An Irregular Column
by Mykel Board
When we discover why there are six and only six planets, we will have discovered the secret of the universe.
--Johannes Kepler, 1610
If you don't like the answers you're getting, maybe you're asking the wrong questions.
--Mykel Board, 1994
I was more frustrated than a kiddie pornographer in an old folks' home.
"You sound just like Rush Limbaugh." she said. "He says exactly the same thing."
"I don't give a shit if Adolf Hitler says it." I answered, "It's right!"
Whenever I find myself agreeing with people I hate, it takes me back. I have to stop, look at my position, and rethink it, before I can continue to hold it. Usually, I find that the agreement is superficial. If you look deeper, it's not agreement at all, but rather convergence at a point. In other words, the form of the question makes it look like agreement. But it's the question that's wrong-- not the answer.
For example, in New York City Schools, public policy has changed. Up until this month, any student wanting condoms could get them freely from a student health center. No questions, no permission needed. Due to pressure from various evil folks-- like the Catholic Church-- the school board changed this policy.
Now, parents have the right to 'opt out' of the program. They can sign a paper saying that the schools must deny condoms to their children. The school board sends every parent a notice of this policy, with a little check-off box to opt their children out.
The main thrust (yeah, I know) of the Catholic argument is, that by giving kids condoms, the schools encourage sex. Since condoms occasionally fail, and sometimes people won't use them, more sex means more AIDS and other diseases. If the schools stress abstinence rather than condoms, there will be less sex.
The Catholics are right. By giving condoms, school officials are saying "There's a right way and a wrong way to fuck. Here's the right way. Do it."
An analogy might be those new hollow point bullets that street gangs have been using. If schools were to distribute regular pointy bullets, as a safer alternative, they'd be saying, "Go shoot. Just make sure you use these."
I wish my high school would've distributed condoms. What a great seduction tool! "Listen Mary (or Sammy), it's ok. I got a rubber. They wouldn't give 'em to us if they didn't expect us to use 'em."
So, the evil Christians are right. Condoms lead to more sex. More sex leads to more AIDS. Therefore condoms lead to more AIDS.
Logical and true-- so what do we do about it? The rule: If you don't like the answers to your questions, try asking different questions.
Sure, the Christians are right. So what? More sex, less sex. That's not the issue. The issue is the right of students to choose their own actions.
For years, New York City leftists talked about how schools need community involvement. They talked about how parents-- not an anonymous state-- should decide their children's education. Teachers and bureaucrats said no. The State or The City should decide. They are best equipped to choose. Government vs. parents-- aren't we forgetting someone?
Neither parents nor schools own the kids who go to them. At most, they're caretakers. Their job is to provide and protect in those areas that kids can't provide and protect themselves. Kids don't know where Myanmar is? Schools teach 'em. Kids need money to stay out of the labor market while getting educated. Parents give 'em money.
That's it. Kids are human beings. They've got sex urges, hopes, anger and all the other stuff teachers and parents have. These feelings are no less valid because they belong to someone who isn't old enough to drink.
The question whether or not condoms encourage sex is irrelevant. What matters is that students deserve the right to choose-- free from coercion by parents or schools. The correct question is Do condoms allow the students more freedom and responsibility than no condoms? The answer is, of course they do. Since I believe that freedom and responsibility are values that schools should encourage, I can easily oppose the condom opt-out program, even though at first it seems that I agree with the Christians. See, their answer was right, but they asked the wrong question.
Asking one question and not another implies certain things. Looking at something a different way-- asking a different question-- has other implications.
Right now, there is obvious glee among homos. They have found a gay gene. Not a gene, exactly, but a certain gene binding that appears more in homos than in hets. Plenty of homos don't have it. Some hets do. But there's "a tendency."
The Christians say homoitude is chosen, it's a preference. The homos say no, their sexuality is genetically determined. Thus, they find themselves in agreement with folks like the Nazis and other master racers who say "biology is destiny." I seem to agree with the Christians again, saying we CHOOSE (or at least CAN choose) our sexuality.
I've got my doubts about the genetic research. First, they only use "self-identified" homos, who are likely to be much different from the homo-population at large. Second, not all homos have the gene. The researchers don't keep track of what's different in the homos with the homogene than in the homos without it. (Could the gene produce effeminacy, for example? Oh how about a willingness to volunteer for genetic experiments?) The answers are far from conclusive, though you'll soon be reading about the homogene in everything from The Advocate to The Christian Way.
If we look carefully, however, we'll find that the problem isn't the answer to the question. It's the question itself. Why are they looking for homogenes and not Republican genes? What is it about the behavior we label homosexual that make folks want to find a gene, where the behavior we label political is supposed to be 'a choice.'
The implication is that homosexuality is a way of being-- and not an action. You are one or you're not. It is NOT something you do, but an identity-- an identity that is genetically transmitted. (They're gonna have a hard time showing that homos come from long lines of homo moms and dads.)
Like alcoholics who also ceaselessly search for their gene-- homos are looking for a way to limit choice-- to limit responsibility.
"See," they want to say. "It's not a preference-- it's a disease."
So I find myself agreeing with the bad guys again. They're right. You can fuck boys because you choose to. Your actions are not your identity. They are not "who you are."
If the bad guys seem right, what do you do? Ask different questions. Let's try: Who has something to gain if they discover a homogene? Why do they look for genes to trigger certain behaviors and not others? What does looking for a gene imply?
