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Fighting for the culture

Only a wilful fool would dispute that racism moved from being the unremarkable default mainstream view in the western world to being a prejudice which scarcely dare speak its name. I would argue that this did not come about just because a few anti-discrimination laws got passed. A great many things are illegal and yet doing them does not put you ‘beyond the pale’ in polite society. In most circles lighting up a spliff or speeding or paying your builder/nanny/housekeeper in cash are matters of little or no account and few people would think less of you if they discovered you were doing so. Overt racism on the other hand has precisely that effect because regarding that there has been a cultural shift. To be a racist is not just wrong, it makes you a jackass in the eyes of others. Most racists are now more prone to keep their views to themselves, not because someone will call the cops and have them hauled off to a re-education camp, but because they can no longer safely assume others will share their meta-context.

And so with that in mind, it may seem trivial to rail against people who display or wear images of Che Guevara but what is at stake is far more than a battle for mere tee-shirt space. The fact that a person wearing a Himmler or Hitler tee-shirt would attract scorn is quite appropriate, and so it is really quite intolerable that fans of the mass murderers of the left get to think images of their favoured mass murdering thug makes them look cool. Why just let that slide?

Groups like the ‘animal rights’ activists PETA provide a fairly good example of ‘going to the culture’ with some success at portraying people who wear fur coats as wicked and getting that meme into the zeitgeist fairly effectively at least in the USA and UK (though rather less successfully elsewhere). So do not shrug off efforts to portray people who wear images of communist mass murderers as jackasses rather than ‘cool’ as wasted effort over something something of no account. Little things like this add up and if you believe, as I do, that the single biggest factor determining the triumph or defeat of liberty is a cultural expectation of liberty, then fighting for the cultural issues really does matter. And if the lumpen wearing the Che Guevara tee-shirt does not even know who he was, as will often be the case, then tell him in no uncertain terms so that next time he looks at his pile of shirts, perhaps he will think twice before putting it on and maybe, just maybe, look at other people wearing those vile tee-shirts a bit differently.

57 comments to Fighting for the culture

  • Mary Contrary

    Perry I completely agree with your argument, but for the love of God that second graphic you’re using is making a complete charicature of it. Or am I missing some artfully self-deprecating Young Ones reference?

    Time to turn loose the dissident frogman.

  • In Southern California, and presumably across the US. a clothing firm, Burlington, markets a Che tshirt. I wrote them that they’ll never sell anything to me because of it. I’ve yet to see anyone actually wearing one, though I try to stay clear of places where stupid people congregate.

  • Julian Taylor

    Never been able to take PETA seriously since the famous letter to Arafat asking him not to use donkey’s as suicide bombers.

  • Julian Taylor

    Never been able to take PETA seriously since the famous letter to Arafat asking him not to use donkeys as suicide bombers.

  • Dan

    The same techniques can be used to fight homosexualism. Like racism and feminism, homosexualism is an unnatural state that did always exist and can be die and fade away.

    This was a great post

  • J

    This issue never fails to amuse me. People don’t wear Che T-shirts because they like what the guy did or even what he believed in. They probably don’t know about either of those things. They wear them because of what he represents. He actually does deserve the title of icon. The fact that in real life the guy didn’t espouse the things he now stands for, is kind of irrelevant.

    The left has always gone for charisma and feeling over detailed argument and reason – not, I should point out, as a way of arriving at their views, but rather as a way of expressing them, and advocating them.

    Unless I’m missing something, they continue to be successful, as the existence of Che T-shirts shows.

  • J, you rather miss the point. Yes, I realise many of what I describe as The Lumpen do not even know who Che really was… I say as much in my article.

    But that is exactly why they need to be told who he really was in no uncertain terms because it is far from irrelevent. If the left want to appeal to emotion then try describing how Guevara personally shot prisoners in the back of the head and how her persecuted gays and people who listened to music he did not approve of. Two can play at that game. Emotive? I’ll give you emotive.

    That way the next time someone uses Che-as-icon on a big banner behind them, the person watching thinks “Ah, a bunch of people who fetishize psycho-murderers”.

    So yes, I think you are missing something.

  • Verity

    Perry – I take your point and this is a noble camaign, but you will make no headway. You know that, in the face of facts, the Left simply puts its hands over its ears and goes, “Lah, lah, lah, lah, lah, I can’t hear you!” It is absolutely impossible to dislodge a cherished belief that has become embedded in nutlike brainery of the left. Che is a HERO!

