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Men Are Dogs

OK, let’s look at the this week’s identity freakshow: people who think they are animals [1]. The Guardian brings us news of the “pups” subculture. Excerpts:

It’s easy to laugh at a grown man in a rubber dog suit chewing on a squeaky toy. Maybe too easy, in fact, because to laugh is to dismiss it, denigrate it – ignore the fact that many of us have found comfort and joy in pretending to be animals at some point in our lives.

No, it is not too easy to laugh at this insanity. By all means dismiss it and denigrate it. No grown man should behave this way. Naturally, they began as BDSM pervs:

Secret Life of the Human Pups is a sympathetic look at the world of pup play, a movement that grew out of the BDSM community and has exploded in the last 15 years as the internet made it easier to reach out to likeminded people. While the pup community is a broad church, human pups tend to be male, gay, have an interest in dressing in leather, wear dog-like hoods, enjoy tactile interactions like stomach rubbing or ear tickling, play with toys, eat out of bowls and are often in a relationship with their human “handlers”.

In the documentary, we see Tom, AKA Spot, take part in the Mr Puppy Europe competition in Antwerp, a mix of beauty pageant, talent show and Crufts; David, AKA Bootbrush, talk to camera in a leather dog mask; two pups walk through London pretending to wee on lampposts to raise awareness of their identity; and lots of men jumping up for “treats”, barking and wagging their mechanical tails.

But wait, there’s more:

Tom’s discovery of puppy play came about gradually. He knew he liked sleeping in a collar, had a fetish for skin-tight clothing – Lycra, rubber, even off-the-peg cycling shorts – then came a dalmatian zentai suit he found on eBay, a £1 orange lead from Pets at Home until, eventually, a man in a club walked up to him and said: “Oh right, so you’re a pup.” The realisation was not without its repercussions: it led to a breakup with his former fiancee Rachel and a move into a gay relationship with his new handler. Colin.

“I wouldn’t say it was the catalyst, but it was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” says Tom. “Then I had this moment of panic because a puppy without a collar is a stray; they don’t have anyone to look after them. I started chatting to Colin online and he offered to look after me. It’s a sad thing to say, but there’s not love from the heart in me for Colin – but what I have got is someone who is there for me and I’m happy with that.”

And, you knew this was coming. Emphasis mine:

Whether we see it as a kink, an identity, a reaction to an early experience, a form of escapism or a fetish, the main thing, says Tom, is that we see it at all; that we know it’s there and accept it. “It feels like you can be gay, straight, bisexual, trans and be accepted,” he says. “All I want is for the pup community to be accepted in the same way. We’re not trying to cause grief to the public, or cause grief to relationships. We’re just the same as any other person on the high street.”

Read the whole thing. [1]

As it happens, VICE did a piece on pup culture earlier this year (probably NSFW). [2]It’s a gay male thing, it appears. Excerpts:

Already the howls leak onto 12th Street. And as you pass through the heavy black doors of San Francisco’s go-to gay biker hangout, The Eagle, the scene that greets you isn’t the expected handful of dudes quietly gathered at the bar to catch the Warriors game. It’s more like a rave at the SPCA.

Bare-assed except for tail-shaped butt plugs and Nasty Pig jock straps, sporting custom leather puppy masks and MMA mitts, several go-go boys hop and fidget to Berlin techno above the packed crowd. Huge cutouts of snarling pooches and giant bones loom over the dance floor. On the back patio, a hunky daddy dressed to the leather nines sits in a large chair, reading a newspaper, puffing a fat stogie, and resting his feet on a coiled human pup, who excitedly chews on a squeaky SpongeBob. A bootblack and a barber, both dressed only in latex aprons, ply their grooming trades with fanatical skill. Over in the corner a big cage rattles, as the human pups inside bark and throw themselves against the bars.

