Saturday, August 23, 2008

beyond the rhetoric

Recently a mysterious stranger lit upon my stoop and inquired as to the melody I was humming. You see, I employ a broad palette when in espousal mode. When endeavoring towards a thought, I do not proceed in the dry and dull manner of the scientist who employs a detached and calculated (faux) objective language. Nor do I proceed in the overly simple and self interested manner of a barrister. I conjure brilliantly colored and boldly outlined metaphors, parables, and aphorisms. I have no idea if a coherent thought is contained there within, something of substance to be transmitted. So it is with great delight that I was asked to speak more directly, more plainly, and most importantly from "the evidence" about my views on monogamy. In response to that request I have this (as well as upcoming posts) to offer:

Owing to the fact that the causes and effects are not only innumerable but also bleed into one another to such an extent that only a confusing morass remains, I can only point indexically—like a mute finger pointing to a heinous car wreck—to unavoidably oversimple significations. The “how” and “why” aside (for the moment), the blatant and indubitable—and, in my opinion, ineluctable—failure of the hetero-normal hegemonic paradigm is but a simple fact of the matter, a given. The tragic state of outright malfunction is at this point as ubiquitous as men and women themselves. (I understand that I have thus far only provided more rhetoric which stands in sharp contradistinction to your request. Patience my muse.)

The hetero-normal standard—an ideological structure and attendant set of practices perfectly encapsulated within the singular term 'monogamy'—was never a healthy affair, rooted as it was in overt oppression, enslavement, materialism, sexism, domination, and worse. [As a brief aside, let me say at this point and with regards to the invocation of the prefix “hetero”: monogamous gay couples are simply playing Ozzie and Harriet with a nugatory exception and thus fully participating in the hetero-normal project. This should not be considered a slight, however, as we are all participating in what presently constitutes “the only game in town”.] For a variety of reasons, some of which I hope to provide an adumbration of below and above (blogs are funny that way), the entire sickly mess was wrapped up in a saccharine package of romantic sophistry and just when we should've have been escaping the worst aspects of feudalism, puritanism, and residual barbarism, we enshrined these violations in inchoate plagiary, in co-opted mythos, in elaborate rationalizations safeguarded by a host of new institutions.

And now, as I indicated above, I must resort to a mere “pointing towards.” Consider the following characteristics of the contemporary monogamous relationship (to be posted one at a time to allow for due consideration and optimal feedback):

* We treat one another as property, as goods. Each individual willingly treats the other as a possession, as something owned. This practice is completely without exception, hence the unmitigated proliferation of rings on the third finger of the left hand. Pathetic appeals to the use of rings as “signs of love” ring hollow considering the ubiquitousness of the practice. Rings are anything but a unique symbol crafted by two unique people to represent their unique love. If two people were merely interested in symbolizing their love by way of some event, action, or icon, some expression significant to the two lovers themselves, everyone wouldn't have the same symbol. Rings are worn on a part of the body perpetually exposed to public scrutiny. They serve the sole function of indicating ownership in a manner fully consistent with brands on the hides of cattle.

(for a post of mine related to this post, see my response to the idea that "philosophy proper" is boring, and worse "useless", at the following:

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