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April 18, 2014, 11:32:08 pm
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How do you plan on celebrating Easter this weekend? on: Today at 02:09:35 pm
Get totally hammered and wake up three days later in a cave.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Hide behind the poll: have you ever taken a picture of your genitals? on: Today at 01:04:55 pm
Sure. Why not.
3  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Nobody is ‘born that way,’ gay historians say on: Today at 11:28:25 am
It is well documented that heterosexuality and homosexuality are social constructs. This does not in any way reduce the importance of these concepts for modern society or the equal dignity that should be afforded to each, obviously. But it's always a good thing not to essentialize this kind of categories.

So sexual stimulation as the result of attractiveness upon sight of a male or female or either leading to changes in heart rates, sweating, pupil dilation, subconscious responses to smells , erection and self lubrication are 'constructs'?
4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Kepler Telescope discovers most 'earth like' extra-solar planet so far on: April 17, 2014, 05:16:38 pm
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/apr/17/planet-earth-like-discovered-kepler-186f

'A newly discovered planet may be the most Earth-like yet found in another solar system, scientists believe.

Kepler-186f is almost the same size as the Earth and occupies its star's "habitable zone" where temperatures are mild enough to allow liquid surface water.

If the planet has lakes or oceans, it would increase the chances of life evolving there.

But anything living on the world may have to withstand extra large doses of radiation from its active sun, Kepler-186.'
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion on: April 17, 2014, 04:50:54 pm
Jim Messina (Obama campaign manager) has been hired by the Tories.

Not really impressed that Labour are sitting back watching the Tories throw money at the world's best people (Crosby may be a disgusting person, but he does the job), and Labour has nobody. Ed should take their Messina and raise them an Axelrod!

And they've hired Axelrod!

They have. I was a little concerned until I read this;

'He has been recruited to work alongside shadow foreign secretary, Douglas Alexander, who is in charge of Labour's general election strategy.'

And now I feel better Smiley
6  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Do you mostly hold the same religious beliefs as your parents? on: April 17, 2014, 03:59:59 pm
My mum is Catholic. My dad was raised Presbyterian but has been agnostic since he was about 15. My two brothers were raised Catholic and are agnostic. My sister and I were also raised Catholic and are atheist.
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion on: April 17, 2014, 05:51:06 am
Not worth fussing over. For many the name Margaret conjures up suburban Surbiton housewives, Mustique royals or the bag lady. In Lanarkshire it's the name of your Catholic auntie in Motherwell. Class doesn't matter.
8  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Opinion of The Living Bible on: April 16, 2014, 12:10:17 pm

KJV (1 Sam. 20:30) "Thou son of a perverse rebellious woman."
TLB: "You son of a b****."


It'll be fun if it catches on.

2214 AD;

'It's not a metaphor, he literally was the son of a female dog cositsinthebible. Checkmate, science!'

Those who think that way would never accept the Living Bible because it's not based on the Textus Receptus.

I think I saw a joke fly over your head. It's in the grass behind you somewhere Wink
9  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Tea on: April 16, 2014, 06:07:53 am
If y'all Brits want some milk in your hot beverage, why not just drink coffee?
Coffee tastes f****** awful as a drink, and Tea doesn't make you stay up all night, I mean, I like my sleep.

I've adopted my husbands description of coffee as basically tasting like 'dog-sh**t tacos' (and he drinks coffee all the time)

As for tea I'll quote this; (if anyone gets it you win the prize)

'It's not up to me. If you come to me and ask me, I'm gonna tell you the truth, because it is the truth, I have had tea. Lots of tea. Indian tea. And biscuits.'
10  General Politics / International General Discussion / MOVED: Best DC Ward on: April 16, 2014, 05:57:10 am
11  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Opinion of The Living Bible on: April 16, 2014, 05:50:23 am

KJV (1 Sam. 20:30) "Thou son of a perverse rebellious woman."
TLB: "You son of a b****."


It'll be fun if it catches on.

2214 AD;

'It's not a metaphor, he literally was the son of a female dog cositsinthebible. Checkmate, science!'
12  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Mad Men Season 7 Discussion Thread on: April 16, 2014, 04:54:41 am
Not much happened but in a good way. The episode was like a mood board.
13  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Nobody is ‘born that way,’ gay historians say on: April 15, 2014, 03:07:44 pm

They're arbitrary in the sense that people feel obligated to include their sexual orientation as one of their primary characteristics.  That obligation is a main part of the arbitrariness I refer to.  What's also arbitrary is the idea that it is all versus rather than a continuum.


The problem is that the 'obligation' is already built into societal power structures. If it wasn't for the fact that those who wielded power had an issue with sexual minorities; i.e identifying it as a deviation, then it wouldn't be considered a primary characteristic. If they didn't face a societal deficit then nor would it be considered a characteristic that in a more enlightened society is deemed worthy of protection or the need to rectify past transgressions. It's not an unusual classification to make in that sense.

