Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bishop Olmsted, Judge Walker, James Lileks, Gay Marriage, and Hang-Ups

In response to this editorial in the Arizona Republic applauding Judge Vaughan Walker's decision to declare Prop 8 unconstitutional, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix has a smashingly good column entitled "Marriage: a 'Hang Up' or God's Plan"?

It's well worth a read.

Reading it also brought to mind James Lileks' spot-on discourse on the subject of hang-ups:

“Hang-ups,” for you younguns, was one of those pop-psych terms used to describe people whose vestigial molecules of morality keeps them from personally participating in a barnyard orgy, even though they may decline from judging those who do. “Hang-ups” were the watery Freudian version of “problems,” which were called “neuroses” by people too old to smoke pot. There was nothing worse than having a hang-up in those days. Squares had hang-ups. It didn’t matter what you had a hang-up about; the point was getting over your hang-up, because its very existence implied that you were not a free person open to experience.

I have no idea how this actually worked in the real world, but I suspect the term was used sarcastically as much as it was employed with conviction. Depended on your age. If Young Angry Hip directors made some cheapo groovy movie for American International, the heroine would accuse the hero of having a hang-up, and she’d mean it. If it was a big-studio movie meant to capitalize on the counterculture and explain it for the squares in a nonthreatening way, well, you’d find some middle-aged fellow at a Love-In stammering fractured hip-talk at some blessed-out blonde in a flower-printed miniskirt; she was usually too stoned to notice he was an old dude who was wearing this ruffled shirt entirely by accident, amusing chain of events don’t you know, honestly I’m a respectable married man with a career who has been drawn into your intoxicating demimonde, and she would run a finger down his sternum and coo something about her guru; he’d realize she was bonkers, and utter a riposte that told the audience he was too clever and decent to have sex with her, and then he’d leave. Some mutton-chopped guy with red sunglasses would sidle up and ask the blonde why the guy split the scene, and she’d say “he had hang-ups.” The audience would know what that meant: chick’s an idiot.

1 comment:

The Dutchman said...

What Hippies denounced as "hang-ups," Communists referred to as "Bourgeois proprieties." The irony was that Communists actually adhered to many, if not most, "Bourgeois proprieties." Monogamy, for instance, was a mere "Bourgeois proprieties," however promiscuity was "sexual consumerism," a Bourgeois deviation (much worse!).

Thus, while Heterosexism is a mere "Bourgeois propriety," Homosexuality was a Bourgeois deviation and would disappear of its own accord after the Revolution.

So you see, changing from Communist to Catholic entailed mostly a change from a Monday evening cell meeting, to a Sunday morning Mass, and referring to my lifestyle as "chastity" instead of "revolutionary ardor."