  • James

    Dan,

    Try selling crazy elsewhere. You vastly underestimate the gay community if you think they can be made to “die and fade away” with a T-shirt slogan.

  • I take your point and this is a noble camaign, but you will make no headway.

    I disagree. The reason the right makes little headway on these sort of issues is that it does not even try. But then liberty is far to important to entrust to the right anyway :-P

  • I'm suffering for my art

    I agree with Verity. The left’s icons are immortal and infalliable once they reach sacred cow status. Case in point – I recently tried to speak to a good friend of mine about her love of Che. She’d been to South America (not to trace his footsteps, but somehow linked the romance of it all with Che), seen Motorcycle Diaries etc. When I confronted her with Che’s atrocities, well “hands over its ears and goes, “Lah, lah, lah, lah, lah, I can’t hear you!” ” was pretty much exactly the reaction I got. Then disbelief that I would dare impugn the memory of dear, beautiful (beautiful being the important bit) Che. It’s a shame – Che is one of the most far removed individuals from her gentle soul, but we’re talking about the delusion of the left in action.

    When I’ve hit up various lefty peaceniks about Che’s murderous behaviour, a common refrain is “Well, it was a revolution, man!” Fucking stinking hypocrites.

  • Ace

    after reading perry’s linked article back in 2001, i think his point was that the reason you cannot get the mud to stick is that you are not talking in language they understand. i agree with perry that to appeal to emotional people you need to hook them with their kind of emotinal language.

  • Dan

    James,

    I assume your t-shirt comment references the school debacle. It certainly is a good sign, but you are right that it canno be the campaign in itself.

    We are facing a fourth generation struggle — a nonviolent ideological netwar. It will last decades. If we are weak, we may be losing for centuries. But we can win and we will win.

    We have had worse enemies that homosexualism. Racism was a nightmare — it just about won, everywhere. It had economies and armies on its side. But we won.

    More recently, I think feminism in the 1970s was stronger than homosexualism is now. But that movement was smashed too. There still are such feminists in universities, and many of our laws or hold-overs, and harm is still being done, but the feminist project is defunct.

    Strategic despair should be on their side, not ours. Victory will be on ours, not theirs.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Perry, it is worth a try. Even if it does not make the dumb leftists think, politically neutral folk will be intrigued. Even a hostile person will be struck by the fact that folk are wearing Che T-shirts taking the p*ss.

    Of course, in this increasingly scruffy country, I make a statement by wearing my best suit on a dress-down Friday. It is the new way to stand out from the crowd!

  • Lascaille

    Dan, feminism has died because they basically won: women (within reasonable tolerances) are now socially and economically free to compete and work alongside men, and they are legally equal. There are some cultural barriers remaining, but they are not legal ones.

    Racism (although not entirely dead) is largely dying because people are now familiar enough with ‘foreigners’ to recognise that they are ‘real people too’ and that treating them like non-persons just makes you look like a moron. The only thing that’s really propping up racism is the failure of some ‘minority’ communities to behave in a ‘civilised’ manner (not mutilating women is always a good start) but that is something that will hopefully depart in time if such groups are encouraged to integrate themselves into society rather than establishing small islets within it.

    Treating homosexuality like either of these above concepts is… well, I think you don’t quite get it. Feminism is a reaction to a real (once) inequality – once an organisation has acheived its major goals, it either has to disband or become increasingly strident and ridiculous, as is the case.

    Racism is a reaction to a real (once) fear/hatred – of the foreigner and of difference. Intergration reveals that people aren’t that different after all – people now may hate foreigners because they perceive them to be lazy, unclean, etcetera, but they don’t hate them ‘just because they are foreign.’

    Homosexuality is not a reaction to anything – it is just a situation. Saying ‘we can remove a situation’ is entirely ridiculous, unless you really believe that people are actively choosing to be homosexual for whatever reason. Perhaps you’d care to expound at length upon why it’s such an evil anyway? We so love that sort of thing here, we really do. Remember, keep it below 500 words and you’ll qualify for the ‘bigoted fuckwit of the month – brief essay’ prize.

  • J

    OK, I think I know what I need now.

    I need the iconic image of Che on the front of the T-shirt, and on the back I need:

    “I don’t like Che – I just like winding up the right”

    That _is_ the point about Che. That’s _why_ people wear the shirts.