More:

Figaro Pup identifies as a border collie. “I share a lot of traits with the breed. I get bored easily unless something is really holding my attention. I am always trying to keep groups together or herd people or pups. My husband is my handler, although I and the other pups in our pack call him Daddy. A typical day is surprisingly mundane. We do all of the normal things that couples do, work, chores etc. There are just a lot of little things that call out our other relationship dynamics. We switch from husbands to daddy/puppy fairly seamlessly. When we kiss hello, maybe I’ll get some scritches behind the ear, or I’ll play with a squeaky toy while we watch TV, unless it gets taken away.”

And:

Both Papa Woof and Brue take great pains to insist that puppy play is not about bestiality…

Right. Aaaaaand, I’m out of there.

Here’s something on the same wavelength, but not as sexed-up. [3] From a Houston TV station’s report:

Throughout the U.S., a group of people who identify as therian has been growing over the years. Therians are people who believe they are animals, either spiritually or psychologically. Within the Houston area, there are an estimated 3,000 people in this community.

“A therian is basically someone who believes spiritually or mentally that they are an animal,” said Aramond VanRahamdalph, who leads a therian group in Houston. He identifies as both vampire and therian. As a therian, he tells FOX 26 News that his identity is of both a wolf and a raven.

“When we go through our awakening, it’s brought upon by a kind of a bond with a specific animal,” said VanRahamdalph. “It could be at a zoo or out in the wild. For most therians, when we shift, which we get the animalistic instincts, a sixth sense, heightened senses, hair on the back of your neck, sensation gets a little stronger.”

Sounds like possession to me, but what do I know.

You know, on second thought, it is too easy to laugh at these deranged people (remember the Norwegian cat lady [4]?). What they are doing is pushing the logic that demands that in custom and in law, society must recognize the right of the sovereign individual to claim his sexual identity based on will alone, having nothing to do with biology. Those men are no more dogs than Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, but we are not obliged to recognize them as canines under penalty of law and at risk of hysterical, bullying public censure by progressive members of Congress [5]. Yet, anyway.

If human identity is not inextricably bound in our biology, then where do you draw the line? In the same way the trans bathroom argument is about something much deeper than what it’s about, laughing at these nuts too easily dismisses the very real philosophical principle at issue here: what is man? As C.S. Lewis wrote in The Abolition of Man:

There is something which unites magic and applied science while separating both from the ‘wisdom’ of the earlier ages. For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique; and both, in the practice of this technique, are ready to do things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious – such as digging up and mutilating the dead.

And:

It is in Man’s power to treat himself as a mere ‘natural object’ and his own judgments of value as raw material for scientific manipulation to alter at will. The objection to his doing so does not lie in the fact that this point of view (like one’s first day in a dissecting room) is painful and shocking till we grow used to it. The pain and the shock are at most a warning and a symptom. The real objection is that if man chooses to treat himself as raw material, raw material he will be: not raw material to be manipulated, as he fondly imagined, by himself, but by mere appetite, that is, mere Nature, in the person of his de-humanized Conditioners.

Very few people are going to go Therian, [6] or play at bestiality like the Pups. But the same principle of personhood and identity that requires us to ignore biology entirely when it comes to determining male and female identity must logically allow trans-species identity. In her vicious exchange this week with law professor Gail Heriot, the bullying Rep. Zoe Lofgren inadvertently conceded the point. Heriot had said that by transgender logic there’s no reason why people shouldn’t call her a Russian princess if she insists she’s one. That prompted Lofgren, a California Democrat, to denounce Heriot as an “ignorant bigot.” Heriot then asked her (I paraphrase), “Well, do you think I am a Russian princess?”

Said Lofgren, “I have no idea.”

Lofgren perfectly well knew that Heriot was not a Russian princess, but if she had said “no,” then she would have conceded that identity is not simply a matter of desire and will. Had Lofgren done that, she would have undermined her ideology. Better to just yell, “Bigot!”

