Day #1: A Poem of Space

In this room, this small space I was born into, I dream of infinity and beyond.

I cast my mind out into the incomprehensible measures of outer space

Zooming among planets and asteroids and planetoids

Like a camera lens,

Moving back and back and back until –

I find that space doesn’t bear down upon me like a weight

But, regardless of the lack of gravity, bears down upon me

More like mass.

The boundless emptiness presses against the back of my head

As I crouch like Atlas or Geb times an infinite number of powers of ten.

———–)>o<( ————

I do not fear eternity without limits, without boundaries.

The vastiness of space enevelops me

But the crowded depths of my inner space

Keep their form.

What is the final frontier for

If not to fill with our nano-voices and mega-thoughts?

Hrm

Thinky cap on.

So I’ve got a philosophy of religion exam tomorrow, and in preparation, instead of actually preparing the actual essay questions that will be on the exam, I’ve got Don Cupitt and Stephen Law in my head, telling me what they think about God. Which mostly consists of Non-Realism, which states that God doesn’t exist outside of our human faith and understanding of him. So humans pre-date God.

Religious realism, where God is literally sitting on a throne in the sky with Jesus on his physical right hand, is an outdated notion according to Cupitt.

Good stuff for thinking.

But what really got this post started was an excerpt from Stephen Law’s The Philosophy Gym, the chapter titled “What’s wrong with gay sex?” in which Stephen Law takes Plato’s device of using mock discussions between various characters to illuminate certain aspects to a stance against homosexuality. In the course of arguing against an overly simplistic defense of “homosexuality is just wrong” , Law covers the appeal to the Bible; its unnatural, dirty, and unhealthy nature; corruption of young; promiscuity; and family values. And in its own simplistic way, the chapter manages to put up some defenses. But that got me started on a train of thought I’ve had before, namely, the instinctive feeling of wrongness that people associate with certain kinds of sexuality and sexual relationships.

I’m an avid proponent of gay rights and equality of rights for all LGBT citizens of America. Until recently, though, I’ve attempted to keep my support on the down low when I’m at home because my parents were freaked out enough that I had gay friends. If I “came out” to them as a supporter of the LGBT movement, they’d both have cows and then attempt to use those cows to sell me off to the most hetero-aggressive Korean traditionalist male¬† Roman Catholic groom as soon as possible.

Well, chalk it up to a late phase of teenage rebellion or just immature perversity but lately I have been attempting to engage my parents, especially my father in dialogues involving a comparison of their feelings and mine on homosexuality. We never really got anywhere in terms of convincing either my father or myself that we were wrong but it certainly got me thinking about how my father could feel so strongly that homosexuality was unnatural without any logical support to back him up. He didn’t even have the defenses that Law enumerated in his book. He simply and consistently insisted that homosexuality felt completely wrong and unnatural, and that it always would. Which got me thinking about what I would consider unequivocally wrong in respect to a relationship or sexual orientation.

I then thought of the nature of incest. When I think of an incestuous relationship between a parent and child, my immediate reaction is disgust and horror. I tried to think of a situation where I would be comfortable with a mother and child or father and child engaging in a sexual or romantic realtionship, and I really couldn’t.¬† I can’t help but think that this instinctive and immediate reaction is similar to my father’s reaction to homosexuality.

So, unfortunately, this is the point at which my logic fails me because to be truthful, I have no logical defense for why I feel this way. I could tell you it’s because I subconsciously understand that any reproduction from a relationship of that sort is fraught with genetic peril or that it can be seen as an abuse of authority or some other reason but even if none of those reasons applied, I would still feel somewhere in my illogical and inexplicable little soul that incestuous relationships are wrong.

I’m not sure which side I would come down on if incestuous couples were to look for legitimization and civil equality in the eyes of civilization and the law. I like to think I’d be logical about it, or at least open to discussion but as I just laid out, this isn’t a topic that I’m logical about.

To be fair, I don’t seem to be quite as squicked about relationships between first cousins. I’ve done my fair share of hillbilly jokes and West VA ridicule but I’ve never had the instinctively horrified reaction to cousin relationships that I’ve had towards parent child relationships. I don’t know if that’s because I live in a world where that particular relationship is still prevalent in various societies or if it’s tied to my personal view of various family members. But it bears reflecting upon.

Geek’s Guide to Life

In order to be accepted by society . . .

1. I need to be presentable.

Cleanliness is next to godliness. No one likes a smelly person. Daily showers, face washing, teeth cleaning, and shaving applicable areas. Clothing that is clean and fits the parameters of fashion within the last five years.

2. I need to be able to interact with a large number of different types of people.

There’s never such a thing as being too polite. And too well-informed. Politeness trumps everything in a social situation. Compliments, involved listening, and an ability to connect with people on a myriad of subjects will ensure your cover as a nice, normal person even if you’re not particularly extroverted.

3. I need to show stability.

Stability needs to be proven in many sectors but usually stability in both financial and amorous undertakings shows stability of psyche and health to the point of assuring others you’re not a lazy bum or psychotic wierdo. So get a career and a steady significant other.

More to come as I think of them.

Worthy of the Scold’s Bridle?

I was raised in a family of debate. If I could prove an intellectual argument right to any member of my family, he/she still wouldn’t change her/his mind but that didn’t matter. It only mattered that I had had a chance to say what I wanted to say. I lived on a permanent soapbox with a particularly incisive audience of one: my brother. He was irrational, illogical, and unfettered. In short, the perfect opponent. Under his whimsical and bullshitting logic lay a quicksilver mind and stubborn will, and it was with this whetting stone that I sharpened by wit.

Nowadays, I find myself in the most enjoyable debates, of my life, with classmates almost daily. It forces me to think about whether I am wrong or right. It forces me to think about what my very basic notions of society are, and then take a step back and think about why those notions are in place. It also, unfortunately, forces my friends to listen to endless debates about the meaning of gender identity and prescribed roles and whether ethics are universal. And unless this stuff is your cup of tea, there’s no joy in it. It just sounds like babble, bullshit, or pretentious woolgathering. And it’s fucking annoying.

So, I find that my tongue is curbed, if not completely silenced. Because while vast, sweeping, endless debates on the nature of everything in life are my cake, close and personal friendships are my bread and butter.

History puts me in my place

Too much craziness is happening nowaday for me NOT to write it down.

Earlier today, during my Women in England class, we got a tour of our library’s Rare Books collection. Specifically we flipped through a diary from the 1500’s and several recipe books from the 1700’s and 1800’s. My gods, they were awe-inspiring. Not the subject matter itself, which seemed to consist of recipes for everything under the sun (the lemon pudding one seemed especially tempting). But the amount of care and the details from which we could then paint a picture of the women behind these diaries and cookbooks.

I fell in love with history all over again! I love how studying history places the present day in perspective. In 300 years, will there even be any diaries or records of everyday life left? So many people go the digital route. And it’ll probably always be banging around the internet somewhere, but is that any more or less permanent than the linen pages of a centuries old journal?