    My almost complete uninterest in the life and times of Che means that I don’t know (or care) exactly how many attrocities he committed, or what excuses were given for them. That’s not the point and never will be. It’s like arguing over dear Mr Bush’s war air national guard record. Pointing out, repeatedly, that GWB was a lazy, useless, incompetent prat before, during, and after the vietnam war, will never stop his fans wearing his T-shirts. It’s what they _stand_ for that gets them friends and enemies, not the largely evil and corrupt way they’ve led their lives. So the world works.

  • But J, again I think you miss my point. I understand that there are all sorts of reasons people wear Che tee-shirts, including ‘winding up the right’. That is not really relevent.

    What I want to do is fight for the culture so that when you put on your Che tee-shirt and saunter around, regardless of your motivations, more and more people seeing you will not think “hey, cool, a Che tee-shirt!” but rather “Wow, what an asshole!”. Maybe once in a while someone will spit on you, kind of like what happens to people wearing fur coats in some parts.

    These sorts of changes happen all the time and this is one I intend to help along.

  • Verity

    Lascaille – “Homosexuality is not a reaction to anything – it is just a situation. Saying ‘we can remove a situation’ is entirely ridiculous …”

    Read the actual words instead of what you expect to read.

    Dan didn’t refer to homosexuality in his posts. He referred to ‘homosexualism’. He equated it to racism. Now do you understand what he was saying?

    We so love that sort of thing here, we really do. Remember, keep it below 500 words and you’ll qualify for the ‘bigoted fuckwit of the month – brief essay’ prize.

    Entries are closed. You won.

  • Dan

    While feminism is defending ground, it certainly isn’t advancing. It’s greatest objective — the Equal Rights Amendment — died a quiet death long ago and hasn’t been revived. Most of the “feminist” laws (sex harrasment, etc) are more in line with puritanism than woman’s rights. Last, feminism appeared no earlier than the 19th century. It’s not just a reaction to an inequality – that inequality was there long before feminism arose.

    Racism is the belief in the inherant superiority of one “race” or collection of genetically related nationalities over another. This did not exist historically. It was born about the same time as nationalism, no earlier than the 17th century. Racism is different from mere prejudice against different societies and cultures.

    Homosexualism seems to appear slightly after nationalism and racism. Like racism and nationalism, it is clearly a reaction against something that appeared in the early modern Europe. Certainly it has not existed for more than a few centuries. If homosexualism did exist we would see it at least discussed in ancient works. While what we would call homosexual acts are described, homosexualism itself — the sexual preference of man for men over women — is not.

    Homosexualism is “such an evil” for the same reason playing tag with SUVs is an evil — it’s an insanely stupid and deadly activity for a society to encourage. It is the leading cause of AIDS. Its sufferers tend to live into their fifties. It leads to social disconnection. It’s a tragedy.

    I take it by “evil” you expect me to condemn homosexualism on Biblical grounds. But the Bible never condemns it. As I wrote, the “religious right’s” crusade against it is misguided, if ultimately useful.

  • Hessian

    A few days ago, Tech Central Station put up an article called Che vs Pinochet, detalling this horrible hipocracy of the left.
    I know Samizdata doesn’t make shirts, but you did have a Bureaucrash banner, and I know they make shirts. Wouldn’t it be great to have a real Pinochet shirt?

  • James

    James,

    I assume your t-shirt comment references the school debacle. It certainly is a good sign, but you are right that it canno be the campaign in itself.

    No, it doesn’t refer to that. It refers to any civil rights movement. The gay rights movement’s time hasn’t come, but it has begun. And, for all their faults, I’ll stand with them before I’ll ever stand with you.

    We are facing a fourth generation struggle — a nonviolent ideological netwar. It will last decades. If we are weak, we may be losing for centuries. But we can win and we will win.

    What’s this “we” crap? Speak for yourself, sir. Don’t presume to include me in your religious hate crusades.

    We have had worse enemies that homosexualism. Racism was a nightmare — it just about won, everywhere. It had economies and armies on its side. But we won.

    Your position is more akin to the racists than you realize. They also claimed certain “types” or people were spreading this or that disease.

    More recently, I think feminism in the 1970s was stronger than homosexualism is now. But that movement was smashed too. There still are such feminists in universities, and many of our laws or hold-overs, and harm is still being done, but the feminist project is defunct.

