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View Diary: How Same-Sex Marriage Would Have Resolved a $22,222.22 Moral Dilemma (182 comments)

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  •  But the comment by FrendlyNeighbor (4+ / 0-)

    argued that that whole section at the end was rhetorical rather than literal.  That's how I read it, too, and the diarist apparently agrees.

    At this point maybe it'd be better for the diarist to clarify, but I sincerely think we've overshooting on this one.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 10:44:00 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  The diarist flatly states that "The story is true" (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skip945, Rieux, lostboyjim, cai

      so I see no reason to interpret the concluding paragraphs as being "rhetorical rather than literal."

      The diarist describes taking advantage of discriminatory laws to obtain a significant sum of money that was supposed to go to the partner of a distant relative, and is flippant about the moral implications of doing so. I find the diarist's actions reprehensible, and I'm surprised that so many people appear to be treating this tale as a mere thought experiment.

      •  I don't understand why you're putting all your (4+ / 0-)

        interpretive eggs in that first basket and none in the second:

        The comment made above by FriendlyNeighbor is a pretty good characterization of my essay.
        The story may be true on exposition - i.e. how and why the money got divided in the first place - and rhetorical in its ending - i.e. the moral choice was so obviously clear that the last two paragraphs, as FriendlyNeighbor argued and the diarist agreed, are purely rhetorical.  This is a diary about the problems that same-sex couples face when it comes to legal recognition.  It's possible that the diarist wrote a few hundred words on the issue only to add a ridiculous final paragraph that negates the entire point of it, but somehow I think my reading of the story as intentionally ironical is a bit more coherent?

        Like I said above, irony doesn't always translate well on the internet.  Lord knows I've tried to defend more opaque diaries than this over the years, because I think good irony deserves its place even when the readership misses it.  Heck, I wrote a pretty contentious diary on the subject years ago, when people were canceling their New Yorker subscriptions because of the brilliant Obamas-as-terrorists cartoon, which I still think was one of their boldest and funniest covers.

        Or I could be wrong about this diary, and misreading it entirely.  I just don't see enough evidence to convince me of that yet, and the diarist's few interactions here (note the recs, too) only convince me further that I'm on the right track.  If not, I'll happily pull my support.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:42:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pico, lostboyjim, cai, kyril

          given the diarist's latest comment, it would appear that your interpretation of the diary is correct, despite the statement (s)he previously provided, when specifically asked (and for the very purpose of determining whether (s)he was serious about stealing money from a lesbian widow), that it was "true." Upon further review, that statement appears to have been a convenient and inflammatory half-truth of its own.

          It's still an execrable diary. I hope you're able to see (it would appear that the diarist isn't) that this is a notably awful subject for an "ironic" joke. Yes, every doofus and his uncle thinks they're Jonathan Swift, but I'd invite you to consider the basic differences between (1) eating Irish babies and (2) using homophobic American legal institutions to brutalize GLBTs.

          My HR stays.

          •  We'll just have to disagree. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            madhaus, mrkvica, Purple Priestess

            And I think you're underestimating the extent to which Swift was considered offensive in his own day.  300 years' distance from the argument will do that.

            But on that note, I'm going to bow out of the comments here.  I've said my piece - plus I have a taste for bitter irony, so I might be more well-disposed toward it than others - and I don't want to prolong arguments with users I respect otherwise, so...  

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 12:14:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay. (4+ / 0-)
              And I think you're underestimating the extent to which Swift was considered offensive in his own day.
              I don't think I am, largely because the reasons Swift's essay was allegedly offensive bear little to no resemblance to the reasons this one is.

              My point is simply that eating babies is self-evidently absurd; Swift's essay is very obviously facetious, and no one could seriously have thought otherwise. (There's a famous U.S. Supreme Court decision based on much the same concept.)

              The original post here has no such defense. There absolutely are people in this country, indeed millions of them (such as Lisa Miller and her accomplices), who would be all too happy to do much worse than deprive a grieving GLBT survivor of a bequest from their deceased partner. This makes the nauseating position claimed by the OP narrator all too plausible and not at all clearly "ironic" or satirical at all. Which led to commenters on this thread taking it at face value—both attacking it and (thanks a lot, diarist) defending it from criticism. (How many of Swift's contemporaries defended "A Modest Proposal" by arguing that infantiphagia was "a moral issue for Swift, but not the point of the" essay?)

              Then, pressed on the very point of the accuracy of the narrative, the diarist here declared that "the story is true" while gesturing vaguely at a commenter who had suggested that it may be partially "ironic." This was, predictably, very unhelpful.

              I just don't think explosive political issues like this one deserve "ironic" yuk-yuk joking, backed up by ambiguous possibly-winking references to the "tru[th]" of an offensive story. Such behavior seems to me seriously disrespectful to the millions of people who are on the business end of tactics that are not at all different from the ones the diarist, apparently (though entirely ambiguously) facetiously, admitted to conducting.