To be sure, gender dysphoria is a real psychological condition, and I don’t think it’s wrong for society to reach some kind of accommodation for people who suffer from it. But we have gone way, way too far, and accepting this principle is going to be our undoing. In for a transgender, in for a Pup and a Therian. Impossible, you say? Eight years ago, when Barack Obama was running for president, denying that he favored same-sex marriage, did you ever imagine his administration would one day order public schools to let “girls” with penises use high school locker rooms, under threat of losing all federal funding? In our unwinding culture, what is impossible today will be mandated tomorrow.

Matter matters! Personally, I blame Ockham. But you knew I would say that.

85 Comments (Open | Close)

85 Comments To "Men Are Dogs"

#1 Comment By al On May 28, 2016 @ 3:28 pm

Rod, if you actually knew a few of these folks you would recognize that more then a few of them manifest a certain tribal mentality that is usually referenced with approval on this blog. As you are in the Baton Rouge MSA original research would be easy.

Also, you assert a slippery slope with LGBT issues and fetish activities but provide no evidence.

#2 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On May 28, 2016 @ 4:09 pm

Cascadian

It just doesn’t go both ways for you.

Of course not. Neither it does for you.

#3 Comment By Carlo On May 28, 2016 @ 4:11 pm

Eamus Catuli:

thanks for the clarification. I remain convinced that the people you mention (and contemporary “liberalism” in general) simply lack the cultural categories to make that kind of distinction.

On top of the general individualistic drift of the larger culture, the boundaries that psychology can provide are so porous, and so affected by unexamined philosophical assumptions, that the idea that one can able to separate “gender disphoria” in a precise sense from various forms of psychological confusion seems quite unrealistic.

#4 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On May 28, 2016 @ 4:17 pm

Eamus Catuli says:

Cascadian beat me to it. So, when Native Americans performed rituals in which they “became” wolves or bears, were they participating in “the Abolition of Man”?

Sophistry.

Those are a bunch of perverts debasing themselves. Indians were performing a noble ritual putting them into connection with the transcendent. Context is everything.

#5 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On May 28, 2016 @ 4:30 pm

Also, you assert a slippery slope with LGBT issues and fetish activities but provide no evidence.

Beginning as gay and ending up as dog. Ain’t that slippery slope enough?

[NFR: Boo-yah! Great lines. — RD]

#6 Comment By Richard Parker On May 28, 2016 @ 4:38 pm

Which bathroom do the ‘pups’ use?

[NFR: The fire plug, duh. 😉 — RD]

#7 Comment By Cascadian On May 28, 2016 @ 5:18 pm

@Steve S

Compelled speech is problematic. However, when the speech is part and parcel of a service provided to the public it seems to lose some of its force. Muslim cabbies should pick up the blind guide dog no matter what his religious dictates require. Southern Baptists should make cakes for Jews or Papists regardless if the cake is to celebrate a first communion or bar mitzvah.

I’m less sure about Satanists being sued by the Catholic Church for the use of crackers in performance art. Or for that matter, allow a company to compromise it’s insurance policy because they believe that a fertilized egg is a child.

“Or, to put it more bluntly, why do you hate Catholics so much, you hateful and ignorant bigot?”

Well the fun answer would be that I was raised in a proper Bible believing family. The truth is I nearly became a Cistercian in the last years of my faith but decided to take my monastic leanings to the mountains instead of an abbey.

#8 Comment By Eliana On May 28, 2016 @ 6:55 pm

Dogness fills up their lives because otherwise their lives would seem to them like empty chasms.

They live in a fantasy that somehow has grown to become central to their adult identities and ways of life.

They live in thrall to a particular form of detachment and of escape.

Of course, there exist many other forms of detachment and of escape that people may pursue.

What is it about their lives as adults that these “dog dressers” are trying to escape, to avoid?

It seems that they’re hiding inside those costumes.

If a person thinks enough about being a dog, it surely lessens the time that one must spend thinking about being human.

#9 Comment By Joan On May 28, 2016 @ 8:35 pm

Wow, DeclinetheEnjoy, you really remind me of a boyfriend I had in college who thought he knew how menstrual cramps felt because he had a hernia. You try to imagine your way into the experience of a male-to-female transsexual by analogy and guesswork and you conclude that it’s all cultural because that’s all you can imagine. Which does not line up at all with the descriptions I’ve heard from the m2fs I know, and I’m inclined to trust their version more than yours because they are speaking from experience.

