Friday, July 15, 2005

This is very funny

Please visit Gull Chased Ship and read The Bronze Rat. It's very funny.

Mind you, I have a stupid sense of humour. I mentioned a Greek woman's name to someone at work today, and she said "Is that Greek?", and I said "It sounds Greek to me." And I laughed and laughed.

Just thinking about it makes me laugh some more.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Land of Truth and a Bitter Vicious Hatred of All That Is Really Really Stupid

Friday, July 08, 2005

Land of Hope and Glory

Monday, July 04, 2005

Respect mah authoriteh! RESPECT MAH AUTHORITEHHHH!

Or, failing that, read this excellent piece by Victor Davis Hanson at NRO.

Cool excerpt:
Rather than worry about the supposed new unpopularity of the United States from Canada to France, or constantly badger supposed allies to at least be neutrals, we [the USA] should very gently strengthen our alliances with nations that are self-confident and without neuroses of various sorts. That would mean to accept that an ankle-biting Belgium, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Mexico, or Turkey has a perfect right as a neutral to distrust the United States and craft its own independent path.

If they all see statism, socialism, and big government as the better solutions to their own problems, or Islamic fascism as largely an American bogeyman, again more power to them all. In the meantime, we should begin to draw closer to true allies — a Japan, India, Australia, Britain, a very few Eastern and Western European countries, Taiwan, and Israel — who agree that the world is a scary, often crazy place, with the United States far better and more reliable than the alternatives.

As an aside, I think "excerpt" is a cool word. It looks dumb, but it works! The "c" seems superfluous, but it's not. And how do you pronounce the "pt"? It's kind of swallowed in a staccato fashion, like you're being choked. "Ek-ser-*!" From the Latin excerpere, to pick out.*

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Did you hear the one about the pregnant woman who didn't have a bath for nine months because she didn't want the baby to drown?

True story.

Academic Appointment

The Senate of the University of N=1 is pleased to announce the appointment of BoundByGravity, at the rank of Associate Professor. Gravity will be lecturing in the Departments of History and Political Science.

Saturday, July 02, 2005


The last few days have been difficult for me, politically and philosophically speaking, because I have in a sense turned my back on my political home. It has left me angry and irritable, and I have written some things of which I am not terribly proud. I haven't gone back to delete anything, because in its own way that would be a lie. But I need to make clear one very important thing.

Some of this I said already, in my update below, but it is worthy of its own post.

I do not believe that opposing same-sex marriage, or equal marriage, means one is bigoted or homophobic. I do not believe that Stephen Harper and the Tory party are bigoted or homophobic. I do not believe that religious Canadians who oppose SSM, in keeping with their faith, are bigoted and homophobic. Sadly the tone of my recent commentary on this topic has been occasionally offensive and, frankly, thoughtless.

A great number of people, for whom I have the deepest respect, sincerely hold religious views which do not allow for the word "marriage" to be applied to gay or lesbian relationships. These people are, by and large, not homophobic--although to be fair some of them are homophobic.

I accept and believe that opposing SSM for religious reasons, and even secular reasons, does not make one a homophobe. I appreciate that the "conservative" approach to social change, with which I generally agree, mandates a "go-slow" response to SSM. I am personally of the opinion that allowing gay marriage is, honestly, an unqualified good. But I have enough modesty to accept that it is not necessarily a bad thing to take one's time about nearly unprecedented social change, and people who want to take their time about such things are not to be condemned for their caution.

In my own defense, I would like to make three specific points.

One, although I respect the religious (and secular) objections of the many fair-minded Canadians who oppose SSM, I cannot agree with any of the anti-SSM analysis I have read. Allowing SSM is a simple matter of human decency. In my opinion, the objections to SSM that centre on its deleterious effect on "the family" are utterly hollow. I have no clue whether a fair reading of the Canadian Charter would oblige government to allow SSM, but that is neither here nor there. This isn't about the Charter. It's about human rights. Equal marriage is the right thing to do--and, in my opinion, it is one of the necessary steps towards normalizing homosexuality in the eyes of society and the law. Probably people who do not view homosexuality as normal are afraid of exactly that. These people are wrong. This is my opinion.

