Check out my new blog: My AI Obsession, and my latest post there “People are having sex with ChatGPT”
I have to give The Federalist credit for one thing: It was an eye-catching headline. Yesterday, you see, the billionaire-backed right-wing website ran a semi-coherent rant from staff editor Samuel Mangold-Lenett under the headline: “Pride Month Is A Cynical Exercise In State-Enforced Homosexuality.”
Naturally, I clicked the link to find out just how the Federal government was going to be making people gay this June. Would straight men be herded up and put in dick-sucking camps? Would straight women be forced to wear flannel and trade their cars in for Subaru Outbacks?
What I found under the headline was an angry and unfocused rant about how “government and corporate America alike use their respective spheres of influence to form a public-private regime dedicated to immanentizing a disordered eschaton.”
I then looked up the phrase “immanentize the eschaton” and discovered that it was “a generally pejorative term referring to attempts to bring about utopian conditions in the world.” In other words, Mr. Mangold-Lenett is mad at the attempts by allegedly leftist corporations and the government to make the world a better place.
He offered assorted bits of “evidence” that allegedly prove that “the public and private sectors [are] work[ing] hand in glove to advance both an ideological and political agenda.” It’s basically just a laundry list of right-wing culture war complaints. He’s mad about
things like ESG scores, the Corporate Equality Index, the LGBT indoctrination of children by public schools and entertainment conglomerates like Disney, and pronoun struggle sessions at the State Department … .
He’s also not happy about
the annual rainbow lighting of the White House, heaping of praise upon people like the Nashville shooter, and the continued denigration of religious institutions by American corporations.
Even Hunter Biden’s laptop makes an appearance in his list of terrible wrongs inflicted upon right-thinking Americans.
You’ll notice that many of these things have absolutely no connection to LGBTQ+ issues and that the ones that do aren’t always, you know, real. No one was heaping praise on the Nashville shooter. Corporations aren’t denigrating religious institutions. Disney isn’t making kids gay. In fact, no one is making anyone gay. That’s not how sexuality works.
But don’t tell that to Mr. Mangold-Lenett.
There simply is no longer a distinction between the private and public sectors; they carry out each other’s goals and enforce them as though they are part of the same body — because they are different only in name. And only by spreading their message can you reap the benefits; opposing it drastically increases the odds you get your teeth kicked in.
No one is getting their teeth kicked in for being straight. People do get their teeth kicked in for being gay and/or trans.
You may be wondering just where the whole “state-enforced homosexuality” thing comes in. And the answer is: it doesn’t, really–unless you believe that seeing a photograph of the White House illuminated with rainbow colors is enough to make you gay.
Indeed, the only time that the phrase “state-enforced homosexuality” makes it into the essay itself is in reference to a fake TED Talk given by alt-right-adjacent comedian Sam Hyde in which he used the phrase as part of a bit.
Sorry dude, but seeing a few rainbow flags isn’t “state-enforced homosexuality” any more than seeing a bumper sticker saying “I’d rather be bow hunting” is going to turn people into bow hunters. You’re not a victim because Target puts up a pride display. The world is not your “safe space.” Get a grip.
Follow me on Mastodon.
Send tips to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.
We Hunted the Mammoth relies on support from you, its readers, to survive. So please donate here if you can, or at David-Futrelle-1 on Venmo.
Cheese rolling? Normal country.
Or they read The Illuminatus! Trilogy, and took it seriously, which is… pretty hard to do, but somehow some people manage it.
It’s the one sport we invented that everyone else in the world didn’t get better at.
Although I note the unconscious lass is Canadian.
It’s certainly the worst Shamen song.
To make up for that one here’s some Shamen proper bangers.
To follow on from that last one, back in my roadie days I was on the lighting crew at the UK’s first ‘legal’ rave. It was at a place called Bray Stadium. The promoter told us all to be on best behaviour. They’d spotted there was potentially a lot of money to be made from raves; and this was being seen as a test as to whether raves could be licensed. Remember at this time music with ‘repetitive beats’ was illegal in the UK.
So absolutely no drug references allowed.