#10 Comment By Potato On May 28, 2016 @ 8:52 pm

How can we get back to local decisions being made locally? Why does everything end up in the Supreme Court? Why do we think that Eight Politicians in Black Robes can decide this stuff better than the Vice Principal of the local high school? The Vice Principal will surely get a lot of things wrong but I still trust them to do the right thing more than I trust justices who vote along party lines. I don’t want Supreme Court Justices who would vote my way in the Culture Wars. I want justices who say that they have no authority over abortions, bathrooms or marriages and that the rest of us will just have to figure it out amongst ourselves. Am I alone in this?

No, you’re not alone.

I have given this some thought too. Here’s what I think happened. Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, partly because of the exemplary service of what were then called “colored” soldiers in WWII, the idea grew in most of the country that racial segregation was wrong, and that it disadvantaged black people.

Unfortunately a big section of the country, the South, did not agree with this growing sentiment, and when it spread with the Civil Rights Movement, especially when the idea developed that every adult American was entitled to vote, the South put up its back and refused to go along.

I realize that the “enlightenment” of the North was partly phony and in any case very cheaply bought, but stick with me here. The right to vote struck a chord with those of my generation who were then in college in the North. I very nearly went to Mississippi myself that summer. It also struck a chord with those in power in the South, because they saw that one man one vote meant the end of a lot if not all legal segregation. And so the battle was joined.

I never heard, back on those days, a reasoned argument as to why black citizens of Mississippi should not have the vote. I’ve still never heard one. To us the argument came off as, “come down here and fight for this and we’ll beat the crap out of you and maybe kill you.” Some of my friends were beaten very badly. Three young people from the North were killed.

So at this point we determined that this problem could not be solved locally, as you so movingly argue. The southern whites still had the guns and the power, if not the numbers. They were prepared to extend denial of the vote and other racial discrimination for as long as possible, forever if they could. This did not seem fair to those of our citizens who lived in those places but who were black. It still doesn’t.

Now in 2016 this struggle, in which I still believe we were right, has been logically extended so that American middle schools in the boondocks do not have the authority to run their own locker rooms and bathrooms without supervision from Washington.

So I see how we got here. What I don’t see is, how do we get out? Is telling a transgender student that he/she will have to use a separate bathroom really the moral equivalent of lynching in the Old South, so that the full power of the Central Government must weigh in to crush the local authorities?

We don’t seem to be able to draw rational lines, and we don’t seem to be able to keep our heads, and we certainly don’t seem to be able to exercise common sense.

#11 Comment By Joan On May 28, 2016 @ 9:14 pm

Samuel R. Delaney predicted all this in his science fiction writings in the 1960s: body modification to change apparent species or become something never before seen and/or to blur gender; three-person marriages; multiculturalism; a bar where there’s not a coat-check booth, but a clothes-check booth, and a customer who is reluctant to undress is told to “At least take off your shirt and shoes. People will think you’re strange.” And many things not yet possible. Now, granted, it’s all in the context of that segment of the future economy that’s based on space travel, so stability is not expected. In fact, one of Delaney’s frequent themes is a bunch of atomized individuals becoming (or having become) a community of sorts through crewing the same starship. Nevertheless, it’s striking how rare parenthood is, and family ties in general, and even emotional ties to a home planet. That’s characteristic of science fiction in general; atomization is assumed and the bonds of family and home take some explaining.

#12 Comment By Annie On May 28, 2016 @ 9:16 pm

Adamant,

History is not black and white, it does not move in one direction, that’s a Whiggish myth. Whose history, which place, which people, which time? Imperial Rome? Ancient Greece? Pre-20th century China? The Americas pre-Columbus? Have you read ballads and the bawdy poetry of medieval Europe?