I'm happy to say I'm gay for as long as it matters that having a physical and emotional attraction to men matters to people.
14  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Nobody is ‘born that way,’ gay historians say on: April 15, 2014, 05:52:38 am
Doesn't the idea that we are using sexual preference as a primary means of categorizing people strike you as potentially problematic?

It is, but why wouldn’t we? Society is shaped by those who hold authority. Many people held authority by virtue of having a penis. There will always be identification and demarcation along gender and sexual lines precisely a society based on serving the needs of heteronormative power model (and I make no apology for going all ‘feminist’ here) is the hegemony. The reason why sexuality is an issue for those who have a minority sexuality is because same sex acts were opposed by the hegemony. It didn’t matter whether you just liked casual same sex encounters or wanted to be able to be publically seen and safe with a romantic sexual partner for life. Everything on that spectrum was oppressed. If homosexual behaviour was not specifically excluded (or excluded by omission) in civil, social and religious structures and statutes then there wouldn’t be an LGBT identity as you know it today, because it wouldn’t be defined as a characteristic. There would never have been a black identity either because skin colour like sexual attraction would never be identified as a discernable characteristic. It’s not as if society divides along hair colour, though there are issues of ‘preference’ involved even in that. And of course this demarcation with proscribed gender roles and correct and incorrect sexual behaviour is perpetuated within certain understandings of religious revelation as being mandated by god and this can further perpetuate this.

------

I’ll expand upon my thoughts on the whole article as I have time.

First of it’s a terrible article. It shouldn’t merit much more discussion that that, except that terrible articles deserve it.

On the subject matter itself, a major problem with that is if you say to someone that heterosexuality is a construct, therefore deconstructing everything from marriage to an erection, you’ll be casually dismissed in various academic and scientific circles (as well as the local pub) because it doesn’t fit in with someone’s sexual-social experience. But if you say that homosexuality is a construct there are enough ‘bourgeois’ (to use that term) who have an issue with homosexuality that stems from religious, social, cultural and power structures to take note. Therefore the constructionists are essentially ‘useful idiots’ and the very playthings of the structures they so vehemently oppose. You can see that in the article posted where constructed heterosexuality is touched upon but immediately glossed over because after all, the article is about the gays. Why people are straight and do straight things like marry and have children or associated with that; cheat, divorce and abandon their children is of no real concern to anyone.  Perhaps it should be, but it’s not. You can’t engage people on that premise. However if you make the issue about the gays, then you can demonstrate your philosophical prowess to an audience that doesn’t give two sh-ts about Marxist theory because a predominantly straight audience really want to know why people don’t think and act like they do.

This article is providing a snapshot of those who would consider themselves to be in the ‘constructionist’ camp; i.e the concept of sexual orientation was invented in the 19th Century mainly through medical discourse which constructed the heterosexual/homosexual dichotomy for bourgeois purposes (because everything, apparently, is a class struggle) This means that prior to this point homosexuality was characterised not by sense of identity but by sexual acts which were perceived as structures of power (with an active and passive role) This view is ideologically and in many ways politically grounded. You need to have your Marxist hat on. Despite the fact that most people don’t wear that hat, hasn’t deterred many constructionists within queer theory who in full Frankfurt School mode neglect to communicate that the primary focus is not necessarily to discover an accurate historical model but to foster a new social construct reflective of their political leanings. To them, the homosexual can’t simply ‘accept’ his or her groundings as a gay/LGBT because that is part of the heterosexual/homosexual dichotomy that is symptomatic of bourgeois capitalism. Instead they should, in effect be politicised into someone who questions all the concepts in the basket of the bourgeois, such as gender and heterosexuality and class therefore meaning that all these things (even men and women themselves) disappear as a class and are no longer subjects of oppression. If you de-stable heterosexuality then you eradicate homophobia (or so was the thinking) But once you start deconstructing something, therefore proving that it’s a construct, you start doing it with everything. It made no difference to them throwing both heterosexuality under a bus as throwing homosexuality under a bus. Even when LGBT academics do this (who, in the case of many mentioned in the article tend to be removed from what matters ‘now’) and crawl up from underneath the wheels, they still realise (not that they assumed anything other than that) that they are sexually attracted to whom they are attracted to and therefore the whole experiment hasn’t really validated anything. Whatever the other sciences are up to at this time doesn’t concern them because academic bubbles are precisely that.

However constructionists also make a mistake in assuming that the ‘now’ is more entrenched and is therefore more relevant than the ‘then.’ What is considered ‘gay’ now might not be what is considered so in a hundred years’ time, or a new term is used that describes the social grouping or self-identification of those with non-heteronormative sexuality. Or they might simply do different things in an environment that is more open or more closed towards them. Therefore what is currently the ‘now’ will for the future be the ‘then’ and because what they did ‘then’ is not what they do ‘now’ so the ‘then’ is dismissed. The experiences of those in the past are dismissed and the new ‘now’ are told that their experiences are constructed. Which as you can see is deeply problematic.