    This “feminist project” as you call it actually won. What we’re seeing now is an excess of the more extreme elements, combined with women still learning that, for all the superiority that feminism claimed they had, they ultimately make all the same mistakes and have all the same shortcomings the men do.

    Strategic despair should be on their side, not ours. Victory will be on ours, not theirs.

    Again, speak for yourself. Your ideas are as repugnant to me as the idea of two men having sex.

  • James

    Read the actual words instead of what you expect to read.

    Actually, Verity, having had a glance at this guy’s site, I think Lascaille has it about right.

    Not sure why you see him as worthy of defending, though.

  • James

    Homosexualism is “such an evil” for the same reason playing tag with SUVs is an evil — it’s an insanely stupid and deadly activity for a society to encourage. It is the leading cause of AIDS. Its sufferers tend to live into their fifties. It leads to social disconnection. It’s a tragedy.

    Not sure you can “encourage” an innate sexual preference, nor have I seen “society” encouraging it. All the encouraging in the world doesn’t seem to be making these people straight, and they’re bombarded by heterosexual imagery daily.

    But if what you say is true, then gays will become less and less a factor in society, as they’re all going to die out. After all, they’re all going to die of AIDS, right? So ulitmately, what’s your problem? They’re going to solve this problem for you. So why would you see this as a “tragedy”? You appear to want rid of them. If you’re right, this “evil” will destroy itself. No t-shirt slogans needed.

    I’ve no idea what you mean by “social disconnection”. Sounds postmodernish to me.

  • Dan

    Don’t presume to include me in your religious hate crusades.

    Why are you using the world “religious”? The Christian Right says it is against homosexualism because the Bible condemns it. But the Bible does not.

    Your position is more akin to the racists than you realize. They also claimed certain “types” or people were spreading this or that disease.

    Genetic Fallacy. Epidemiologists also claim certain “types” of people (they use the word “vectors”) spready this or that disease.

    Not sure you can “encourage” an innate sexual preference, nor have I seen “society” encouraging it. All the encouraging in the world doesn’t seem to be making these people straight, and they’re bombarded by heterosexual imagery daily.

    True. It appears that homosexualism is determined by early childhood. Imagery seems to have little effect.

    However, society both encourages actions and the preference. For adult homosexualists, attempts to “bring men out of the closet” clearly have the effect of increasing active homosexualism. At the same time, social normalization of homosexualism will naturally increase the number of people who self-identify as homosexualists.

    But if what you say is true, then gays will become less and less a factor in society, as they’re all going to die out. After all, they’re all going to die of AIDS, right? So ulitmately, what’s your problem? They’re going to solve this problem for you. So why would you see this as a “tragedy”?

    Because they are human beings. I don’t want people to die. Certainly I don’t want to encourage them to die. And I don’t want governmental policies to encourage people to die. I don’t want people to suffer or be in pain or require medical treatment for the rest of their lives. I don’t want the misery they experience to exist, or the pain others feel for them. I realize your comment is sarcastic, but it’s like saying “Why worry about cancer victims. They’re dying out anyway.” It’s as specious as it is cruel.

    I’ve no idea what you mean by “social disconnection”. Sounds postmodernish to me

    I’m not sure what literary theory has to do with this conversaton. Perhaps “alienation from society” is a better phrase?

  • I'm suffering for my art

    Dan : Pardon me if I’m not understanding, but did you say that homosexuality did not exist prior to “early modern Europe”? Or are you making some kind of distinction between that and what you call “homosexualism” – if so, what’s the difference? If not, well you’re completely wrong. Homosexuality has certainly been around since the ancient Greeks. We know this because it *was* written about extensively at the time. Take the famous fable of Ganymede, the beautiful young prince who was taken from earth to be Zeus’s lover. That is Zeus, the ancient Greek god. Ganymede was a term used to allude to homosexuality well into the second millenium. To read extensively about discourses on homosexuality in ancient texts, I refer you to a book that I believe is out of print, but you should be able to find it in a decent library. It’s by John Boswell – Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality. It’s an extremely scholarly work that encompasses the attitudes towards homosexuality in Ancient Greece, Rome…all the way up to 14th century Europe.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    are as repugnant to me as the idea of two men having sex.