The story of our past is not the story of a bunch of puritans stomping on sexual deviants forever. Are there people who hate deviancy, and wish to stomp and torture it? Yes. They are hatefully wrong. They have had moments of ascendancy, including in recent memory. Even in those times, though, outright death sentences were exceedingly rare. At the same time, many practices were silently tolerated, all sorts of well-known undergrounds flourished.

Most of human history is a muddle. Muddles which boil over, which overstep limits and collapse and then find their way again. Muddles which are representative of our failings: our greed, our lack of charity, our lust, our desire to lose our minds, our rage, our surrender to our impulses.

We should not make these things illegal. But it is absolutely wrong to impose unscientific, unsubstantiated theory on children, to make it the de facto state religion, to force it upon businesses, charities, to require validation of behavior from people who dissent.

We’ve abandoned responsible mental health treatment in this country, and consumer capitalism has captured deviancy as its new prey (as RuPaul has noted). Get them hooked on pills, hormone treatments. Tell them they are whatever they want to be, and ignore the underlying issues. Get them hooked, make them dependents for life.

The administrative state is once again playing the handmaiden to big business. Bored elites, deprived of meaning, consuming identities while the world burns? History has something to say about that too.

#13 Comment By Carlo On May 28, 2016 @ 11:20 pm

Adamant:

“That is provably, demonstrably, exactly what we are. ”

Oh, please, don’t pretend to be stupid… do you know the meaning of the words “scientistic dogmatism”?

All of that is demonstrably PART of what we are. The statement that it is ALL of what we are is an unprovable dogma. As a physicist I am perfectly capable of spotting out people who turn their metaphysical working hypotheses into established truths. Unfortunately it happens all the time, but it has nothing to do with science. I have noticed that some biologists seem to be particularly vulnerable to this kind of fallacy.

#14 Comment By Aaron Gross On May 28, 2016 @ 11:40 pm

In case you missed it, Eamus wrote,

if even their frivolous play-acting is an instance of “the Abolition of Man,” then wouldn’t the much more serious ritual enactments of native cultures, the ones in which people identify spiritually with animals, certainly be as well? So are we slamming those too? I mean, if so, fair enough, then it’s a consistent critique. But I have a strong feeling that conservatives wouldn’t be hurling their copies of C.S. Lewis at the native Bear-Spirit Dancer. Their position would be something more like: imagining you’re an animal is wrong and stupid, except when it isn’t.

Giuseppe then writes,

Those are a bunch of perverts debasing themselves. Indians were performing a noble ritual putting them into connection with the transcendent. Context is everything.

Well, I guess that settles that.

#15 Comment By Eamus Catuli On May 29, 2016 @ 12:08 am

@Guiseppe Scalas:

Those are a bunch of perverts debasing themselves.

Right — that’s the point. They’re not imagining that they actually are dogs. It’s just weirdo cosplay of some kind, not some larger metaphysical or ontological claim about the nature of man. So C.S. Lewis just isn’t relevant to it.

The native ritualists and totemists, though, are in some sense imagining that they’re bears or wolves, or are somehow crossing spirits with bears and wolves. Now that would seem to raise the larger ontological questions, if anything does — and yet conservatives aren’t troubled about it, they embrace it as “a noble ritual putting them into connection with the transcendent.”

So two different critiques are just badly getting confused with each other here. Maybe it’s wrong to play dress-up-pup (while still knowing full well that you’re human), and maybe it’s wrong to try to slip the boundaries of your humanness, but these are not the same thing at all. The people who actually do the latter are, by your own account, doing nothing wrong, nothing that threatens our basic relationship to reality or the cosmos. They may actually be more in touch with the cosmos than most of us are.

So what’s the actual criticism, then? That you’re not into bondage games? Right, neither am I. What does that have to do with “the abolition of Man”? The pup thing wasn’t C.S. Lewis’ scene either, as far as I know.

#16 Comment By thomas tucker On May 29, 2016 @ 12:21 am

Somehow, I doubt that Indians were wearing butt plugs shaped like dog tails.