In contrast to this you have ‘essentialists’ (which would be my own view) where both knowledge and practice are not constructed but are ‘discovered’ (for which you can at times read inherent) but subject to repression and then rediscovery through both history and experience. It emphasises continuity and the dichotomy of liberation/suppression to what was already there.

And of course as expected, such discourse on both sides ends up hideously Western.
15  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Nobody is ‘born that way,’ gay historians say on: April 15, 2014, 03:23:11 am
There’s not too much I can add to bedstuy’s assessment. The problem with many sociologists and some anthropologists is that biology is making some of their discourse redundant, or at least the skeleton of the framework redundant. Using the same argument the article proposes (some of which can be dispelled with minimal effort) one could argue that that female sexuality is a construct. The idea of women freely expressing and owning their sexuality outside of the constraints of a male social hierarchy with its expectations regarding family, childcare and property and being able to control their reproductive system was pretty non-existent. You don’t find ‘women like today’ in 1614; that is just ludicrous. It is equally ludicrous to argue that women’s sexuality did not exist.  The fact that women’s sexuality was not expressed in a ‘modern’ fashion at that time and indeed it could be argued that it is not fully expressed today, is precisely because of the social constraints upon it. Changes to social norms don’t mean that certain innate characteristics pop into existence, they simply settle into an expressed form without said constraints. My friend in his late 70’s does not retain much in the way of profuse written statements about wanting to settle down with his love from his National Service days because the discovery of such expressions in the 1950’s would have meant discipline, discharge, arrest and forced electro stimulation aversion therapy. The idea that you didn’t leave historical physical evidence does not mean that the intent never existed. You were just careful.
16  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Thoughts on Gay Marriage on: April 14, 2014, 06:07:36 am
I am mildly disappointed that gays want to sell out by endorsing a concept like marriage

I know right? Marriage is just so not the gay thing to do. Let's just join a f-ck circle. Me and Michael would be much better off separated by the Atlantic. I feel like such a f-cking sell out everytime I wake up next to him and realise he's not in Pennsylvania.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Keep on digging, Louisiana. Keep on digging. on: April 14, 2014, 05:58:25 am
There's no reason a state should have a state book to begin with.

Amen!  We have a proliferation of useless state symbols, especially here in South Carolina.

From the animal kingdom alone we have besides the state animal, the white-tailed deer, a state amphibian, a state bird, a state game bird, a state duck, a state butterfly, a state dog, a state fish, a state heritage horse, a state heritage work animal, a state insect, a state marine mammal, a state migratory marine mammal, a state reptile, and a state spider!

Somehow we are one of the few states without an official state fossil (unless one counts Strom Thurmond).

Funny you should chime in...  This article is from only two weeks ago:

(Reuters) - An 8-year-old South Carolina girl's dream of having the woolly mammoth become the official state fossil has been put on hold while lawmakers debate an amendment that gives God credit for creation of the prehistoric animal.

A bill that recently passed the state House to designate the Columbian Mammoth as the state fossil stalled in the Senate after Republican Senator Kevin Bryant added two verses from the book of Genesis.

That amendment was ruled out of order but senators this week will debate a new amendment that says the mammoth was "created on the sixth day along with the beasts of the field," Bryant said on Monday.

"I just had a notion that we ought to consider acknowledging the creator as we acknowledge one of his creations," Bryant said.

Oh FFS.
18  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth (Fall 2014) on: April 12, 2014, 05:06:17 pm
Excellent news as a SMAC fan Cheesy
19  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: 2013-14 Club Soccer/Football Discussion Thread on: April 12, 2014, 10:03:37 am
Ha! Rangers.
20  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Papyrus Referring to Jesus' Wife Likely Genuine, Scientists Say on: April 11, 2014, 07:08:21 am
To be fair, they could discover a fragment that says Jesus had a pet cat and people would still be saying he was just talking metaphorically about the wider church Cheesy
21  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: 2013-14 Club Soccer/Football Discussion Thread on: April 10, 2014, 03:36:45 pm
Scotland have strangely found themselves shoot up to 22nd in the world according to the FIFA rankings.
22  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion on: April 10, 2014, 01:20:24 pm
Nigel Evans found not guilty, therefore no Ribble Valley by-election.

Not just that. The evidence against him like wet tissue. It should have never gone to court.
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would you attend UPDATECON? on: April 10, 2014, 06:20:16 am
I would. Only to close it down Cheesy
24  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Papyrus Referring to Jesus' Wife Likely Genuine, Scientists Say on: April 10, 2014, 06:17:41 am
If it's genuine in all respect, both in it's authenticity and it's message it doesn't really matter. Christianity has the fingerprints of a religion 'designed by committee' during it's first few centuries so I'm sure if this was available then it would have been disregarded then for the same reasons as it would be today.
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion on: April 09, 2014, 04:04:28 pm
Ministerial resignations and reshuffles are so rare this parliament that this makes a bigger impact that it would otherwise do. Still, it is nice to get one of the 2010 cohort at the table.
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