“Ok boss, gotcha”
So of course we waited until there was a live news broadcast from the rave before turning on the 30 foot high flashing “E”s that we’d put up all over the speaker stacks.
We got such a bollocking.
Thank you Alan!
@Alan: Yes! That’s the video I saw. There are more capybaras than I remembered. That’s a whole herd, an extended family.
Off topic but advice needed
So, my mother is dying. She’s been sick for a long time but has deteriorated a lot in the last 6 months and that’s where I have been. It’s not easy. I’m not okay. I don’t need coldences right now. I don’t need any prayers. I’m dealing with it and reading any of that will not help with my compartmentalizing it. Cause I need to work. I need to pay bills. I need to be strong for her and that strength is very fragile right now.
Problem that I need advice on.
My mother is very stubborn. She’s 63. She doesn’t want to be a burden. She doesn’t want people to worry about her. She doesn’t want people to help her. I’m trying to give her as much dignity as I can but she will only let me or my father help her bath once a week. She doesn’t want a professional care giver. I called my older brother. Told him how bad our mom has gotten. He is now home and helping me take care of her for the next two weeks. My mother doesn’t want people to know how bad she is. She won’t tell them. Won’t see the. Lies to them. I have started letting onto people how bad she is because kn the last 6 months she has lost 60 pounds and now weighs less then I do and she is 4 inches taller then I am. I’ve told her aunt and uncle how bad she is. I’ve told her sister in laws and brother in laws that she’s closed with how bad she is. She is very close with my cousin Kevin. Kevin and his wife are expecting a baby soon. She hasn’t told Kevin at all how bad it’s getting. Kevin is her nephew. My uncle is her brother. He also doesn’t know how bad she is. Uncle is her youngest brother so she’s trying to protect them and Kevin has a lot going on. Should I tell uncle and Kevin how bad she is?
I don’t want to take away their ability to come see her, say good bye. Make sure she knows she is loved. All of that. But my mother has specifically told me she doesn’t want Kevin to know. The reality of the situation is my mother probably only has at most a year left. I hope I’m wrong but I don’t believe I am. I love my cousin. I love my uncle. I love my mother. I am overwhelmed and I don’t know what is the right ethical, moral, empathic, reason here. Kevin lives several states away so if he and uncle were to come it would have really be a planned trip like with my brother.
I don’t know. Many of you are older then me. You have more life experience then me. I trust you all. I think most of you are good people. Tell me what to do. I need a direction. I can’t keep making these decisions by myself.
@Elaine the Witch
I think you should tell Kevin and your uncle. My reasoning: You’ve already told numerous relatives. Also, is it possible that Kevin and your uncle already know? Since you’ve told other family members, it’s possible they might have already told Kevin and your uncle.
Recently, my uncle Frank died. For some reason, his wife – my aunt – didn’t tell my mother, who was, after all, his sister. I found out about his death while I was doing some ancestry research. I told my mother about it. She was very upset that she hadn’t been informed. I have no idea why she was kept in the dark about it.
That’s an awful predicament. I feel for you. But to be practical I’ll throw out some initial thoughts. Although I would say wait until you get a range of opinions before acting.
The first thing to note is that this has put you in an unfair position. That’s not saying anything bad about your mum. She’s acting for the best of motives. But it may be you are struggling with some thoughts there. Subconscious resentment; guilt about that because you love your mum etc. If you are feeling anything like that; don’t beat yourself up. Horrible situations like this create all sorts of dilemmas. No-one is at fault. It’s just part of being human.
I’m trying to think what I would do. I try to live my the maxim that it’s always better to do the right thing even if it’s tempting to do the easy thing. But what is the best thing in this situation?
I would suggest the starting point is honesty. You’ve got the HAL9000 dilemma that currently, you have to choose between not abiding by your mim’s wishes vs what her family will feel, and say, when they inevitably find out.
So, the first person you need to talk to is your mum. Explain to her the dilemma you are in. The last thing she will want is for you to be upset like this. She just won’t have replied the implications. She has a lot on her mind after all.