#17 Comment By Troy On May 29, 2016 @ 2:38 am

Kevin says “I’d love to see a discussion of what this is really all about. It’s clearly not about grown men behaving like dogs or about trans women using the wrong toilet or about men marrying other men.”

Isn’t about dogma? These intractable things are always about people believing extraordinary things that cannot stand someone not believing it.

A trans person cannot be the only person who believes they are the other gender, or more deeply gender has to be a concrete fact and not a concept created to address a sociological or anthropological observation.

A monotheist cannot accept a different god, or different interpretation of their god. The Ben Op is a manifestation of this in that the belief is conservative Christians sense they cannot pass their hard religious sensibilities intact to the next generation in the face of widespread disbelief.

To be fair one belief of my own that someone might call a dogma is Feminism, which I define as men and women are equals, and the law should treat them as such in all areas where some level of legal regulation is expected in the mainstream of American politics. Because of its nature as a possible dogma, I would not plausibly argue something to the contrary, such as a family can choose to prevent children of one gender from receiving the minimum education required by law or that Feminism requires all religions to employee both genders as clergy equally

The blogger Spengler always returned to the critique of western accomodationists of Islam who minimized the ‘cultural’ artifacts of Islam in favor of the big themes shared with other faiths. His point was outsiders could not tell muslims what dogmas were and were not important to their faith, whether or not their critiques were theologically sound within Islam.

Potato’s example of white supremacy is another. It is also plausible that it was so fundamental to the character of America that its defeat forced all competitions of ideas into the maximalist default to dogmatic competition. You’d think Suffrage would have been the bigger deal but it turns out race was much more important than sex in defining America’s dogmas.

#18 Comment By Adamant On May 29, 2016 @ 9:13 am

Annie,

“Most of human history is a muddle. Muddles which boil over, which overstep limits and collapse and then find their way again.”

Agreed. At the top of the thread you can see a picture of that very muddle.

“We should not make these things illegal.”

Very generous of you. Please keep in mind how recent, novel, and non-traditional that statement is, and the metaphysical underpinnings of it.

Carlo says:

May 28, 2016 at 11:20 pm

“All of that is demonstrably PART of what we are. The statement that it is ALL of what we are is an unprovable dogma.”

Objection, your honor, assumes facts not in evidence. One might say it is a metaphysical claim on par with “I’m a dog. Woof.”

#19 Comment By grumpy realist On May 29, 2016 @ 9:53 am

If a whole bunch of people are getting involved with Dogness, are we really sure they’re not a whole bunch of religious people suffering from dyslexia?

#20 Comment By Eamus Catuli On May 29, 2016 @ 10:39 am

@thomas tucker:

Somehow, I doubt that Indians were wearing butt plugs shaped like dog tails.

I wouldn’t be too sure about that. Native ceremonial practices included nose and lip piercing, lip stretching, hanging suspended from chest piercings (this involved some sort of trance or something), and smoking hallucinogenics through the rectum. And those are just some of the things they volunteered for. But yeah, nothing kinky.

#21 Comment By M_Young On May 29, 2016 @ 12:11 pm

I blame Clinton…George Clinton.

#22 Comment By M_Young On May 29, 2016 @ 12:20 pm

“I never heard, back on those days, a reasoned argument as to why black citizens of Mississippi should not have the vote. I’ve still never heard one.”

[7]

Or you could just look at Detroit, Newark, heck, even [8]

Now, maybe those arguments aren’t good enough, but that’s not to say their is no argument.

[NFR: Normally I would not post a comment from someone arguing for disfranchising black Americans, or anyone else on the basis of their ethnicity, sex, etc. Of course I strongly reject that idea. Aside from the moral case you would expect, there is the utterly practical matter of No Taxation Without Representation. That said, it is interesting to consider if *any* American polity will have its right to select its own leaders taken away because its citizens (of whatever race) have proven incapable of self-government. [9], in the previous decade. I suspect we will be seeing more of that in the decades to come, as Americans across the board lose the capacity to exercise ordered liberty. But the government won’t call it what it is. — RD]

#23 Comment By al On May 29, 2016 @ 12:46 pm

“Beginning as gay and ending up as dog. Ain’t that slippery slope enough?”

