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Retching with the stars…

April 6th, 2010

Those who value the survival of their brain cells do not watch Dancing With the Stars.

Until now.

Now we can also say that those who value either the survival of their brain cells or traditional marriage also do not watch that execrable show.

Witness this (if you can keep your lunch down).

I think I got stupider just watching that.  It made no attempt to engage the issue (and why should a stupid talent show engage this or any issue?) instead, it just attempted to tug at heartstrings.  It was like a sucker punch saying that those who support traditional marriage are just mean and nasty people.  Well, to DWTS, I say this.  Don’t strain yourself trying to persuade me so much next time.

If you can stand to watch people dancing, then perhaps you ought to watch a Fred Astaire film or something.  At least Freddy never attempted to change your mind about the definition of marriage.

Anyway, I think, after watching this, I’m going to retch.  I bet you will too.

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  1. Kami
    April 8th, 2010 at 17:10 | #1

    Dancing (this kind of dancing, anyway) is a beautiful art that specifically comes from the courtship culture that most of history has had, but that we have lost. The courtship of a man and a woman. The entire point to couples dancing has been for a man to take the time and make the effort to pick a woman and devote a certain amount of to her and only her, while each got to know each other better.

    Ironic how it is used in this instance.

  2. Ty
    April 8th, 2010 at 19:52 | #2

    Leave it to those gosh darned liberals to just tug at those heart strings rather than form their opinions on reason.

  3. Larry
    April 8th, 2010 at 22:01 | #3

    Really? Two people loving each other and wanting to be together makes you retch? The joke is in your wording. You claim that those who support “traditional marriage” are portrayed as nasty people… implying that those who support same-sex marriage are somehow against “traditional marriage”. The truth is that gay people are not against traditional marriage, they just want marriages of their own. End of story. I have more respect for people who say they just plain don’t like gay people and don’t think they deserve rights. At least they are being honest. To profess that this somehow affects you and your “traditional marriage” is the real joke. It is just wording that helps you to still feel good about yourself, instead of feeling the reality that you are being hurtful, bigoted, and selfish.

  4. Marty
    April 11th, 2010 at 10:22 | #4

    corrected:

    Just a matter of time before one of these gay male dancers refuses to dance with a woman, and calls out the show’s producers for their heteronormative bigotry.

  5. Arlemagne1
    April 12th, 2010 at 09:00 | #5

    @Larry
    Larry,
    What really makes me retch is that we have to hear about people’s pet political issues at random times during random moments. What does dancing have to do with gay marriage? Not much. Then why does somebody who is tuning into a dancing show have to get a political message? I don’t know. It gives me dry heaves.

    As far as the redefinition of marriage affecting existing marriages, your assertion that it will have no effect is an example of one-step thinking. Perhaps if you would listen to some of Dr. J’s podcasts, you would see that law will have to change for everybody if we were to change the definition of marriage. We cannot possibly know what all of the effects of marriage redefinition will have on all marriages, (not to mention birth rates, the amount of society’s social capital and even the economy). Perhaps I’m not a bigot. Perhaps I just don’t think we should do that experiment.

    Perhaps you are prejudging me?

  6. nerdygirl
    April 12th, 2010 at 17:50 | #6

    The laws changed for everybody and the economy was also effected by abolishing slavery. In fact, some people protested it because of the effect it could have (and did have) on the economy. Things seem to have worked out alright. Arguably, legalizing gay marriage would lead to a boom in the wedding industry, adoption and other options would lead to an increase in sales in baby and children’s industries. We have a consumer driven economy, so this would all be good.

  7. Karen Grube
    April 12th, 2010 at 18:31 | #7

    I’m sorry, Nerdygirl, but that is a total crock. Gays in general make up such a small percentage of the population, that gay weddings would be just about irrelevant to the overall economy. And no, I don’t care what the Williams Institute says. It’s just ridiclous to even consider the effect on the economy, with one exception. The census is now allowing gay couples – even those not married but who consider themselves ‘married’ to fill out their census forms as ‘married’. That will undoubtedly have a decidely negative effect on the economy overall, since it paints a completely false picture of the situation. Honestly, that angers me. It’s deceptive and it’s a lie and the census bureau should NEVER have been allowed to do that.

  8. Arlemagne1
    April 12th, 2010 at 19:12 | #8

    @nerdygirl
    Nerdygirl, there are several issues to consider.

    The analogy to slavery is completely off base. First of all, by the time the USA completely banned slavery, the experiment of doing without the peculiar institution had been done three times. First in Europe which banned slavery in the middle ages. Then in the Northern colonies which banned slavery and prospered. Then in the Carribean when the British banned it in the 1830s. The experiment happened and happened successfully. Can you show me a country who has a Total Fertility Rate above replacement level and has gay marriage? I doubt you can. You’re comparing an experiment with several positive outcomes with an experiment with no large scale positive outcomes.