    Why it is so repugnant to you? Do you think gay people consider hetero sex so utterly repugnant? I’m not gay, however I have seen two guys going it (no doubt simulated) on a TV show. It’s just a mechanical action. Doesn’t do anything for me, but I don’t find it hideously repulsive, either. Do you find two women having sex – both of whom you’re not attracted to – as repugnant? I have often wondered why men find it necessary to trumpet from the rooftops their extreme distaste of two men even kissing. It’s a hysterical, distancing reaction that is overblown and prissy IMO.

  • Euan Gray

    The Christian Right says it is against homosexualism because the Bible condemns it. But the Bible does not

    I’m afraid it does. Leviticus c18 v22.

    EG

  • I'm suffering for my art

    He’s right, Euan. The Christian right wouldn’t refer to the Jewish Bible as “the Bible” – the Christian Bible is the New Testament. Leviticus is in the Old Testament – the Jewish Bible.

    There are some passages in the New Testament that are interpreted by many to be anti-gay. They are by no means as absolute as what can be found in the Old Testament.

  • Euan Gray

    The Christian right wouldn’t refer to the Jewish Bible as “the Bible” – the Christian Bible is the New Testament

    Incorrect. The Christian Bible is BOTH Old and New Testaments – ask any Christian theologian. Indeed, Christ is quoted in the New Testament that he came not to abolish but to fulfil “the Law and the Prophets,” i.e. the Old Testament. Matthew c5 vv17-19.

    EG

  • Dan

    Suffering,

    Good questions.

    The reason I’m using “homosexualism” and not “homosexuality” is that the latter is so vague as to be meaningless. As John Derbyshire wrote, homosexuality sometimes is used to include

    homosexualism (male preference for sex with men over men)
    ephebophilia/pederasty (male perference for sex with youths)
    monasticism/faute-de-mieux (male sex with men as a substitute for women)

    Monasticism clearly existed then, as it exists now in prisons. Likewise, we have detailed descriptions of ephebophilia from the Greeks (such as the Ganymede story).

    Euan quotes from Leviticus

    You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination.

    (or more literally)

    And with a male you shall not lay lyings of a woman

    as the very preceeding verse is a condemnation of rival religion ceremonies

    You shall not offer any of your offspring to be immolated to Molech, thus profaning the name of your God. I am the LORD

    And the very next condemns an obvious form of substitution

    You shall not have carnal relations with an animal, defiling yourself with it; nor shall a woman set herself in front of an animal to mate with it; such things are abhorrent.

    The context argues against knowledge of homosexualism. Additionally, as Hebrew boys became “men” at a young age, Leviticus 18:22 may be intended as a double-condemnation of monaticism and ephebophilia. Whatever its meanings, there’s no evidence in the chapter that shows knowledge of homosexualism.

    I’m enjoying this conversation. Thank you.

  • Dan

    (I apologize if this is a double post)i

    Suffering,

    Good questions.

    The reason I’m using “homosexualism” and not “homosexuality” is that the latter is so vague as to be meaningless. As John Derbyshire wrote, homosexuality sometimes is used to include

    • homosexualism (male preference for sex with men over men)
    • ephebophilia/pederasty (male perference for sex with youths)
    • monasticism/faute-de-mieux (male sex with men as a substitute for women)

    Monasticism clearly existed then, as it exists now in prisons. Likewise, we have detailed descriptions of ephebophilia from the Greeks (such as the Ganymede story).

    Euan quotes from Leviticus

    You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination.

    (or more literally)

    And with a male you shall not lay lyings of a woman

    as the very preceeding verse is a condemnation of rival religion ceremonies

    You shall not offer any of your offspring to be immolated to Molech, thus profaning the name of your God. I am the LORD

    And the very next condemns an obvious form of substitution

    You shall not have carnal relations with an animal, defiling yourself with it; nor shall a woman set herself in front of an animal to mate with it; such things are abhorrent.

    The context argues against knowledge of homosexualism. Additionally, as Hebrew boys became “men” at a young age, Leviticus 18:22 may be intended as a double-condemnation of monaticism and ephebophilia. Whatever its meanings, there’s no evidence in the chapter that shows knowledge of homosexualism.

    I’m enjoying this conversation. Thank you.

  • Euan Gray

    I have trouble taking seriously the ramblings of someone who thinks monasticism (living in, or as in, a monastery) is a sexual practice.