“[NFR: Boo-yah! Great lines. — RD]”

You all just illustrated my point. Fetish behavior is orthogonal to sexual orientation. Things like puppy play and pony play cut across orientation lines and have been around a long time. Dunning – Kruger guys, Dunning – Kruger.

#24 Comment By JS85 On May 29, 2016 @ 1:54 pm

On the bright side, the comments section to that Guardian article is delightfully English.

#25 Comment By Mike Schilling On May 29, 2016 @ 2:20 pm

Change dogs to mice and it’s (literally) a Monty Python sketch. [10]

#26 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On May 29, 2016 @ 5:28 pm

Eamus,

(Sorry for not quoting, but I’m dealing with a mobile phone keyboard, which is awkward enough)

I see your point.

However, there’s a difference between seeking transcendency through beings who participate in the divine. Today’s sermon was interesting: the priest said that the lauds sung by men are more precious to God because Nature can’t help praising God. So I can understand cultures that ritually identify with totemic animals as a way to meet such necessary worship, unintermediated by consciousness and reason.
But this doesn’t mean giving up one’s humanity.
While this sort of cosplay is maybe not transhuman – even though I suspect it has transhumanist tendencies – but is deliberately insulting to one’s humanity.
and denying one’s human nature

#27 Comment By Potato On May 29, 2016 @ 6:31 pm

“Reasoned” arguments for disenfranchising black citizens:

1. I don’t find anything like this on the Kilpatrick page you reference. Do I have to read the whole book by this guy to find it? I confess that I don’t have time to wade through what looks like garbage at this distance. He’s some kind of “Back To The Old South” guy? Great.

2. You seem to be saying that Selma, Alabama is poor because black citizens can vote. I’m not following this. Is Appalachia poor because white citizens can vote? They’d be better off if they disenfranchised all the whites? Needless to say I don’t think this makes a lot of sense.

If you think someone else besides we the people should be governing this place, please let us know who that would be.

Thank you to Rod for calling this argument (such as it is) out for what it is. I can certainly understand (if not agree with) the position that democracy is a bad idea on the whole, and we should opt for dictatorship of some kind. What I cannot get behind is the idea that voters are known to be wise or trustworthy by the color of their skin.

If you really think this, and, worse, if you are willing to fight for it, we do not belong in the same republic, you and I.

#28 Comment By Eamus Catuli On May 29, 2016 @ 7:08 pm

@Giuseppe:

While this sort of cosplay is maybe not transhuman – even though I suspect it has transhumanist tendencies – but is deliberately insulting to one’s humanity.
and denying one’s human nature

OK, maybe that’s so. I’m certainly not interested in defending it. The issue for me is whether it really demonstrates that our present-day culture has in some general way lost touch with reality, compared with whatever baseline we take to be the norm for most cultures. I think it’s a dubious exercise to scan the horizon for the weird, freakish and anomalous, then hold up what you find as a sign of what’s happening at large. It amounts to treating everything in the world as a slippery slope.

Also, apologies for misspelling your name again. I seem to have a mental block about it for some reason.

#29 Comment By Carlo On May 29, 2016 @ 7:19 pm

Adamant:

“Objection, your honor, assumes facts not in evidence. ”

Elementary logic, your honor: realizing that an abstract reconstruction (based on a highly restricted class of “facts”) is not the same as complete knowledge of an object, does not assume any facts whatsoever.

#30 Comment By Adamant On May 29, 2016 @ 8:48 pm

Carlo says:
May 29, 2016 at 7:19 pm

My goodness, perish the thought that I would ever have ‘complete knowledge’ about…anything at all. Epistemic modesty restrains me. I’ll leave it to other men who claim a more complete knowledge of reality, human nature, divine teleolgy, etc, and can and do claim the right to rule others based on a highly unrestricted class of ‘facts’ known only to them.

