Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Friday, November 03, 2006

What is it with these guys?

Now, most sensible people agree that your sexuality doesn't have to determine the rest of your life. What you do with other adults in the privacy of your own home, specially dedicated night spots, or even (discretely) in public areas shouldn't affect your professional life. Unless you're getting paid to do it, in which case it presumably is your professional life. You can be an astronaut with a foot fetish, a business executive with a predilection for fisting, a ladyboy Thai boxer, a cage fighter with a huge collection of sex toys (you know who you are!), or a metal star with a passion for S&M. Hell, that last one's pretty much expected.

There is, however, one notable exception to this rule. I'm no careers officer, but if your hobbies include engaging other men in the sort of kinky sex one more usually associates with the dying days of the Roman Empire, surely the last two jobs you should be looking at are Evangelical Preacher or Republican Congressman. I mean people, come on. So long as you're not into anything illegal, the only job that you can be excluded from on the grounds of sexual preference is anything that involves standing on a platform of religious bigotry (and possibly certain sorts of house music). Apart from that, the world's your oyster. Or frankfurter. Whatever dingles your dangle.

So why, when their career relies on them being missionary-types in every sense of the word, are there so many men of the cloth and GOP party members that have such wacky sexual preferences? Well, people take several different lines on this. One mode of thought says that all these guys are ashamed and want to join right-wing movements as a method of denying their true natures. Those of a psychoanalytic bent see the passion for fear, power and subjugation that seems to make a really good social conservative as being part of some sort of "desire for the phallus" that doesn't always play out only as a metaphor (without the snazzy Lacanian gloss - if your politics are all about fucking the electorate in the arse, it may well spill over into your personal life). Then there's always the forbidden fruit argument: "God wouldn't forbid something if it wasn't all kinds of fun." None of these are mutually exclusive, and they all seem to have a grain of truth to them. What's lacking is a theory to unify all these strands. So, without further ado, I give you my own contribution to the field: a sort of structural theory of conservative degeneracy.

The first thing to understand is that gay republicans (or at least the ones who confine their activities to people within shooting distance of the age of consent) aren't the issue. They're just the decoys that get thrown out to let the others escape. As with so much of modern politics (and crime, if you want to make that distinction), anyone who actually carries the can is essentially small-time; the real criminals are making their getaway even as the press feeds on the political corpses of their cronies.

The simple fact is that the church and right-wing politics are the two best places to be if you're into some seriously messed-up sexual shit. Think about this: you're an ambitious young turk with a few connections and a passion for mutilating young waifs and strays before satisfying your primitive lusts on their now almost unrecognizable corpses: certainly something that society would disapprove of, and possibly something that needs a few bodies to be disposed of quietly and efficiently. What sort of job is going to offer you access to wealth, power, and a network of people who can cover up whatever little indiscretions you may happen to make whenever there's a full moon? Private businesses, generally speaking, aren't too concerned about the reputations of their employees. Sure, if you get stinking rich enough you can pay people to cover up any manner of shit, but in the mean time you need friends and colleagues who can be counted on to clean up your mess and guard the secret as though it were their own...

I don’t think we necessarily HAVE to make reference to the Mark Foley responsibility shuffle, or even the Catholic Church and its policies on public sex scandals at this point, but you get the idea: public bodies like churches and political parties often stand or fall on the moral worthiness of their members, particularly if, like fundamentalist Christians and Republicans, they choose to define the category of "moral worthiness" very narrowly indeed. Once you're in, the system has a lot at stake in defending your reputation. Of course, that's just the start of the fun. Once an institution starts protecting a social disease like you, you then know something very damaging about it. The Republican party can't, after all, be seen to be a safe house for the worst sort of sexual predators to be found anywhere in society, if not the whole of recorded history. Quite quickly, your fates become intertwined - you both have a lot invested in each other, and, as a consequence, you quickly rise within the ranks of the organisation that has protected and sheltered you.

So, to summarise, Tiarks's 1st Law of the Institutional Economics of Sexual Depravity states that the more an organisation professes to be morally upstanding, where that morality is concerned with sexuality, the more likely it is that said organisation will attract members whose sexual preferences are not just unusual, but almost certainly criminal. Tiarks's 2nd Law states that, all other things being equal, the more inhuman and socially unacceptable the act concealed by an institution, the more likely it is that the perpetrator of said act will end up as a senior member of that institution.

N.B. The laws just described are not actually social science laws. Students of the sort who thought it was a good idea to cite Wikipedia should not make the same mistake here. And sorry to anyone who was actually expecting anything sensible from me. Just my way of working out my mid-term election anxiety - discussion of issues that might conceivably matter will continue in the next post.

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Anonymous Pete Irving said...

Have I missed some news? Did someone just 'out' Cheney? By the way, if anyone was wondering, I am not the cage fighter with the large sex toy collecton. It would be generous to describe my collection as modest.

07 November, 2006 22:43  
Blogger Uncle Petie said...

Oh we all know what Cheney's up to. You've only got to look at that smug little grin. And think about it. You're effectively the most powerful man in the world, and you're expecting us to believe you're getting your kicks out of Lynne Cheney? But to be honest, no. And Cheney's actually pretty liberal on gay marriage (his daughters gay). But no-one else had a white-house profile that made them look like that much of a sexual deviant.

08 November, 2006 00:01  
Anonymous Pete Irving said...

Ever drunk Baileys from a shoe?

12 November, 2006 20:58  
Blogger Uncle Petie said...

"Do you like the Vice-President's office? I got all things that are good."

13 November, 2006 13:49  

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