Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Transmogrification TV

The first of possibly many observations on Hollywood here at Right Detour--entertainment entrails if you will.

E! Entertainment broadcast the first episode of I Am Cait, an alleged reality show documenting the transmogrification of Bruce Jenner into Caitlyn Jenner.

It is an "alleged" reality show in a number of senses.

First, like all reality shows, producers and directors stage events to some degree. In addition, everyone knows that when someone points a camera in another person's direction, they act differently.

Second, it remains to be seen whether or not Bruce will actually complete his transmogrification. After all, he still has his "junk."

That so far has made me skeptical of whether or not this "reality" show is real. I initially concluded that Bruce executed this as a stunt to secure his own show. Maybe he has tired of his supporting roll for the celebrity sluts known as the Kardashians and seeks stardom in his own right.

If not, his transmogrification hardly qualifies as an act of courage. Yes, he claims to be coming out as his "real self" despite the skepticism and hostility that he expects to face as a trans-gendered person. (As a side note, the notion of the "real self" is a puzzling one, at least from the perspective of progressives. Remember, they are the ones who claim that gender is a social construct--not a biological reality. According to this view, there is no real self, at least where gender is concerned.) But at this stage of our civilization's decay, what hostility could he face beyond talking heads on cable television and bloggers of varying degrees of notoriety?

If Jenner is sincere, then he is not displaying courage, but rather exhibiting a mental disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders used to call it gender identity disorder. It asserted that people who desired to be the opposite gender suffered from a mental disorder.  The American Psychological Association now calls it gender dysphoria. Now the organization  denies that gender non-conformity is a mental disorder. It is concerned now only about the distress that one experiences from living as the gender into which one was born. The only reason for the change appears to be that calling it a disorder implies that someone possessing this disorder might actually be disordered.

This change parallels the change regarding homosexuality. The DSM used to identify homosexuality as a mental disorder. Now they consider it a mental disorder only if one feels distress over being a homosexual. (It used to be the distress over one's homosexuality was an indication of a sound emotional state--but never mind that now.)

With no psychology degree and analyzing the situation from my basement computer, I wonder if gender dysphoria may even be related to homosexuality. Despite the view of progressives that gender is a social construct, homosexuals distinguishing themselves by gender as "gays" and "lesbians." And many homosexual couples, especially lesbians, seen to adopt male and female rolls. For example, one of most well-known lesbians Ellen Degeneres clearly adopts a male persona in her dress and hair styles. Her partner identifies as "the wife."

Then there is the less well-known but more significant couple behind the fight over same sex marriage in California-- Kris Perry and Sandy Stier:

Maybe Jenner's reality is not related to his gender but to his homosexuality.

Who knows.

Perhaps he has mental disorder afterall.

That's what happens when you live with the Kardashians.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Happy Independence Day!

On this date two hundred nine eight years ago thirteen of Great Britain's twenty seven North American colonies declared independence.

The Second Continental Congress convened on 10 May 1776 to assess the progress made since its sessions the previous summer in maintaining their rights while at the save time preserving their union with Britain. The British Parliament had been attempting to fund the costs of empire through imposing various taxes on the colonies. The colonists had responding with protests and non-importation agreements, arguing the injustice of "taxation without representation."

The situation had worsened.

The previous October King George III charged in a speech before Parliament that opposition in the colonies was “carried on for the purpose of establishing an independent Empire.” The colonists, he continued, make “vague expression of attachments to the parent state, and the strongest protestations of loyalty to me, whilst they were preparing for a general revolt.” It was time, he concluded, “ to put a speedy and to these disorders by the most decisive exertions.” In response to the King's charges, Parliament passed the Prohibitory Act. This act declared the colonies outside the protection of the empire, prohibited all commerce with the colonies and initiated a naval blockade, and announced that all colonial ships and cargo forfeit to the Crown as enemy vessels.

Moreover, the month before the convening of the Congress, fighting erupted between British regulars and Massachusetts militiamen at Lexington and Concord.

During the month of May, Congress assumed the role of an unofficial provisional government, trying to coordinate the colonies and assume military control over the thousands of militiamen gathering in the Boston area.

Then on 7 June 1776, representative Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced the following resolution:

“That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved. That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances. That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted tot he respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.”

After a couple of days debate, the Congress postponed additional discussion until July. At the time, only slightly more than half the colonies supported independence. A consensus had to be formed. Meanwhile, the Congress appointed a committee of five to draft a declaration of independence for adoption if the colonies reached a consensus. The committee delegated to one of its members, Thomas Jefferson, the task of writing a draft.

Finally, on 1 July, the Congress resumed debate on Lee's original resolution. Although no new points emerged, a virtual consensus had been reached. Only the delegates from the state of New York had failed to receive any instructions to support the resolution. So on 2 July 1776, the Continental Congress voted to pass the Lee resolution declaring independence. The United Colonies became the United States.

Richard Henry Lee

The Continental Congress then completed debate on Thomas Jefferson's draft of the Declaration of Independence. After some revisions that more accurately reflected the consensus of the delegates, the voted to approve Jefferson's Declaration on 4 July, 1776.