Monday, May 28, 2012

Film, Humanity, Life

The nice thing about the blogosphere is when it takes you somewhere new.  It all started at El Blog Del Pelon.  It move to here.  And finally I end up at a post titled, "Craven."  The journey starts with a discussion on Christian art, and it ends with a discussion of misandric themes in "Courageous."  I had the displeasure of watching Courageous.  I don't like preachy films, and I didn't really like this one.  (I saw "The Way" since so many people said it wasn't preachy but that ended up being a thinly plotted tale of preachy-ness.)

I'm to the point where I believe that if you don't like messiness, you don't like life.  Real life is messy unless you are rich and comfortable.  I don't like contemplating how well off people finally get over the one misfortune or mistake in their lives.  I like messy.  I like messed up characters who take one or two steps back for every step they take forward.  I like seeing the story of the person who, no matter how depraved, shows a spark of decency.

I celebrated my twelve year wedding anniversary yesterday.  Looking around, I'm quite thankful for the woman I married.  I'm thankful for the children I have begotten.  However, I don't think I could advise those children in good faith to wed and have children.  Not in this society.

Reading this was a great reminder of the view of women.  Maybe, just maybe, we can accept that women at least have a token of responsibility for out-of-wedlock birth.  Maybe, just maybe, we can accept that women are having children out-of-wedlock because they want to do so.  I'll grant that many women will confess that they would have preferred another route, but when it comes down to brass tacks they made what they thought was a prudent choice for them.

Monday, May 21, 2012

State of Communitarianism

One of the things I don't have the privilege of doing is writing an optimistic blog, at least not honestly.  Communitarian ideas are pretty much at a low point.  Yet still they are managing to fall further.  Conservatism would seem its natural defender, but conservatism is very enamored in libertarianism right now.  At least from a policy standpoint, progressives are the alliance.  Progressives however are advocates of their positions for their own reasons and those reasons don't tend to be communitarian.

Where there is a glimpse of hope is in prison reform.  We have created a large and near permanent caste in this country.  Minorities in both the progressive and conservative camps are beginning to recognize this scandal for what it is.  Of course these advocates are overshadowed by larger groups who are just looking for drug legalization.  These larger groups will sometimes offer the scandal of our large prison population as an argument, but it is just an argument of convenience.  But there still remains those that believe that we simply can't label an element criminal and banish them from society.  There is a remnant who believe that we have moral responsibility to attempt and see that all people enjoy the dignity of life.

As to the drug war itself, I don't see the obvious arguments.  I simply do not buy the idea that legalization would cure all that many issues.  I also don't buy that it wouldn't cause any issues.  As it stands, I'm personally closer to the decriminalization side of the equation.  That doesn't mean legalization.  That means treating pot smoking like a parking ticket.  I do not see the merits of treating marijuana like alcohol.  Of course, these positions come down to mere prudential reasonings.  The principled position is simply that the state can and should regulate substances that are deleterious to society.  The extent any substance is so is a debate to be had.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gay Tokens

In the wake of the North Carolina vote that proscribed gay marriage in that state, I had a cousin who decided to put his wedding ring in his pocket rather than wear it.  He did this as an act of solidarity.  With Obama's announcement that he now supports gay marriage, my facebook became very gay.  There were calls to make public one's support of gay marriage.

Despite having family members who are gay, I have better things to do than obsess over gay marriage, so I don't.  I just found the wedding ring post so interesting and so indicative of the times.  The interesting portion is that my wife and I haven't worn wedding rings in five years.  Our reasons were practical.  The rings either broke or no longer fit, and we didn't feel we could justify the cost of repairing them.  My wife has never worn jewelry.  I never wore jewelry, but that isn't nearly as exceptional.  There was a time in our lives where we did value our rings.  It was important to us to have a visible token for the world to understand our mutual affection.  As we've aged, we have found that the world has never really been all that concerned about us.  As for myself, I have found that how my wife treats me is far more important than her showing a ring to the world.  That she is faithful and true, is a good mother to our children, and maintains a good home is what I care about.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Brief Thought

Freedom and privilege are two often confused things.  Freedom is about what everyone can do.  Privilege is about what one can do because of their status.  Much of liberal thought - be it the democratic or republican form - seems to be about increasing the number of people with a given amount of privilege.  I wouldn't argue against there being a space for that to exist.  I would argue that it shouldn't be confused with enhancing freedom, or whatever euphemism people wish to use to ignore the dignity of the poor.