Trade Offer

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I've previously written about my occasional desire to broker a trade with conservatives.  I'm willing, for example, to take all consensual sexual indescretions totally off the table.  Larry Craig, David Vitter, Mark Sanford, Mark Foley, John Ensign - go nuts.  No more "with the help of my wife by my side and the good Lord above and the fine people of (insert state here) I will overcome my sin" walks of shame.  Sleep with whom you want - answer only to your loved ones.  It's none of my business.  Just like the motto on that 1787 penny. Deal?

By the way, that goes for incest too. 

(You:  Why The Face?  That's a Modern Family reference, which is a show you need to start watching.)

There really are some issues where I'm just like everyone else, when Mackenzie Phillips says she and Poppa John did the bop I'm as viscerally creeped out as you are.  And under her fact scenario, given the drugs and the power relationship between father/daughter, the argument that they didn't have a consensual sexual relationship (even though she uses those words) looks stronger than the argument that they did.  But if you paint for me the following scenario - relatives have consensual sex - I don't have a firm ground to explain why that's wrong other than it feels extra icky. 

Which it does.  And it could be I'm presenting a scenario that doesn't really exist - that given most cultural norms there really isn't consensual incest, some level of abuse or cognitive disorder has to exist in order to get to that place.  I mean, Guiliani married his cousin, so there you go.

Incidentally, first cousin marriage is legal in the state where I reside, Florida, while gays are prohibited from adopting children.  I've seen the forms, there's actually a Are you a Homosexual, Check This Box, spot on the documents.  (Know where gays can adopt kids?  On the sitcom Modern Family.  Which you really should be watching). 

But "icky" probably isn't firm enough ground to take steps to prohibit someone else's behavior.  So, yeah, if it turns out there's a Republican Congressman who, in between votes against raising the minimum wage, happens to be nailing his sister, I'll let that slide too.  I'm minding my own business. 

But that's a previous trade offer. This morning, I'd like to reach across the ideological aisle and offer the following: apparently, there's some body of thought that Roman Polanski should be set free; moreover, there's an attempt to associate those thoughts with the left.  I didn't hear that topic brought up at the latest secular progressive meeting (last week's topic, The War On Christmas - Fighting Them Over There So We Don't Have to Fight Them Over Here) but it could be that I was all tripped out over the birthday cake (last Friday was my birthday, there was carrot cake  - you could put cream cheese frosting on a hammer and I'd eat it.  Which reminds me that you should also watch Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog if you've yet to do so.  Sure, you could ignore my recommendations, but had you just been following my college football picks you'd be rich enough to afford health care in the United States.)

Which sounds like a transition. 

So, here's the trade offer. 

I'll offer Roman Polanski, do with him what you will. 

In return I'd like a public option for health care.

That's it.  You don't have to take that public option if you'd prefer.  Me, I'd like the choice.  And I have health insurance.  Unlike 1 in 3 residents of Houston, for example.  I'll throw in the following - the Democratic Congressman from Florida shouldn't have used the word Holocaust to describe the thousands of Americans who die every year due to a lack of health insurance.  He was making a reference to right wing rhetoric, specifically about abortion, but I've written before that it's time to take the Nazi references out of our political discourse.  There are other atrocities that one could use when referencing behavior.  Tucker Carlson, for example, said last Friday (cream cheese frosting day; somehow, life has spun in a way that I get to spend my birthday with a woman who wears a red bikini and buys me birthday cake; I may sound all rage filled and whatnot, but things are actually pretty terrific in Jividen-land these days. I'm poor but proud, as they say) that the clip of New Jersey schoolkids singing they wanted to help Obama rebuild America was "pure Khmer Rouge stuff".   Sure, comparing 7 million dead Cambodians to  a song seems disproportionate.

But there are only so many rhetorical battles one can simultaneously fight.

So that's the offer.  You get Polanski (I'll throw in Adrien Brody's Academy Award) and this week's Holocaust reference.  We get a public option that will, you know, have the benefit of saving the lives of thousands of Americans. 


(Maybe as a small side sports related deal we can do the following - I'll give you Serena Williams - she should have been defaulted from the Open, I don't care at all about the language, but the violent threat is further over the line than the foot fault in question - and in return I want Michael Jordan - his HOF acceptance speech ranks next to Kellen Winslow's from '96 as among my favorites ever.  It was fiesty and defiant - just the way Jordan and most superpremimumelite athletes are behind the curtain.  Jordan spoke the way my guy, Barry Bonds, spoke throughout his career, getting ripped for it all the way along.  The Sports Media Industrial Complex framed Jordan as the ulimate teammate (no matter how many times he punches Steve Kerr in practice) while Bonds was the epitome of selfishness.  Jordan was embraced by corporate America and packaged as superman - while Bonds was framed as a jerk unworthy of a public embrace.  But in his final act on the stage, there was Jordan, effectively saying "I was better than you, better than you, better than you."  I loved it.  It was funny and snarky and raw and real.  My favorite ever version of MJ.  Of course, he got crushed for it.  Because all the media wanted was the guy who sold Nikes.  Oh, did you see that Michael Vick got his Nike deal back?  Apparently, electrocuting dogs/drowning dogs/putting up rape stands systematically torturing dogs for 6 years doesn't mean you can't sell sneakers to children.  It's curious, right - when it comes to steroids - the response from the Sports Media Industrial Complex is "what about the children?" - "what is the message to kids if we allow Mark McGwire in the Hall of Fame?'  But here Mike Vick is getting a shoe deal - and...well, I'm waiting. Edit - well, ask and ye shall receive; while Vick's agent said yesterday there was a deal - Nike said today that there is not a deal.  There you go. )

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