Wednesday, July 30, 2008

From the School of "Consider the Audience"

Via John Scalzi, I read Orscon Scott Card's latest screed against gay marriage. It should be noted that I have never read any of OSC's books, and that the manner in which I hear his name these days goes something like this: "Great writer, pity about the politics." (With varying degrees for "great" and "pity" and all manner of descriptors for "politics.") Through all of the mentions of the politics, though, it never sunk in that OSC is LDS. Boy howdy, it's sunk in now.

From the portion of his rant in which he decries the deplorable state of marriage today (admittedly as created by heterosexuals themselves):
Men routinely discard wives and children to follow the nearly universal male biological desire for diversity in mating. Adultery is now openly expected of men, even if faithful wives deplore it.

While there was much in the way of head-scratchery and eye-rolling and whatnot in the text, I actually did a double-take at this point. Didya see how it's all apologetic about male infidelity? Kinda excusing it whilst railing against it? I suppose that's the sort of comment one can expect in a cultural niche still rooting out the last vestiges of its once widely accepted and encouraged practice of polygamy.

Then OSC really ramps up the rhetoric and gives a foamy take on "them's fightin' words" that is so over the top that it makes me wonder if perhaps he's writing for an audience of Mormon separatists living on a stretch of land in Montana. I skimmed over it mostly because the rant had gone on just a tick too long for me to keep my "This wrong-headedness is so wrong as to be laughable" attitude. But I paid enough attention to catch this gem:
Biological imperatives trump laws.

Another double-take. Particularly as that previous quote was still fresh in my mind. I asked myself, "Did I really just read someone lay down the groundwork to re-establish polygamy? Even as he decried adultery as destructive of marriage, a sacred union between one man and one woman?" But as I considered the whole further, it strikes me more as another apologist stance toward polygamy itself. As in, yeah, sure, we can't do it anymore by our own church's teachings, but, hey, it wasn't really all that wrong in the first place; can't fight biological desires/imperatives.

Good thing OSC offered a quick parenthetical dismissing all of the current research demonstrating that sexual preference has a rather significant basis in genetics.

This logic, 'tis all twisty. I think I'll stop trying to follow it now.

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