Thursday, December 07, 2006
So in my travels 'round the blogosphere I find myself in some pretty crazy places.
talk about down the rabbit hole. Obviously the fellow watched that Borat movie five or six times while huffing marine-grade adhesive and thought "hey, I'll start a blog! It will make fun of feminists! that will be a good idea!"
It's clear that "Martha" is inspired by the work of Sascha Baron Cohen, which I can't really knock, since even though I found the movie a great disappointment, I still really respect his work. (buyakasha!) And I can't really say anything about wanting to make fun of feminists (without looking like the world's biggest hypocrite), and I can't say a damn thing about an individual's right to make himself look like the Mother of All Assholes in the public sphere. shit - I do that all the time. His blog, his rules.
However, the problem with the whole "Martha" persona is the fact that it's not funny. I mean, not in a schoolmarmy-disapproval-oh-my-stars-offended kind of way, but it just doesn't work as humor. it's not cohesive. It doesn't gel. It's not even stupid-funny or absurd-funny or any-funny. It's just ineffective. The "Martha" thing is like a badly-executed, obscure halloween costume that nobody really understands. "what are you supposed to be?"
but that's not why I called you here today, brothers and sisters.
off of that site I followed another link, to what appears to be the Man behind the Martha.
on his regular site, in one of his posts, he's trying to make some point about the Bible being all yay!rape, and how women should just get over their aversion to nonconsensual sex, or something - it's hard to follow - and he backs up his point with a great long excerpt from Deuteronomy. Which, you know, groovy if you're into that, but one little verse jumped out at me in its utter ineffability:
30: A man shall not take his father's wife, nor discover his father's skirt.
What does that mean? What?
it's been buzzing around in my head like a plague of locusts. Come on all you armchair theologians, divinity students, bona fide bible scholars, shade-tree mechanics of testaments - help me out.
discover his father's skirt? huh?
For instance, in Ephesians, women are told to submit to their husbands. No one ever bothers to point out that right after that, men are told to put their wives needs before their own. Basically the whole section boils down to instructions to put your spouse ahead of yourself, and if both spouses are doing that then you have harmony in marriage. But no one ever gets past the "wives, submit to your husband" part.
Or... its a load of bullshit that was written to take up space.
you know, especially not in front of Rootie, whom I dig, and don't especially want to offend.
but see, that was the thing. "Don't catch your dad in his drawers" seems to be given as much weight and importance as "don't get to know your father's wife...in the biblical sense." which is puzzling.
but Deuteronomy is the last refuge of the scoundrel, if you think about it. if you want a bible verse to prove YOU'RE right and THE OTHER GUY is wrong - that's where you go.
You don't sleep with Moms because that uncovers your father's nakedness by proxy. The whole thing hinges on causing shame to the father, and it seems like the worst way to do that is to come into contact (in this case, indirect) with his nakedness. My guess is that it suggests that the son has sexual power over the father.
because that was really flummoxing me.
I wonder though - assuming that most people, men and women, wore some sort of flowy-robe-y garment (so that men wore a "skirt" under it) - what were the differences between men's and women's clothing?
isn't there another Deuteronomy verse instructing against wearing the clothing of the opposite sex?
I mean, how could you tell?
woah, sly...Dr. Freud, call your office...
did y'all cover this in Divinity School?
what's the history of the Book of Deuteronomy anyway?
Your father's wife isn't necessarily your mother,especially if Dad has more than one wife, and if Dad's like, 60 and Wife is, say, 22, and you're maybe 35, then that could be an issue, esp if Dad's tired.
is it a list of rules for a certain group of people (like the US Constitution) or was it more like a memoir, written after the fact?
Well, by color, for one. Some colors were reserved for men, others for women.(Like today, women *tend* to be the ones wearing pink, peach and purple, and men *tend* to be the ones in darker stuff or Oxford/poplin) And by cut. Women wore more a-line dresses,and tended to have an apron or a wrap, where men more straighter cut things, with a robe over. Like today, you can tell the difference between men's cut jeans and women's, and if you want to get relaly silly, a man's kilt is different from a women's as well.
(mmm kilts...hairy legs...SD in a kilt with hairy legs)
Anyway..folks had styles back then, too, and could identify someone from a distance by them, like we can now. (oh- lookit that guy in the black leather jacket, or the woman in the black leather jacket- same idea in words, but totally different jackets)
It is Moses' addresses to the people, the principles for Godly living (10 Commandments,laws for proper worship, for ruling the nation, for human relationships, and the consequences of obedience and disobedience.. ) Toward the end of the book it is an account of Moses' last days and the change in the leadership of the Hebrew people.