    That homosexual sex happens in monasteries is no doubt fact, but living in a monastery is not in itself a sexual practice. I suspect your man has the wrong word, or perhaps you have misread?

    And please define the difference between “homosexuality” and “homosexualism” if you think the former is vague and meaningless.

    EG

  • James

    Why it is so repugnant to you? Do you think gay people consider hetero sex so utterly repugnant?

    I’ve no idea what gay people think of heterosexual sex. I’d say they may very well hold something similar to my opinion expressed below. After all, we wouldn’t go to a gay person and ask “why is it so repugnant to you?” Perhaps I might be extended that same consideration. After all, if they didn’t dislike hetero sex at some level, they’d probably be partaking in it, right?

    I’m not gay, however I have seen two guys going it (no doubt simulated) on a TV show. It’s just a mechanical action. Doesn’t do anything for me, but I don’t find it hideously repulsive, either.

    It’s not for me. I never used the term “hideously repulsive” either. It simply sexually doesn’t appeal to me. That doesn’t make it wrong, simply not a good fit for me.

    Do you find two women having sex – both of whom you’re not attracted to – as repugnant?

    No, and I’d say most straight men would be of similar mind.

    I have often wondered why men find it necessary to trumpet from the rooftops their extreme distaste of two men even kissing. It’s a hysterical, distancing reaction that is overblown and prissy IMO.

    I’ve no extreme distaste of two men kissing. Not sure where you got that from in my writing. Perhaps that should be directed more at Dan. I think we should have more men kissing in public, and more shows depicting gay sex. But like two grossly overweight people going at it, it does nothing for me. I’ll be the last one to tell them they can’t have at it, though.

    When I said “repugnant”, I meant sexually, not viscerally. The word “repugnant” was more to describe what I thought of Dan’s posts, rather than what I think of gay sex. When I see it on TV, I don’t get a sudden urge to want to engage in it (contrary to what many conservatives seem to think happens), nor does it turn my stomach. It simply leaves me cold. I would figure that’s a standard differentiatior for a straight man.

    I stated this fact as part of getting a point across, hardly shouting it from the rooftops. You are right, though, the ones most deeply opposed to homosexuality are generally the loudest.

    I’m finding it difficult to understand why I’ve raised your ire. There’s many here who expressed hatred of homosexuals themselves for the simple fact they exist. Perhaps you should direct more to them. I know I have.

  • Dan

    A cleaned-up and more precise version of my comment appears here. Thank you for your criticisms.

    A better term than monasticism may be faute-de-mieux, or even substitutionism.

    As I mentioned, homosexualism is the sexual preference for men over women . Homosexuality seems to include homosexualism, pederasty, and faute-de-mieux. The list grows or shrinks depending on the speaker. (For example, because of its association with pedophlia homosexualists will sometimes deny that pederasty is homosexuality at all. Likewise, sometimes only one partner in faute-de-mieux considers himself homosexual, sometimes none.)

  • James

    (For example, because of its association with pedophlia homosexualists will sometimes deny that pederasty is homosexuality at all.

    This has been covered here before, and you’re simply wrong.

  • Euan Gray

    As I mentioned, homosexualism is the sexual preference for men over women . Homosexuality seems to include homosexualism, pederasty, and faute-de-mieux. The list grows or shrinks depending on the speaker

    Homosexuality is a sexual preference for members of one’s own sex. I don’t think there is anything particularly ambiguous, vague or meaningless in the definition. That I can see, homosexualism is simply a synonym for homsexuality.

    I think it is unreasonable to conflate homosexuality and pederasty. Whilst it is true that some homosexual men have a preference for under-age boys, it is absolutely not the case that all or even most do. Some heterosexual men have a preference for under-age girls, but that does not mean that all or even most do.

    In all male environments, one does see homosexual practice from time to time, which is indeed for reason of faute de mieux. Equally, one sees it in all female environments.

    I’m not homosexual, and don’t find the thought of male homosexual practice particularly pleasant. However, I also recognise that a very small proportion of the human male population is homosexual, and I think they have every right to do what they want to do as long as it’s between consenting adults in private. Then again, I apply the same idea to homosexual women and to heterosexual people.

    EG

  • Dan

    Suffering:

    Homosexuality has certainly been around since the ancient Greeks. We know this because it *was* written about extensively at the time. Take the famous fable of Ganymede, the beautiful young prince who was taken from earth to be Zeus’s lover.

