' money against the wall on the ramblings of an Englishman ...

(Below: and now since thinking about O'Neill is exhausting, time for something different, though it does resonate with mere biology).

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