HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » rrneck » Journal
Page: 1 2 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: Sat Nov 29, 2008, 02:55 PM
Number of posts: 17,671

Journal Archives


I was objecting to the development of ideology as a consumer product.

Do you have to be a feminist to desire justice and fair treatment for women? No. But feminism as a trend cannot survive without expanding its marketshare to support the manufacturing base for its ideology. How do you think people are supposed to make a living writing all those books and blogs unless they find a way to graft feminism onto everything that moves?

"You're saying women are all right as long as they know their place."

I'm not saying that at all. But you seem to be saying that unless I embrace feminist ideology, I'm a misogynist. Is that what you're saying? If so, prove it. You may find that your lack of proof will prove my point.

"Atheism needs a new wave like feminism."

Should we move atheism under the umbrella of the feminist label, or should feminism rewrite our understanding of atheism? Should we be atheist feminists or feminist atheists? And what will the hats look like? Is there a back end? Get me the fad king!

If they're not claiming it they don't need to mark it.

The issue is not this practice, it's the precedent that it sets. How useful will this precedent be if Romney gets elected and the wing nut right needs some red meat? Or do the current political realities in Israel appeal to you? It's not about religion, it's about power. And exceptions like this, while harmless, can lead to outrageous injustices down the road. And those injustices will be perfectly legal because of the semantic difference between the terms "claim" and "designate" because that difference is the power to claim based on our particular designations.

If they want to believe that certain spaces are okay to occupy without violating their beliefs they are perfectly welcome to do so. They can keep their beliefs to themselves. If those beliefs depend on something as ephemeral as a bit of string on a light pole they need to reconsider the strength of their convictions.

You don't have to.

But if one religious group can "claim" a space in the name of its religious practice, what's to stop another from making a claim of their own?

Property that belongs to others, either privately or through governmental authority, should not be made available for any claim of use by religion any for any religious practice, no matter how innocuous.

Do you kill people who cut you off in traffic?

At issue is not who started it, but the disparity of compensation. You spent a hundred hours to acquire a consumer product, and you demand an entire life in compensation.

If lethal force is an appropriate response for theft, should the penal code be changed to reflect that standard? Should the punishment for theft be the death penalty? Or should we simply hamstring his productivity and cut off a hand?

Granted, if he is stealing something upon which your survival depends, you might well be defending your life to stop him. And that's becoming more of a possibility in these troubled economic times. But then, those same economic conditions that might require you to need those goods to survive might push others to have to steal them for the same reason.


As it stands now, the vast majority of consumer goods that we own are not necessary for our survival. So how do you justify the legality of demanding a life for stealing them?

I'm allergic to chickenshit.

My faith helps me to separate what I do from who I am,” she says, after the service. “Recognising that I have a value that comes from being loved by someone outside of myself, who created me for a reason, has given me a lot of strength as a founder. Because of that, I don’t have to worry about losing my identity if I fail."

The song is about taking a chance on what you really believe, (I already bought the dream), and doing what you love, (learn to work the saxophone). There are no guarantees for the "wild gamblers" when you go all in (I cried when I wrote this song), and you pretty much expect to be a "victim of laughing chance" because "that's the essence of true romance".

We shouldn't seperate ourselves from our follies and failures, but embrace them and be defined by them consequences be damned. "Take one last drag as I approach the stand" and live a life to "stagger the mind" even if you "die behind the wheel" doing it. "I want a name when I lose".

Faith, real faith, gives us hope in the face if impossibility. It's not an emotional sop used to hide from the world - or from ourselves.


The term "reasonable" implies "workable".

The study in your OP has been discussed and the issues it raises have been extensively discussed ad nauseaum. Here's the format:

Gun control advocate: "Let's regulate guns this way..."
Gungeoneer: "That won't work. Here's why..."
Gun control advocate: "You're being unreasonable."
Gungeoneer: "You're being illogical".
Lather, rinse, repeat.

If you want to propose a solution to gun violence, there's a bunch of gunnies down there who know a whole lot about the thing you want to regulate and the laws already in existence. And they won't hesitate to tell you how wrong you are. That is the unfortunate reality of the gun issue. You can call the denizens of the guns forum trolls, nuts, NRA dupes, or any other unfortunate partisan slur, but the truth is that most of them are gun owning Democrats and the heat that gets generated in places like the gungeon are the crucible of workable public policy.

If you think you've got the answer to gun violence, c'mon down to the gungeon and try it out. If you want to discuss the immorality of violence, the faith and religion groups are for you. Violence and mental health? There's a mental health group. Violence in society can be discussed in any number of public policy groups. Hell, there are even groups for discussing violence against women, men, and a boatload of minorities. But if you consider guns to be the source of violence, as opposed to mental health, cultural norms, or evil spirits, then the gungeon is the place to be.

Took a while, but here are my current (probably incoherent) thoughts on the subject.

It seems interesting that liberal ideology can sometimes find its way to alignment with conservative positions. It seems a curious path to tread.

It’s been many years since I read it, but in The Scandal of Pleasure Wendy Steiner argues, as I recall, that the understanding of an image can be informed by one’s political ideology. While liberals tend to deemphasize the relationship between the symbol and the thing it symbolizes, conservatives are much more likely to be literalists and feel that a particular image will result in a given response because there is little distinction between the symbol, the thing it symbolizes, and its meaning to the viewer. Thus, liberals are less likely to be bothered by the burning of the flag, while conservatives may consider its destruction a personal insult. And if the image is confrontational, conservatives are more likely to accept the confrontation at face value rather than an opportunity to deconstruct its content or their response to it.