    James:


    (For example, because of its association with pedophlia homosexualists will sometimes deny that pederasty is homosexuality at all.

    This has been covered here before, and you’re simply wrong.

    Euan:

    I think it is unreasonable to conflate homosexuality and pederasty. Whilst it is true that some homosexual men have a preference for under-age boys, it is absolutely not the case that all or even most do. Some heterosexual men have a preference for under-age girls, but that does not mean that all or even most do.

    So is there a consensus here of whether or not pedastry should be considered part of homosexuality? Suffering implies yes, Euan implies no, and I’m not sure what James means at all.

  • Dan

    Homosexuality is a sexual preference for members of one’s own sex. I don’t think there is anything particularly ambiguous, vague or meaningless in the definition. That I can see, homosexualism is simply a synonym for homsexuality.

    A man’s own sex — male — includes both boys and youths. Unless you’re including pedophilia and pedastry as forms of homosexuality, that is a too expansive definition.

    I’m not homosexual, and don’t find the thought of male homosexual practice particularly pleasant. However, I also recognise that a very small proportion of the human male population is homosexual, and I think they have every right to do what they want to do as long as it’s between consenting adults in private. Then again, I apply the same idea to homosexual women and to heterosexual people.

    I agree that homosexualists can the right to do what they want as logn as it is between consenting adults in private.

    tdaxp

  • Winzeler

    Dan, I am not very quick to be offensive or abrasive, but you’re just not making sense. I have no idea what you’re trying to say. I have no idea where you’re coming from. Your comments seem scatter-brained. It’s almost like you’re substituting excerpts from text books instead of trying to develop and maintain a consistent, intellectually honest position.

    Now, if you wish to make a point from a coherent position, please calm down and posit your theory or idea utilizing the utmost literary circumspection and dictionary.com

  • Verity

    Winzeler – why give someone who has dominated this conversation with non-thoughts another chance? Dan has proved that he is not able to tell us what he feels is wrong about whatever. We are not the local council or outreach facility. Dan, in the words of Jane Fonda when someone spat a wad of tobacco juice into her face at her recent book-signing, has issues.

    What no one has mentioned is, Che looks like an idealistic icon, and that is what is hard to overcome in the public perception. He has survived because he looks glamourous. Had he looked like Gordon Brown, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Prescott there would have been no problem in demythifying him.

  • James

    So is there a consensus here of whether or not pedastry should be considered part of homosexuality? Suffering implies yes, Euan implies no, and I’m not sure what James means at all.

    I would think it’s quite clear to you what the consensus is here, but consensus is irrelevant. The fact is that more heterosexual men are dangers to children than homosexual men. Homosexuals are generally considered to be more “effeminate” than straight men. Effeminate people do not generally molest children.

    Your concepts appear to be all over the place. You should perhaps find a new crusade, you seem unable to articulate this one very well.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    James – apologies, I seem to have misunderstood you. I do get exasperated when I hear men loudly voicing their absolute disgust of gay sex, mainly because it’s a sham way to prove their hetero machismo that I find very tedious. If that’s not what you were doing, I apologise for being somewhat mocking, because in that case it was misplaced.

    Euan – the New Testament is the definitive Christian text, however I take your point.

    Verity –

    Che looks like an idealistic icon, and that is what is hard to overcome in the public perception.

    Exactly right. That was precisely what I was getting at when I said ” disbelief that I would dare impugn the memory of dear, beautiful (beautiful being the important bit) Che”. If he was an ugly bastard he would have been forgotten long ago. In fact, he seems to have been lucky enough to be extremely well photographed once. All the other pictures I’ve seen show him looking quite ordinary.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    James – apologies, I seem to have misunderstood you. I do get exasperated when I hear men loudly voicing their absolute disgust of gay sex, mainly because it’s a sham way to prove their hetero machismo that I find very tedious. If that’s not what you were doing, I apologise for being somewhat mocking, because in that case it was misplaced.

    Euan – the New Testament is the definitive Christian text, however I take your point.

    Verity –

    Che looks like an idealistic icon, and that is what is hard to overcome in the public perception.

    Exactly right. That was precisely what I was getting at when I said ” disbelief that I would dare impugn the memory of dear, beautiful (beautiful being the important bit) Che”. If he was an ugly bastard he would have been forgotten long ago. In fact, he seems to have been lucky enough to be extremely well photographed once. All the other pictures I’ve seen show him looking quite ordinary.