It is a blend of rules and historic account. Leviticus is where you find the rules laid out just so.
sorry nothin' - bring it on!
no, i dunno; I expect part of the same general thing about not "mixing;" mixing is always associated with "contamination," at some primal level of thinking. anthropology and psych talk about that a lot.
you know how little kids will, like, get freaked out if the peas are touching the potatoes, or that sort of thing?
i think also a lot of those rules are primarily about differentiating themselves from all those other peoples, the ones who'll just eat anything, have any kind of sex, worship any ol' god, blahblah.
but it had to do with folktales like Baba Yaga, or Bluebeard, where you can't ask the witch/monster too many questions, peek too closely into the hidden vulnerable parts (open the secret door, yadda). "Respect" is actually all wrapped up in well pragmatics: fear of what will happen if the scary authority figure/monster/whatever is caught in its altogether (metaphorically speaking, now). because that provokes shame, and shame will cause him/her/It to lash out in wrath and destruction.
well, there's the Lot story as well, right?
or "they were naked, and they were shamed."
but if you look at that self-consciousness as symbolic, not so much "oh, crap, we have genitals."
eating from the Tree is knowledge; it's Sin, the seven deadlies; it's...knowing that you're weak and flawed and vulnerable. Mortality, everything we associate with being human.
Shame is a funny emotion, when you think about it...
one more reason I'm going straight to hell, I guess.
pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
is this why we're all so crazy about underpants and seeing them where we don't expect to see them, or NOT seeing them where we expect to see them?
horribly ineffective satire BY a total nutjob?
by "nutjob" I mean "individual with untreated and possibly dangerous mental illness who willfully remains in a state of harmful toxicity to others", not "individual with mental illness".
just to be clear - it's a clumsy shorthand, not meant offensively, but I understand where it might be offensive.
I wonder - is there a term that would serve to distinguish "individual behaving badly as a result of mental illness" from "individual living with mental illness"?
Maybe that's what my problem is. I always stirred my peas right into my mashed potatoes. Still do to this day, actually. 'Cause it's GOOD that way!
don't let the secret out...the American Psychiatry Association would be awfully cross with you. they charge people lots and lots of money to tell them what's "wrong" with them - if it just comes down to mixing (horrors!) peas with potatoes, you're putting a lot of people outta business. think of the shrinks, amber! ;)
where did the prohibition against blended fabrics come from?
The cotton industry!
I'm not sure, really. I'd be willing to bet that it had to do with the industy of the time and keeping things "in the family" so to speak. Like, only gentiles wear linen, that kind of thing. Then it got flipped over to Laws and all.
As an "individual living with a mental illness" I represent that remark! My kids have been known to ask "mom, is this a mental illness thing or a normal thing?" Depends,do I need an excuse this time?
For fun (ok grown that throw something) SD and I sometimes go through Leviticus and look for the nuttiest law we can find.
Thereis a whole section of ch 13 dealing with mildew. Who knew Levitcal law included housekeeping?
I always thought that would be a great name for a band.
You're probably aware of this, but this is the famous point of the anthropologist Mary Douglas, in her early book "Purity and Danger"
She has a chapter on Leviticus, abominations of same. The Jewish dietary laws, etc., etc.
Subtitle, "An analysis of the concepts of pollution and taboo." Published 1966, 179 pages, peas and potatoes (and pangolins, a weird African animal which is too much like a mixture of other classifications of animals, therefore taboo to the locals on Mary Douglas' principles).
"Dirt is matter out of place," place involves boundaries, boundaries involve categories, etc. etc.
Let that be a lesson to you all: The LORD is only mildly annoyed if you get tanked and pass out with your ass out. But, He will curse your whole genetic line if you teabag the drunk guy.
And, the "husbands wife" thing--those folks were polygamists. So, it's more than just a "don't fuck your mom" rule... it's more like, "don't have sex with your Dad's hot, young 14th wife, even though she only joined the family because she was flirting with you to begin with, and the Old Man took a shine to her..."
(WHY do I know this shit!?)
Nutjobs? Well, I know from nutjobs, and I apologize to any Persons with Mental Illnesses I may have offended. But, I would hope that even Persons with Mental Illnesses understand the line between "Having a disorder" and "Being a disaster."
humbition: you know, I was gonna mention "Purity and Danger," but it's been years since i actually looked at it...
I say this with all the love and compassion your best friend feels for you when telling you there's spinach in your teeth. it's just not a successful strategy, what you're doing.
what exactly is it you're trying to prove?
if you drop the facade, and just get it off your chest, you might be more successful.
you'd still be a rigid, intolerant, judgmental asshat, but at least maybe people would stop making fun of you.
was there some deeper meaning to the Noah's Ass story? something besides "don't expose your social superiors to humiliation"?
maybe "don't humiliate the vulnerable - and no one is immune to being vulnerable"?
you know, some days I wake up in the morning and I'm not sure myself... ;)
guilty as charged.
is earth your first planet?
I don't fully understand what you mean by "this country" - do you mean the US?
