March 1, 2013

Homophobolicious! Or, hatred, deliciously prepared, and laid lovingly on a bun

I’ve been warning about this for years:  the surrender of meaning to committed and politicized interpretive communities — which can only come about once we as a society have legitimated an incoherent idea about how language functions — will lead inevitably to a kind of coordinated mob effort to play at victim in order to turn anything they find unpalatable into potential objects of “hate” that “threaten” them, with that purported fear of feeling threatened taking interpretive preference over whatever intent generated the original “text” by which these disingenuous activists pretend to be molested.

In this case, the offensive object that is being rewritten by a motivated political interpretive community into an emblem of hatred, intolerance, and unwholesome eating is a Chick-fil-A logo (or perhaps it’s the waffle fries) — which, though those who produce these items retain as their intent the retailing of delicious, country-inspired foodstuffs, are nevertheless trumped in the interpretation of that intent by those who wish to find in fried chicken breasts, lightly buttered and toasted buns, and delicious dill pickle chips, the searing hatred of homosexuals by devout Christians who have no right to their beliefs, because holding those beliefs is intolerant.

Whereas allowing that others can hold religious beliefs and still sell scrumptious chicken sandwiches to New Mexico students is not tolerant, because, well, intolerance of intolerance is the height of progressive tolerance. And holding certain beliefs while peddling chicken shan’t be tolerated. Because tolerance.

Now, I’ve presented the linguistic and hermeneutic underpinnings that lend credence to this kind of “protest” in a rather cheeky fashion, but in truth, there’s nothing here to laugh at — save for how surreal and ridiculous it all is, particularly the part where the University itself has to pretend to consider seriously the charges that a chicken sandwich served by some of the nicest fast-food employees one is likely to meet anywhere ever makes anyone feel threatened or uncomfortable.

Because the truth is, this argument by the protesters maps perfectly onto arguments about what comes to constitute “racism” in, eg., Great Britain, where racism is anything that makes one feel like they’ve been the victim of racism, be it the overdetermined display of garden spades, or perhaps the portrayal of an animated Indian by Hank Azaria.  Or to put it another way, you have been victimized whenever you claim to have been victimized, and it is up to the victimizer to prove a negative.

— And this, incidentally, is the stance Michele Obama has taken on what comes to count as racism.

I’ve spent years here going over the faulty (intentionally so) linguistic assumptions that allow for this kind of tyranny over expression, so I won’t rehash it this morning other than to remind people that once we take away the right of the individual to determine his own meaning — by producing the signs that turn mental expression into public expression to be passed along a communicative chain — we have surrendered individual autonomy to motivated majoritarianism, and turned the individual into a subject of the whims of a politicized collective. And the only way out is to reassert intentionalism, which takes its legal form in originalism (though, given the specialized circumstances of legal interpretation, there are conventional necessities layered atop, which I’ve also discussed at length).

So while we may laugh at the sad, misguided “activism” of New Mexico students looking to thwart the evil that is a chicken breast on a bun, we should be cognizant of the fact that the same thinking that animates and (to the liberal university administration), justifies such protests over what the Chic-fil-a logo means to the protesters, is the very same thinking that is often used in reaching court decisions that ossify into law the very kind of linguistic incoherence that leads inevitably, by way of precedent and repetition and normalization and institutionalization, to collectivism, wherein the will to power and a consensus is all it takes to overwhelm an individual’s meaning and replace it with that of the group who has claimed ownership and ultimately stewardship over it.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:34am
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Comments (13)

  1. The Onion is being driven out of business by reality.

  2. The aliens are among us, and they’re draining away our IQ points, focusing on educational institutions, government and media. It’s the only logical explanation.

    What they want with them I don’t know. Maybe they use them as money.

  3. Related, unfortunately…

    Two years ago, the Massachusetts legislature enacted a statute prohibiting, among other things, discrimination in public schools on the basis of “gender identity.” The law defines gender identity as “a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior,” which is not determined by “the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth.”

    On the basis of that statute, the Massachusetts Department of Education (MDOE) has now eradicated sexual distinctions from public schools. MDOE’s new directive requires schools to let children use bathrooms and play on sports teams according to the gender they personally identify as theirs, not their anatomical sex. The directive also admonishes schools to eliminate sex and gender distinctions in graduation garb, physical education, and other practices.

    Kids being manipulated by adults who are themselves just a tad crazy. No wonder this Republic is failing. Natural law and it’s moral foundations, undermined and abandoned for animalistic self-gratifications.

    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/03/9244/

  4. Bringing home a bag with that logo could be a violation now under the VAWA since they have expanded “the parameters of domestic violence to include unpleasant speech

  5. Leo Strauss, German Nihilism, a talk delivered at The New School for Social Research (Feb. 26, 1941)

    *** [...] But I must disagree with the modern pedagogue all the more in so far as I am convinced that about the most dangerous thing for these young men was precisely what is called progressive education: they rather needed old-fashioned teachers, such old-fashioned teachers of course as would be undogmatic enough to understand the aspirations of their pupils. Unfortunately, the belief in old-fashioned teaching declined considerably in post-war Germany. The inroads which William II had made on the old and noble educational system founded by great liberals of the early 19th century, were not discontinued, but rather enlarged by the Republic. To this one may add the influence of the political emancipation of youth, the fact frequently referred to as the children’s vote. Nor ought we to forget that some of the young nihilists who refused to undergo severe intellectual discipline, were sons or younger brothers of men and women who had undergone what may be described as the emotional discipline of the youth movement, of a movement which preached the emancipation of youth. Our century has once been called the century of the child: in Germany it proved to be the age of the adolescent. Needless to say that not in all cases was the natural progress from adolescence to senility ever interrupted by a period however short of maturity. The decline of reverence for old age found its most telling expression in Hitler’s shameless reference to the imminent death of the aged President Hindenburg. ***

  6. and it is up to the victimizer to prove a negative.

    Or to rule out a positive.

    Either way, you can’t do it to the satisfaction of the “offended” party, because looking at evidence wasn’t the point in the first place.

  7. If a Chick-fil-a logo causes them fear, can you imagine what an American flag does to them?

  8. I’ve never been threatened by a chicken sandwich, but a bowl of oatmeal tried to stare me down. It won.

  9. I would not be surprised if the VAWA causes marriage rates to drop even further. What man would want to take that risk?

  10. A piece of steak tried to kill my mom once, but she fought it off with her throat of steel and held it at bay until help arrived.

  11. jesus chicken is ok but tockerbell has that real horse flavor kids love

  12. the freak(of nature) flag is waving proudly these days

  13. I’ve settled on the grilled chicken salad, sometimes with soup, if I’m feeling particularly homophobic.

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