The sheer expanse of the claims, coupled with the paucity of evidence for them, feels far too much like a sales pitch.

#31 Comment By Carlo On May 29, 2016 @ 11:08 pm

Adamant:

today people who claim the right to rule others claim the mantle of “science” more often than of “religion.” Of course they usually know little about both.

As for claims, I made exactly none, so spare me the baloney. It is you who made the silly claim that you know “exactly, provably, demonstrably what we are.” Do you want to take it back?

#32 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On May 30, 2016 @ 4:03 pm

Also, apologies for misspelling your name again. I seem to have a mental block about it for some reason.

No worries. I thought it was a subtle way of letting me know you were upset with me 🙂
(And I owe you an apology too. My answer was a mess of wrong cut’n’pastes. I’m on holiday and I’m stuck with this dang mobile phone as the only means of accessing the internet)

#33 Comment By Eamus Catuli On May 30, 2016 @ 6:58 pm

@Giuseppe, have a lovely and relaxing holiday. Not telling you what to do, but I wouldn’t blame you if you put the phone away for a few days and just got away from it all for a bit.

#34 Comment By M_Young On May 31, 2016 @ 1:18 am

@’Potato’*

Do I have to read the whole book by this guy to find it? I confess that I don’t have time to wade through what looks like garbage at this distance. He’s some kind of “Back To The Old South” guy? Great.

Starting an argument admitting your ignorance and or laziness isn’t a winning position.

” Is Appalachia poor because white citizens can vote? “

No, Appalachia is poor for the same reason Vallais is relatively poor compared to Zurich–geography.
The residents of Detroit, sitting as they are on major waterways, and a gateway to one of our biggest trading partners, have no such excuse. And btw, W. Virginia, despite its poverty, has a far lower homicide rate than black America.

What I cannot get behind is the idea that voters are known to be wise or trustworthy by the color of their skin.

Can you not even conceive that group B, defined biologically, might be better at creating successful societies than group A? I mean, the evidence from around the world seems to support such a proposition. I suppose this is very very hard for someone of your generation…but do some reading…give it a shot.

“If you think someone else besides we the people should be governing this place, please let us know who that would be.”

That kind of depends on who ‘We the People’ is, doesn’t it? The people who created that phrase had quite a different idea of ‘the people’ than you or Rod. Frankly, there is no ‘people’ in the polity that is called the ‘United States of America’.

“If you really think this, and, worse, if you are willing to fight for it, we do not belong in the same republic, you and I.”

Agree 100%.

*Why do people with utterly conventional ideas feel the need for internet anonymity?

#35 Comment By DeclinetheEnjoy On June 2, 2016 @ 3:39 pm

Actually I know a lot of people who are essentially m2f in thinking, although transitioning isn’t possible for them. A lot, because you tend to find them when you hang out in certain cultural venues. Probably have far more experience than you, even personally, for reasons I will not state as not to horrify the locals.

The more you think on it, really the more you realize what i said. You wonder what would happen if men simply were allowed to be passive or show emotional intimacy, or weren’t straitjacketed into an incredibly narrow workhorse/warhorse/studhorse socialization. Because you feel small, fragile, and delightful inside, you must have an external form that matches it to be accepted socially. It gets all tangled because we assume all women are those feelings, project them on to them, and see them as the only way we can express them. You have to be a woman.

That’s my explanation spending years observing and wrestling with the problem. I guess it would be summed up like this: a woman as a teen or adult loves stuffed animals, and still keeps them. A man also as a teen or adult loves stuffed animals and keeps them. Both actions are not really gendered, yet depending on your external form one person is a little cute and babyish, and one is a creep. If you find you really love stuffed animals, and culture keeps telling you a woman is okay with having them and a man is a dangerous person, you start to think that maybe you are or should become a woman, because only women are allowed to like them as teens or adults. Happens maybe not on a purely rational level.