Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lex Dexter Anthology, 2012

Those of you who know me lately know that I'm both laboring and lying dormant under adverse conditions, enough so that even a cheeky blog post or two can turn tough days into half-victories. Because I love the people who read this blog, because I need them and I want their attention, I've compiled this "anthology" of the best of a blogging bender I've tossed off like apple seeds over Organizing Grievances, the Prisonship and Boatzone3. Comment if you dare and you'll find it's not unlike conversing.

  • Amidst the contraception debate, a consideration of the mandated condom use recently stirring up the Cali porn industry seemed like a good idea. This one's as close as I get to a certain writer-thing I'm trying to pull off. Let me know what you think?
  • Is now the time for fair trade porn? Let's talk about something else, and about fair trade porn, says me.
  • Kate Carraway, Girl News: "Girls and work" and my unsolicited response.
  • Kate Carraway, Girl News: "Girls and girl-on-girl" takes me places. Come along.
  • Kate Carraway, "I'm soooooo bored of not having sex sometimes that...": I swear that the blogs these pieces inspire aren't filthy, just fanciful. She's my favorite writer I've happened upon in ages.
  • "Paying the Price": A long, early morning survey of Cynthia Nixon's defiant anti-essentialist sexuality, Chester Brown's autobiographical graphic novel about his time frequenting prostitutes, and the sexuality of a depressed thirtysomething man.
  • Yes, Mastur: I don't hate masturbation, but I don't feel like elevating self-love past the point of self-reliance. Getting more confident with wielding my Foucault, I go after what's repressive about pleasure and the difficulty of sexing transgression.
  • Probably my best sex work this year: I try to weigh the ubiquity of sex and power versus death and desire. We see through a glass darkly, some say; in this case, I see through Vice Magazine's guides to "giving head" and "eating pussy," respectively.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Glenn Beck, We Are All Catholics Now

The state has no right to say how much religion any American can practice. It’s our right, and it is the first one our Founding Fathers protected.
Glenn Beck - The Washington Post - Why we are all Catholics now

I’d shit myself and then kill myself if I believed this pronouncement to be true. I doubt female genital cutting would last long under police surveillance, no matter whether it was couched liturgically. And neither do denials of women’s rights and/or workers’ rights deserve constitutional protections under the auspice of religious freedom.

Thought experiment: should secularism, let alone atheism, be understood as “religious” or as worthy of equivalent protections? I think atheism and its cousin agnosticism are closer to “religious” in the sense of being formal identities subject to protections against discrimination. After all, you always hear about somebody or other somewhere declaring victory because they have had a menorah or nativity scene removed from a campground or town square. Plus which we have the “New” Atheism to thank for reintroducing elitism into a discourse that never rid itself of the accusation of elitism. These victories can satisfy a sardonic side of me, and little else.

No, I’d much rather see a struggle for a new secularism in the United States. Rather than countering identity politics with identity politics, a new secularism might constitute a space/between identities: a non-discursive knowledge/power that generates something other than the current age’s proliferation of subjectivities. Science, skepticism, solidarity and the social, democracy and economic security.

Only this deep into postmodernity could one lapse into utopianism while yearning for a resurrection of the secular. But when even Habermas has abandoned the latter as a precondition for fair speech, what’s left but to dream about but a rationale for justice and material distribution which, itself free of godheads, is big enough to encompass how we do or don’t worship and who we think we are?

[Much, much, much more on this in the context of the contraception debate, can be found here.]