    •  You are right (6+ / 0-)

      The point of my story was to provide a real life example of the need for same-sex marriage, regarding which the existence of a will was no substitute.  I included my own shameless part in the drama in hopes of providing some amusement as well.  Clearly, not everyone is amused.  But if the story, taken in its entirety, shows the need for same-sex marriage, the essay has not been a complete loss.

      You are also right about irony.  Apparently it is not to everyone’s taste, and this is not the first time I have paid the price of some hide-ratings for indulging in it.

      •  Clearly. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lost and Found

        Radical Activist Homosexual Agenda: 1. Equality 2. See #1

        by skip945 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:42:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Great. (5+ / 0-)

        Aren't you one fabulous fucking martyr. Let us all grieve the blood you have sorrowfully shed for the great and glorious Irony.

        You aren't Jonathan Swift, pal. If you decide to get a rise out of well-meaning people by posing as a homophobic shakedown artist and then declaring, when questioned, that "The story is true," you're in no position to whine when you get hide-rated.

        But if the story, taken in its entirety, shows the need for same-sex marriage....
        It doesn't. Its effect has been to stir up needless shit among people who take the equal protection of the law somewhat more seriously than you evidently do.

        Real people's lives depend on marriage equality. It is not the proper subject for your ugly shits-and-giggles games.

      •  If it walks like a duck (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lostboyjim, cai, AllisonInSeattle

        If it walks like a thief, and acts like a thief, and smells like a thief....

        It's a thief... irony or not.

        Keeping the money is no better than being a thief.

        Radical Activist Homosexual Agenda: 1. Equality 2. See #1

        by skip945 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:56:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Okay, now I'm once again unclear (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cai, AllisonInSeattle

        as to whether your part in the story happened or not.

        FriendlyNeighbor's comment, which you said is accurate, suggests that you made up your own part in the story for the sake of a dramatic flourish.  Is that how you understood the comment when you said it was accurate?

        •  Sorry for the confusion (1+ / 2-)
          Recommended by:
          Rieux
          Hidden by:
          Lost and Found, cai

          My part in the story was true as well.  It did occur to me that my cousin’s husband was entitled to the share my cousin would have gotten had she not died; and it likewise occurred to me that Caroline’s moral claim to the money was stronger than his.  Only the part at the very end, where I stated that I was morally conflicted about the money, was disingenuous.  In other words, I kept the money.

          •  Right, then. (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rieux, Lost and Found, cai, madhaus, kyril

            Seriously considering an HR for that disingenuousness, which was essentially jerking around your readers on the whole point of the piece.

          •  Sickening. (5+ / 0-)
            In other words, I kept the money.
            Oh, so that's funny, huh?

            The savage abuse of gay, lesbian, and transgendered people in this country is not a joke, asshole.

            Why don't you call up Janet Jenkins and tell her this "ironic" knee-slapper of yours about using the law to steal things from a lesbian you've never met? I'm sure she has a terrific sense of humor when it comes to that topic.

          •  How's this for irony... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril, Cthulhu

            Fuck you!
            and the rest of your "family" for taking her money away from her.

            You are a worthless piece of shit.

            Your "diary" should not be in Community Spotlight, it should be HR'd into oblivion.

            You disgust me.

            I even have more disgust for you now since you clearly do not regret keeping the money... using my fight to be an equal part of society to assuage your guilt pisses me off to no end...  

            And just to be clear.... FUCK YOU.

            Radical Activist Homosexual Agenda: 1. Equality 2. See #1

            by skip945 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 01:15:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

              What the diarist is now saying is that (s)he didn't keep the money. Presumably (s)he did give it to Caroline. The idea—which (s)he has been entirely coy and snarky about, because it's so much fun to play hard-to-get with reality when it comes to supposed brutality directed at GLBTs—is that all the stuff in the initial diary about the "moral conundrum" of what to do with the money was "ironic." It was an attempt to be "literary." It never actually happened.

              The diarist is keeping the charade up now (such as in the comment you're replying to—"In other words, I kept the money") because (s)he thinks it's funny. Apparently pissing off GLBTs, who have to put up in real life with the very shit (s)he thinks it's a scream to joke about, is just a barrel of laughs.

              I can't disagree with your anger at this asshole, but I don't think (s)he's done the particular asshole thing that you believe (s)he has. (S)he didn't steal money from Caroline; (s)he merely treated the abuse of Caroline, and that of millions of others of us, as a fabulous subject for a sneering joke. A joke (s)he refuses to give up on, because our indignation at his/her apparent unapologetic homophobia is apparently so funny.

          •  Recc'd (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril

            because I think it's important for this thread-let (as opposed to the diary at large) to be unhidden. Lost and Found's downthread citation to this diarist's previous (and more overtly hateful) diary ought to be visible to lurkers, I think.

      •  You were HR not for irony, but for theft. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skip945, Lost and Found, kyril

        You are a despicable person if your own account of yourself is true.  It has nothing to do with "tone".

        © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

        by cai on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 01:19:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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