But it seems that liberals are not immune to literalism, although we are much less likely to indulge in it. From liberal positions regarding the psychological impact of firearms, images of women in popular culture, and religious practice liberals sometimes seem prompted to seek solutions to their perceptions of these problems more suited to our political opposites. The question is how do we create a liberal literalist, which is to say, how do we make a liberal respond to an image like a conservative?

Willingness to submit to authority, or authoritarianism, is ubiquitous and necessary for the proper function of any society. Sooner or later we have to stop asking questions and let somebody call the shots. There is a little authoritarian in all of us. To be an authoritarian in the United States generally means you’re willing to submit to the authority of a white, male, Christian, capitalist. The conservatives attract the attention of the bulk of the most overt authoritarian followers for that reason. But we are no longer bound by the constraints of immobility or isolation from the ideas of others. We can interact with people all over the planet.

Like I said, there is a little authoritarian in all of us. And the impulse to submit to the appropriate authority could, with the miracle of modern technology, be the source of a revenue stream not previously available to the enterprising capitalist. Given a properly developed ideology and sufficient distribution, we can profitably drill for pockets of authoritarianism in places where before it might never see the light of day. And through the miracle of marketing, the promulgators of an ideology don’t have to prove it works in any measurable way, since the object of such an approach is to prompt consumers to submit to the authority of their own opinions (helpfully provided by the producer of the ideology). All you have to do is tell people what they want to hear and attach that message to something that is ubiquitous, simple, malleable, and personally identifiable to the ideological consumer.

We spontaneously fetishize everything around us to one degree or another. Given our tendency to over consume everything from red meat to video games, can our sensitivities to a social issue be excluded from such excesses? All it takes is some purple prose, a few extreme examples, some tangential relationship between the ideological consumer and the individual or group impacted by some socio-cultural situation, and an object or characteristic to fetishize and viola, a movement is born. Those objects can be almost anything it seems, good or bad. So if the above holds true gender, firearms, sexual orientation, the environment, the NRA, religion, atheism, drugs, illegal aliens, raw food, and a host of others offer a focus to objectify our feelings about ourselves and our relationship to others. The object of interest can be good or bad, real or fictional, current or historical, animal, vegetable, or mineral. It doesn’t matter. It is only important that one identifies with issue through the fetish object.

When that identification is secured, the producer of ideology only has to adjust the message for maximum impact balanced against the intensity of identification. It seems that the larger the target market for ideology, the more lukewarm the identification, while at the other end of the scale a cult like following will have a generally smaller market for followers.

So, it could be that the degree of authoritarianism created in the viewer will determine how literal, or right(p.9), is the object of their fetishization. So for example, for the most authoritarian liberal there would be only one way to interpret an image of a scantily clad woman, an AR15 rifle, a grove of trees, a yacht, or any other politically divisive notion in the political landscape. It doesn’t matter if the interpretation is correct or not, for the authoritarian interpreter theirs is the only legitimate one. And it appears that such devotion to that interpretation has less to do with an actual understanding of the issue at hand than with skillful marketing by the producers of ideology.

The Scandal of Pleasure
Steiner (English, Univ. of Pennsylvania) takes on the Mapplethorpe/Serrano/NEA blowup, the Ayatollah's death sentence on Salman Rushdie for The Satanic Verses, the Dworkin-MacKinnon anti-pornography movement, political correctness, and the disparity between the scholarly and political activities of Anthony Blunt, Martin Heidegger, and Paul de Man. Her intelligent, evenhanded presentation of the events and issues involved in each argues against the literalism of the Left and Right, which both see art as identical to reality. Steiner instead emphasizes that art is a virtual reality whose pleasurable enjoyment can enable us to master the difference between fantasy and reality. Her book is calm and rational?qualities in short supply in the current climate of hysteria over the questions she treats. For literature collections.?Richard Kuczkowski, Dominican Coll., Blauvelt, N.Y.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

The technology is wonderful.

I especially like its elegant simplicity. But it's not a panacea.

Before anything can happen technologically, a lot has to happen emotionally. Technology can't really replace faith in something, whether it's God, ourselves, or the technology that allows someone to walk without legs.

You have to believe you can survive a life mutilated. You have to believe you can overcome the pain and difficulty of using the prosthetics. You have to believe.

There are those who profit from that most basic of human impulses. But that doesn't invalidate the value of faith. It could be that the only thing that can do that is having it and not acting on it.

It's like being sucked into a moral black hole.

Everything we know and believe gets compressed into a singularity that makes no sense in the real world. It seems that actions that might otherwise be trivial can sometimes lead to somebody getting shot. And where we come out at the other end of that tunnel can depend on the smallest details of our entry.

It's hard to figure out. That's why I spend so much time here rather than politics 2012. My choice for political parties is easy. Only an idiot would vote for anyone other than a Democrat. But the self defense issue, much like religion, is a crucible to test liberal ideology, which for most human concerns is the best way to organize our society right now. But the way our ideology is currently understood, it doesn't appear to work very well when it comes to direct conflict. Liberals seem to have forgotten how to fight. Really fight. Throw down, eye gouging groin kicking fight. I think it puts us behind the times, which is the worst possible place for a liberal to be.
Go to Page: 1 2 Next »