    Also, let’s face it. Gay men don’t tend to want children at the same rates as heterosexual couples. They just don’t.

    As far as lesbians go, if they were going to have a Total Fertility Rate of at least replacement rate, (assuming that gay men don’t adopt or get surrogates at a replacement TFR) they would need to have between the two of them 4.2 children. I’m not sure I see that happening. Your assertion that allowing gay marriage would have such a big positive effect on the economy is probably not well founded.

  9. Arlemagne1
    April 12th, 2010 at 19:20 | #9

    @nerdygirl
    Oh, and Nerdygirl,
    Any comparison between the situation of slaves and gay people who can’t convince the government to grant them self esteem by redefining the ancient institution of marriage is absolutely obscene. I think that aspect of your argument needs no further response than to note its absolute lack of moral perspective.

  10. nerdygirl
    April 13th, 2010 at 17:52 | #10

    I don’t think we can consider gay marriage the only factor in the total fertility rates. The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, Norway, Sweden and South Africa are the countries with same sex marriage. All of these countries minus South Africa are developed countries, with fairly stable economies, high standards of life and high-levels of education accessible to all it’s citizens. The fertility decrease in these countries started before gay marriage was legalized, and is consistent with most first world, politically and economically stable governments. Lower fertility rates are a characteristic of a well developed, successful country. The United States still has a rate above replacement (But lower then the worlds average TFR) . Most sources suggest this is in large part due to expanding Hispanic population. South Africa, a developing country is close to replacement if not above (Sources are not as clear on this, it is above the worlds TFR.). Of course South Africa is dealing with the AID’S pandemic, which decimates a large portion it’s population. Given that 42% of the worlds countries are not meeting replacement rates, and only 7 of about 193 countries have legalized gay marriage, it’s probably safe to say that gay marriage has minimal impact on fertility.

  11. Arlemagne1
    April 13th, 2010 at 18:45 | #11

    Nerdygirl,
    Your points are well taken. But consider the following:
    We don’t yet know the long term effects of gay marriage. The devaluation of the marital institution may yet have some bad effects.

    Remember, that society is an extremely complex thing. Complex systems are governed by chaos. One term from chaos theory that has made the mainstream is the butterfly effect. It is reasonable (but no means certain) that this particular butterfly flapping its wings may cause a typhoon. I can certainly construct plausible scenarios in which that happens.

    The declining birthrates are potentially a problem. Why do things that may worsen the problem? For what benefit to society?

    In my life, I have heard many arguments as to why the government should grant state sponsored self esteem to gay people because it would make gay people feel good. Fine. I understand that argument.

    What I have never ever heard is how society will benefit from jettisoning the ancient institution of marriage.

  12. nerdygirl
    April 14th, 2010 at 07:40 | #12

    @Arlemagne1
    But society already HAS changed the institution of marriage. It’s changed from a business transaction used to ensure property, money and power were transferred down bloodlines into this current incarnation where some people get married for love, some take a religious aspect and others do it just because they’ve been living together so long they might as well get the tax benefits. It used to be FOR LIFE, or else SHAME and OSTRACISM with follow you, (even in cases of abuse) And now, we have a 50% divorce rate, without the sideways glancing neighbors who now decide their kids are too good to play with your kids. But hey, many people DO still have long lasting happy monogamous marriages. And many people have long lasting non-monogamous marriages (No, I’m not advocating for poly-marriages. Polygamy is inherently unfair and has no place being legal.) . Marriage now, legally, comes in and can mix with every religion, race, or creed. There used to be all sorts of barriers, parental consent, couldn’t marry outside your class, religion, or race, etc. They’ve all fallen down. It’s now easier for an abused spouse to leave their abusive marriage. Society has already benefited from changing marriage.

  13. Ari
    April 14th, 2010 at 15:21 | #13

    Nerdygirl,
    None of what you say is relevant. Marriage has always been about attaching men and women to one another and to the children that they have.

    From what I gathered from your previous arguments with me, you’re unmarried and have no children.

    Well, speaking as a man, and speaking as somebody who has three children, I can say without any fear of contradiction that having small children is a drag. People (especially men) need REASONS to do it. They need REASONS to stay with their wives and children.

    Now, I’m not Tiger Woods, but it would not be tremendously difficult to find partners with whom I could have a lot of fun. Certainly, a lot more fun than an evening of crying, diapers, and putting the toddlers in time-out. I need a reason to forgo the fun and keep the old nose near the grindstone. Societal expectations play a role in that. Believe me.