I'll let a better-equipped bible scholar whip your ass in the Sunday School Scripture Smackdown. I'm sure there are as many verses that can be cited to create a case for NOT raping virgins. Indeed, I bet just as many can be cited to create a case for strict celibacy. or whistling on a Tuesday. Even the devil can something something scripture something...I know I messed up the quote.
I get the sense that you are here just to try to whip us all up into some kind of righteous frenzy. you're not likely to get what you want here. if you'd like to discuss things like a big grownup, that's fine - if not, you'll probably just get bored and move on.
what do y'all think: Martha=anon=phemisaurus?
you wouldn't be the first to think (erroneously) that I'm a man.
nor would you be the first to catch on that I like women (in a general sense, as well as in a more, um, biblical sense...)
what's your point? why would I be "afraid to admit it?"
maybe "don't humiliate the vulnerable - and no one is immune to being vulnerable"?
Ya know, I'd love to think it was something that, well, Jesus-y. But, no, I'd say the deeper context is mostly about protecting the Patriarch--you owe your respect to God and your family's Head Male above all other obligations. To point out the shame of your clans Patriarch, you're bringing shame on the whole family. And, seeing as Noah is, at that point in Genesis, humanities patriarch, he was shaming us ALL. It's much more about maintaining the hierarchy than anything else, particularly since (and I may be remembering incorrectly) the son that gets cursed with the seed of servitude is an older brother.
Also, planting a vineyard is pretty much the FIRST thing that Noah does when the waters recede. The fact that the grapes would grow meant that God had lifted his curse from the land and humanity--that wine was a sign that humanity had a second chance (as is the Rainbow, in one of Jehova's rare Cutesy moments.) So, really, in getting Ass Show-y drunk Noah is appreciating the Lord's gifts and by extension he's partaking of one of the signs of the whole new-fangled human/Jehova covenant--so Noah's drunkenness isn't the Big Sin of the story.
Lets see..You shall not commit adultery. That disqualifies raping virgins. Exodus 22:16 talks about how if a man sleeps with a virgin he's not betrothed to then he has to pay her bride price and take her as a wife anyway.
Anonymous is just trying to get your dander up. Don't let it succeed.
Raping virgin girls is not adultery :). Ofcourse you're an uneducated idiot knowing nothing of history or religion so... go fuck yourself :) Bitch.
but "thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk," it turns out, translates to like, whole separate sets of plates; and as one Conservative rabbi told us (in the year or so i actually went to synagogue), you can have milk immediately before meat, but the other way around you have to wait six hours.
Moses forgive me, it's my own heritage i'm talking about; but it's stuff like that that makes me think "okay, at this point we're pretty much into obsessive-compulsion raised to the level of sacredness."
then again, i come from a long line of heathen pagan regenerates, so.
When Christ came, he released us from the obligation of following the minutia of the Law, with the admonition that we follow two laws.
"Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22.36-40
Then later on, in Acts, Peter has a vision of a bunch of unclean animals, and is told that he can eat them. He asks how is that, and is told that God didn't make anything unclean.. This was in reaction to a big conflict in the church at that time, about whether converted Jews had to continue following the Law, or if they were released from it. Alot of the converted Jews believed that the gentiles had to first convert to Judaism before they could become Christians, and everyone had to follow the law. Gentiles naturally objected to this, creating a lot of conflict.
the question becomes, "does this behavior still serve us."
of course some people like to keep kosher mainly because it makes them feel more connected to the People, the tradition. i don't feel that way myself, but i can understand why some people do.
but you know. i have a relative (by in-law) who's so...well, he's something, on many levels. but he apparently will not even SAY the words "pork" and so forth. so i hear.
anyway i want it to be true because AS it happens, the man lives on Bacon Street. i have had great fun imagining the little control freak (he really is one) trying to tell the cab driver how to take him home from the airport...
"What is hateful to you, do not do to others. The rest is commentary."
people tend to like more structure, though, i guess.
i've always thought the "follow the gourd!" "no, the shoe!" sequence in "Life of Brian" summed up that process as well as anything else.
Sometimes I get caught up in the legalism thing- I ought to be doing xyz, or I'm not a Good Christian Wife/Mother/Servant of God. Then I ask, would God prefer that I be wearing dresses and long hair, or would He prefer that I be introducing folks to Him?
Well! duh, then.
A man shall not take his father's wife, nor discover his father's skirt
is not difficult to understand if you're acquainted with British slang (which the translators of the Authorized Version were, of course). "Skirt" means a sexually available woman ("so and so is always chasing skirt" etc). So the passage as a whole means:
Hey Schmoedipus, don't fuck your own mother (stop laughing, it's good advice) and don't try to find out who your Dad's mistress is either. Y'little perv.
Rootie, I bet god digs you. not that I'd know, but I think you "get it".
at least better than the legalistic, rigid jerkwads of my acquaintance.
That's why I like short hair!