Two, I continue to believe that by opposing SSM with a unique intensity, Stephen Harper and the CPC have made a massive strategic error. In my opinion, even Canadians who are uncomfortable with SSM are unlikely to vote against something they believe to be a Charter right. As I said above, I don't know whether SSM should actually be considered a Charter right... but this is about politics, not reality, which means it is about perception. I believe that a large majority of Canadians would view Harper's idea of revoking equal marriage, after it is assented, as a violation of people's rights. I think this will cost the CPC at the polls. I also am disgusted at the way the CPC's opposition to SSM has led them to go soft on a hundred policies I agree with, in order to fight for one that I cannot abide. Harper could have fought the "good fight" against SSM, accepted his loss, and moved on--and I would still today consider myself a Tory. But his determination to revoke SSM, which seems more important than allowing freedom in health care or opposing Liberal spending, means I cannot vote Tory in the next election. I am sorry about this, but it's no good. Sure George Bush is anti-SSM, and more anti than Harper. But at least if you vote for Bush you get a war of liberation that I wholeheartedly support! A vote for Harper gets me... what, exactly? A ringing NO! to something I support, and a whole lot of maybemaybemaybe on things that matter. Forget it, buddy. Not gonna happen.

Third, a request. Those of my friends and readers who sincerely oppose SSM, I would ask a small favour. Please: when you come across bloggers and writers who are overtly homophobic in their opposition to SSM, please make it clear that they do not speak for you. The failure to reject homophobia among the anti-SSM crowd has done a lot of harm to the anti-SSM message, in my opinion. Those of us who support SSM, in particular those of us who are otherwise Tory supporters, do not appreciate being told we have been fooled by the CBC, or that we are in thrall to the Liberals, or that we are libertines (and don't start with the libertarian = libertine bullshit). I do not enjoy reading, after the passage of C-38, that "fudge-packers" should "rejoice". I do not appreciate being told that I am an idiot for supporting SSM, or that I haven't read enough about it, or that I haven't thought about it deeply enough. I do not enjoy being lumped in with drug addicts or hippies.

That's it. I'm not writing about this any more.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Bigotry [See Update Please]

For those who have followed my ranting over the last couple of days, I would like to clear up one thing. I do not believe that opposing equal marriage necessarily makes you an anti-gay bigot. It is a matter of simple observable fact that all anti-gay bigots oppose SSM, but I understand that not all of those who are anti-SSM are bigots.


It's hard for me to develop an argument that opposes equal marriage while simultaneously acknowledging the normalcy of homosexuality. Does such an argument exist? Probably. No doubt all of the non-bigoted types who oppose SSM believe they have an argument. I just can't think of one.

Last night on The Situation (MSNBC), Tucker Carlson said what I think is probably the most pointed and truthful comment on SSM I have ever heard on television. He said (paraphrase alert!):
Gay marriage will continue to be accepted, gradually, all over the world. The reason is that those people who are against gay marriage--and that includes me on some days--cannot come up with a good argument against it. Many people, perhaps most, have a visceral opposition to gay marriage, but there does not seem to be a very good reason to be against it. Until someone can come up with that reason, gay marriage will continue to be approved in country after country.

I agree--only I happen to believe that there is no good reason to oppose SSM. But maybe there is, and I just can't think of it. Fair enough. So if you oppose SSM, I don't think you're necessarily a bigot.

UPDATE: I have been insulting and thoughtless, and for that I apologise. There are of course excellent religious arguments against SSM. Many people whose opinions I respect therefore oppose SSM on religious grounds. These friends and family members are not bigots. They are instead faithful Catholics, Mormons, Jews, etc. Their opinions deserve respect, and I have failed to provide that. I'm sorry.

However, as I explain in the comments below, I do not believe that religious justifications for laws are enough. I require secular justification for government policy--else how do we choose which religion to believe? The United Church and some Anglicans support SSM, after all. The opinions of religious Canadians matter just as much as my opinions, of course. But in my opinion, Canada ought not be governed according to religious precepts which lack secular backing. A law against thievery may be religiously appropriate, but we should only make stealing illegal because we can make a secular argument against it. A law against Sunday shopping? No dice. I know it sounds silly, but I put SSM in the same category as Sunday shopping: against the rules of many religions, but not against any secular principle I can name.

My religious friends are emphatically not bigots. Again I regret implying otherwise. But neither can I subsume my rational judgement to your faith.

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