By lex, on July 31st, 2006
So the Biscuit talked me into taking her and her friends down to a local neighborhood on Saturday for to go a-thrift store shopping, that being the favored sport of the 15-something set. Hillcrest, as you may or may not know, is the local nexus of alternative lifestyle-type people. For what that’s worth.
Not, of course, that there’s anything wrong with that.
Saturday, as it turned out, was also Gay Pride Day in Hillcrest, a truth that your humble scribe had been entirely ignorant of, and which had been revealed to him only once he was well and truly embarked on the ride south with herself and the retinue, with no chance of turning back, that being considered as tedious as go o’er. I considered the possibility that the Biscuit had hoped that this psychically fraught and much-delayed news might draw a reaction of a kind from your narrator.
If so, in this at least, herself was disappointed.
I lived in Key West for three years back when the alternative feast was at its best, and there’s very little left on the big blue blob that actually surprises me anymore. In any case, each of us must find beauty where we can, and the more love there is in the world, surely the better it is for all of us.
I can say all that and still manage frown at those who think the military is a place to bang drums in the celebration of “otherness.” People of all sorts have served in every capacity ever since the first Cro Magnon admired a particularly well-shaped rock while coveting his neighbor’s ass, which didn’t quite come out as I had intended it, but there it is. In any case, the service is greatly about self-abnegation in the service of the higher. We’re not much into the idea of “conditional service,” otherwise known as “I’d serve you better if only I could talk about who I’m sleeping with,” or whatever is more important to the service person than the service itself. We’ve got lots to do, and what we’ve been given to do it with, and not much time, frankly, for sniffy attitudes from condescending elites.
Whilst down at Hillcrest, I stopped off at a local with the Hobbit while the teenagers sorted through cast off clothes from other decades. Was mildy annoyed not by the alternative folks, but rather a blotto-at-four-in-the-afternoon straight co-ed who breathingly demanded to talk about my concept of God and how it might interact with feminism, and whether the two were compatible. There aren’t that many people in the world I’m comfortable really talking about faith with, and suffice it to say that drunken college students are so far down the list as to escape ordinary scrutiny.
The Biscuit had found suitable accoutrements for purchase, and your scribe was summoned for to do the deed. The clerks were mildly appreciative – not to say envious – of the service thus rendered by the party of the second part on behalf of the party of the first part, and I had fleeting hopes of some expression of paternal gratitude. These quickly came and yet more quickly went, and then it was time to go.
Heard on the news today there had been some loathesome bashing incidents, and all the police and politicians were rightly up in arms. * I do have to admit however, that I’ve often struggled with the idea of “hate crimes” – the idea that what a person might think about the class of person he’s assaulting somehow makes the crime more damnable, the punishment more severe. We can disagree vehemently and openly with racism, or sexism, or any class of bigotry, but until we criminalize thought, these cannot in themselves be crimes. Not, at least, outside academia. If we choose to aggravate a crime with our fallible divinations of motive, are we not in some way criminalizing thought at this point? How far are we then from Orwellian wrong-think?
I mean, if a bigot had an untoward thought towards, say: Irish-American fighter pilots, but did nothing about it, no one would argue that a crime had been committed. And if some other random idiot bashes one of those fighter pilots for no particular reason – is the hurt any the less because it was not committed in the spirit of class hatred? Does the crime exist in throwing a punch, or in the face that it intersects? How do we peer into a criminal’s heart and try to determine some higher level of culpability when the two combine? If the first is not a crime until the second is committed, how then can the first aggravate the worst? Put another way, is my theoretical fighter pilot any less aggrieved because his assailant had no obvious motive?
Is the hurt really any greater because the criminal’s motive is hatred rather than poverty or even sociopathy? How do we weigh to which extent the crime is generated by class antithapy, and to what extent rationalized by it?
Not sure where to end this post, I offer up a link from occasional reader (and fellow Sandy Eggan) Cin, who sacrificed her search engine time in case any of the other ladies got on my case again about inequal deference to their manifest desires.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
** Original Link Gone – Ed