The answers to these questions are a certain set of assumptions. They include one that homosexual is an 'identity' rather than an adjective to describe certain actions or desires. There's also an assumption that it is a minority identity. They never look for genes that cause heterosexuality-- or right-handedness. Finally, there is an assumption that being homo is permanent, built-in and unchanging. They don't look for genes that cause people to wear Doc Martins or grunge clothes.
Having these assumptions, it's natural to look for a biological basis to homosexuality-- just like you might look for a biological basis of any other abnormality.
Many homos who share these assumptions want to find this gene to prove their identity. It lets them say (like cripples and Negroes) "You shouldn't discriminate against me. I can't help being this way. I don't threaten you. It's genetic-- you can't catch it." It's an easy way out of the charges that they're corrupting or recruiting people. It's an easy way to say, "Leave me alone-- I'm not responsible."
But whether or not homosexuality is genetic is a question that shouldn't be asked. Like the question of whether intelligence is genetically linked to race-- the answer doesn't matter. In any case, we must act as if the answer were no.
[Note to idiots: When I say we shouldn't ask this question, I'm not saying forbid or ban it. I'm not advocating censorship. I am saying that, like Kepler's question about the six planets, it is unproductive and will lead you down a false path.]
Homosexual activity, behavior and desires are not limited to those who identify themselves as homosexuals. They are not part of a minority, but part of general human experience-- shared by most people and suppressed by many.
Tolerance of consensual sex of any kind should be a given. Tolerance of any desire at all, should be a right. It doesn't matter what the origin is. Humans can make choices, regardless of their genes. The questions isn't whether a gene or a domineering mother causes boys to fuck other boys. The question is what causes people to find that strange or threatening? What's wrong with YOU, that you have to scurry to the lab to investigate it?
The gene trap may provide an easy answer for homos convinced of their identity-- but it's an easy answer to the wrong question. When the genetic tests, the 'cures,' the "I don't want to raise a faggot" abortions come, maybe the self-identified homos will wish they'd asked some other questions, with more difficult answers.
--> The Cybertech Co. (PO Box 7810, Universal City CA 91608-7810) offers the "Home Virtual Reality Simulator Systems." There's no picture of it, just a still from some porno movie. But for $71.95 including shipping they'll send you something that promises Sexual experiences in virtual reality-- so detailed, so true-to-life, it would be a perfect 'clone' of the real thing.
They say the system is ready to enjoy. No computer needed.
They also compare of REAL SEX with CYBERSEX:
Real sex: You may never have an experience with the "partner of your dreams."
Cybersex: You can enjoy your "dream partner" anytime you want.
Real sex: Frequency often depends on mood and receptiveness of female partner.
Cybersex: Frequency depends entirely on you; The words "no" and "headache" do not exist in virtual reality.
Real sex: Risk of pregnancy/disease can interfere and dampen pleasure.
Cybersex: The safest and most satisfying sexual encounters known to man-- always.
Real sex: Infrequent/not always available.
Cybersex: How often can you handle it?
Real sex: Finding and seducing partners can be very expensive.
Cybersex: For unlimited experiences, you incur a one time charge that costs less than dinner and a movie.
Real sex: For your pursuit, you need a nice car, a nice pad, nice clothes, and plenty of money.
Cybersex: You need only an electrical outlet.
If you want my guess, it's an electric vibrator and a porn mag, but if there's some rich reader there-- please send away for it. I'd love to know what it really is.
--> E-question of the month dept: From the punk list: Can vegans eat their own boogers? Please send answers to me via e-mail at email@example.com or snailmail (US Post Office) at PO Box 137, Prince St. Station, New York NY 10012.
-->Musical question of the month dept: Does the major label signing of Green Day, Screeching Weasel and New Bomb Turks explain the sudden change in MRR policy? Can you think of another reason for releasing the Independent Dead album? I don't know if Tim will leave this in here, but I'm spilling the beans. That "bootleg" of Gratefull Dead indy stuff on "Minimum Truckin'" records??? Yeah sure, Minimum Truckin'...
-->Speaking of sending me mail. I wrote recently how folks've sent me some fine homemade hardcore videos. Please keep it up! (So I can!) But I've also gotten a couple nudie shots taken at public photo booths. You know those $2 booths at Woolworths! That takes balls! So, this month's contest. A free ARTLESS record to the boldest photograph taken in a public photobooth. Send the pix to me at the address above.
--Speaking of videos, Aaron Probe & his friend MacLean Jameson (PO Box 191544, San Francisco Ca 94119) sent me three great vids from his catalog. (Send a buck and an ages statement & he'll send you one). The tapes are girls talking to the cameraman as they gradually undress and masturbate. The oriental girl, of course, is my favorite-- but I also spilled my seed at the double dildo. My favorite quote,"
CAMERA MAN: "Do you feel those tiny raised dots in there?"
GIRL: "Every little one!"
My only (minor!) complaint is there wasn't a penis in the entire three tapes. Somehow a porno tape isn't quite there without the sticky white stuff.
Still the plusses are WAY ahead of the minuses. The girls are real people, really getting into it. AND, there's no fucking disco music!
--> Brandon Johnson gets ten punkpoints for his name-that-is-also-a-sentence. That is for Alex Cox, director of Sid & Nancy and others. (Pronounce it Alix Cox and then use it to answer the question: What does Al like to do sexually?)
--> Speaking of Alex Cox, Liam Lunchtray writes from Providence RI: "I wish I was gay, cause I'd blow you."
I reply: You don't have to be gay. Lots of folks who blow me aren't. I won't check your genes.
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