    As society dilutes the institution of marriage and turns it into a meaningless contract, marriage rates have plummeted. Divorce rates have skyrocketed. Politicians have done horrible things to marriage. Your citation of things past carries no weight with me.

    Please also be sure to note my commentary about “essentialist” notes on marriage in previous blog posts of mine. As definitions of “Marriage” expand from real, you know, actual marriage, to, well, whatever leftists want it to be the law will change. And it will chance in ways that will make men superfluous (and replaced by government). It will NOT serve society’s interests.

    Lastly, I think it necessary to mention that you have not answered my question: What benefit will society derive from jettisoning the traditional definition of marriage and redefining it to include same-sex unions? Your continued failure to answer this question will be interpreted as your lack of an adequate answer to this question. Answers in the form of “virtue is its own reward” or some such, will be similarly interpreted. Good luck in coming up with an answer to that one.

  14. Ari
    April 14th, 2010 at 15:25 | #14

    Nerdygirl,
    One last thing. I think that when you DO get married, you’re going to WANT societal expectations to keep your husband loyal to you. You’ll WANT people giving him sideways glances if he steps out and finds a younger woman on the side. It’s one thing to coldly analyze what society wants and expects. It’s quite another to benefit from society’s protections and hear people like you talking of them as if they could change at any time with little or no consequences.

  15. nerdygirl
    April 14th, 2010 at 19:32 | #15

    @Ari
    Uh, dude, if the only thing keeping you in your marriage and faithful is societal expectations, then I’m sorry your life sucks that much. I don’t plan on entering into a marriage because of what society thinks, I plan on entering marriage (one day, well in the future) because I want to spend my life with someone I love and raise a family. I am very well aware of the male gender’s wandering, because females have it too. Monogamy is hard for everyone, it takes hard work to make it last, it takes communication, it takes compromise, it takes time, it takes avoiding boring sex ruts. And it takes wanting to make it work. If society is the only thing keeping you in line, then you’re going to be a cheater. I know it’s not easy, I know it’s hard and challenging but I also know that “sticking around for the kids when you don’t want to be there, sucks for the kids, cause I’ve been there, I’ve had that loser dad that didn’t want or like the responsibility of fatherhood, and your kids can tell. They can tell and they will remember it.
    Here’s the thing, what I actually think. I don’t think gay marriage will really change society much at all. Because gay people are very much like straight people. They’re human, they make mistakes. I think there will be a few extra weddings thrown a year, and of course, a few more divorces. We’ll get a crappy Hollywood movie or two about two Queens going through the divorce process. And then, nothing. Seriously. I don’t see any sizable number of straight people going, well, screw heterosexuality, I’m gonna go gay. Most people aren’t going to concern themselves with it. I mean, most people don’t concern themselves with other peoples marriages. Some will remain up in arms for a bit, and then they’ll drift back into obscurity, to rise occasionally in infamy, like the justice of the peace who a couple months ago denied a black man and white woman a marriage license. Gay marriage won’t have a huge impact, because marriage is an individual contract. Nothing can cheapen a marriage besides one of the people within that marriage deciding so. I’m sorry you think your marriage is cheapened by two men or two women getting married. I’m sorry you think society is going to implode on itself if gay marriage is passed. I guess I just have more faith in humanity skewing good then bad. Why should we legalize gay marriage, because two loving adults should be able to bind themselves legally to one another regardless of race, politics, religion or gender.

  16. Arlemagne1
    April 15th, 2010 at 08:36 | #16

    Nerdygirl,
    Re: your post at 7:32 (not yet approved).
    I did not say that the “only” thing keeping my marriage together is societal expectations. I said it “plays a role.” Therefore, your entire first paragraph is irrelevant to the debate.

    Second, the question I asked was what BENEFIT would society get by redefining marriage (not what EFFECT). You answered an entirely different question than I asked.

    Perhaps I could suggest a video which you may find helpful:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttnUOn52cQ4

  17. nerdygirl
    April 15th, 2010 at 17:43 | #17

    Legalizing gay marriage would BENEFIT society by advancing our stance as a free nation that does not discriminate on based on sexual orientation. We do not live in a theocracy, and on a federal level there is no reason why marriage needs to be heterosexually based. Straight people should be tough enough and confident enough with themselves and relationships to handle that some people are gay. Marriage isn’t in this current state of working only half the time because of gay people, and keeping gay people from marrying isn’t going to fix the divorce rate, all that does is appease people and does nothing to fix the problem.
    @Arlemagne1

  18. Arlemagne1
    April 15th, 2010 at 19:40 | #18

    Nerdygirl:
    Re you as yet unpublished comment:
    Just as I predicted your response was a variation on “virtue is its own reward.”

    I’d respond to it but the rebuttal is obvious, so I am no longer amused by this thread. Be well.

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