  • Dan

    It’s almost like you’re substituting excerpts from text books instead of trying to develop and maintain a consistent, intellectually honest position.

    Where have I been academically dishonest? Where have I been inconsistent? If I am I will correct myself.

    Dan, in the words of Jane Fonda when someone spat a wad of tobacco juice into her face at her recent book-signing, has issues.

    I’ve been generally impressed by the level of discussion here. But I am not impressed by ad hominem attacks. Ideas are right or wrong, coherent or not, regardless of their presentor.


    So is there a consensus here of whether or not pedastry should be considered part of homosexuality? Suffering implies yes, Euan implies no, and I’m not sure what James means at all.

    I would think it’s quite clear to you what the consensus is here, but consensus is irrelevant. The fact is that more heterosexual men are dangers to children than homosexual men. Homosexuals are generally considered to be more “effeminate” than straight men. Effeminate people do not generally molest children.

    Irrelevant twice over.

    First, I was asking about the consensus on pedastry. You then talk about pedophilia.

    Second, wheher or not pedastry or pedophilia is a form of homosexuality is irrelevent to whether non-pedastrist/non-pedophile homosexuals are threats to children.

    Indeed, this proves my point. The word “homosexuality” is meaninglessly vague. Using it, and debating which actions and orientations it includes, just confuses the issue.

    You should perhaps find a new crusade, you seem unable to articulate this one very well

    This is the second time I have been accused of having a “crusade.” Why? If you can identify one, then what is my crusade? If you can’t identify one, then why claim I have it?

  • Winzeler

    I’m sorry, Dan, but I think you’ve destroyed any credibility you could have in this comment section. I neither accused you of having an intellectually dishonest position or incoherent thought, nor would I presume you did. I just pointed out that you have done an extremely poor job of communicating anything. The point about the crusade is that we can see you engaging in all the rantings of a crusade, but none of us can figure out what it is.

  • Johnathan

    Back on the original subject of Perry’s post, I remember some time ago I took out an American woman who later turned out to be a PETA activist. Our first and last date involved me ordering veal on the menu.

  • Verity

    Suffering – I’ve never even seen any other pictures of Che. That’s it. First and last perception, that one photo.

  • DS

    I thought this was a thread about the world’s most popular mass-murderer?

    The ghost of Che thanks all of you for changing the subject.

  • Winzeler

    Verity, you want pictures?

  • Verity

    No. We’ve hauled it back. It is still astounding, all these years later that the pacific creators of “Wear a flower in your hair”, “Make love, not war”, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”, “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” and other stupid posters would include a mass murderer in the their iconography … and that out of all the stupid posters of the time, he was the one who would last.

  • Verity

    Winzeler – Well, he obviously wasn’t on the brown rice diet.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    Johnathon – the veal can be a lucky choice…I suppose it means you wasted a minimum amount of time on her. All the PETA people I’ve met have been insufferably whiny.

    Verity – It’s obvious that there wasn’t a Gillette factory on Cuba to be nationalised, either. What a grotty-looking scrote. No doubt the unfortunate prisoners up against the wall knew when their hour of departure was nigh – they could smell him coming.

  • Verity

    Suffering – No Gillette company to be nationalised! Ha ha ha ha ha! I’ll bet no Palmolive or Dove either! He would definitely have had to stand upwind of the enemy. On the other hand, he provided his own camouflage as he could freeze and look like a shrub.

  • snide

    I know Samizdata doesn’t make shirts

    Sure they do.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    Yeah, stinky commie bastard. See the photo with the caption “1961: Happily relaxing after a Sunday of work “? I’m sure it could just as easily be “1961: Happily relaxing in the public gallery of the firing squad quadrangle”.

  • Che as mass murderer, and supporter of genocide, is prolly a better theme.

    Why not a contest for a subtitle to his shirt? I like the Mickey Mouse ears, not so much the “real rebel” stuff.

    Some suggestions —
    Dreaming of … genocide.

    Imagine … genocide.

    I want Killing Fields, don’t you?

    The smile, after a murder.

    Maybe Protest Warrior or some group could get involved. But there are so many pro-democracy revolutions going on over the world, maybe wait until the Dems get elected in the US.

  • Verity

    “Give Peace A Chance” – stop torturing people while I have a nap.