But if you let her know you can then work on a solution. The easiest for you of course would be for her to let you tell the rest of the family. Whether you want to tell her that is a matter for you. I suspect you’ll be prone to again beating yourself up if you feel you are pressurising her in any way. So it may be you would wish to talk further about how to approach that here on mammoth.
That would be my first option. Once you’ve had the chat with your mum, and know what she feels about this, then if necessary you can ask here again.
I’m sure other people here will have useful advice though. So maybe hang fire before the above.
Hello Elaine, you are in such a tough spot. It seems like a number of people now know at least something about the extent of your mother’s illness. It is normal for her to want to deny reality around her serious illness and to want to maintain control over her life where she can – but there is a point where those desires become harmful in terms of managing things for and with her. The privacy/secrecy part is taking a big toll on people who care about her. You may end up being ‘the bad guy’ here whatever you do.
Keanu Reeves was asked once about what he thought happened after you died. He said: “I think the people who love us will miss us”. You can’t stop your mother from dying, but you can help the people who love her and will miss her. In your place, I think I would tell her brother and nephew that she is actually very unwell and is downplaying this so that they won’t worry. This gives them the chance to find out more, and to possibly visit, call, write – it gives them a chance to express their love for her while she can still receive it. It gives them that choice. Otherwise they may have many years of regretting that they didn’t, in effect, get to say goodbye.
It is a horrible situation for you to be in, I am sorry.
@Elaine, I’m not sure if this is the least bit of help with the question you ask but I hope maybe it might be a tiny bit of use and if not I apologise.
One of my brothers died two weeks ago after a pretty long time of illness; he had pain relief and was able to stay in his own home which was what he wanted.
He was very clear that he didn’t want any of us other siblings to visit him – he didn’t want us to see him as ill as he was, he didn’t want to deal with having visitors – so his kids passed on the news in a fairly bare-essentials fashion, and we all respected his wishes.
Even though we didn’t go to visit, though, knowing how ill he was meant that we could send emails (phoning was out, in his case, as his voice was affected) if only to let him know that we were thinking of him; I don’t know for sure but I think maybe he liked at least some of the emails, and it meant a lot to all of us to be able to at least send messages. He answered some of them, and sometimes not.
Perhaps your mother might feel OK with your letting family know, if she gets to decide whatever she prefers – like for example, she might not want to have to cope with having visitors in person, or deal with people on the phone – or long messages taking effort to answer – but she might want you to tell people from her “just send me your favourite pictures” “just send me photos of beautiful places/trees/weird rocks/paintings/cats/the NASA photos of Jupiter” (I mean, of course I don’t know; I guess I mean whatever kinds of things she likes to see or hear about); “just remember that I might not have the energy to answer” and then there’s no obligation to deal with answering messages if she’s not up for it.
I guess that depends on whether you think your relatives would follow her wishes. My nephews did hold off on telling one relative who might have just turned up on the doorstep.
I think Dormousing_it and Alan have made good points.
Very often ‘conservative’ commentators seem to act as if heterosexuality were such a weak reed and a slender that just letting young people know that homosexuality exists were identical to actively promoting the latter.
Perhaps this is due their being wedded to the notion of Original Sin, that people are congenitally so wicked that they’ll be drawn in droves to what these men (mostly) see as sinful. I will note that very traditional Muslim and Jewish exponents see male homosexuality, at least, as incredibly wicked (iI wish they didn’t, but no-one bothered to ask me first) but don’t seem as obsessed with the notion that not actively persecuting it continually were the same as promoting it….
Or they read The Illuminatus! Trilogy, and took it seriously, which is… pretty hard to do, but somehow some people manage it.
A guy in my old anime club was a Principia Discordia-thumper in the habit of accosting people with, “Did you know that God’s name is ERIS, and that He is a girl?” If they showed any signs of incomprehension, he’d proceed to, “Well, God’s name is ERIS, and he is a girl!” and launch into the whole spiel. I’d read the Principia Discordia, as well as the Illuminatus! trilogy and a number of Wilson’s other works, and would’ve been perfectly happy to discuss the Illuminatus mythos—he didn’t need to regurgitate it at me.
@Elaine: Are you accepting virtual hugs?
Yes, tell your uncle and cousin. They might know or suspect by now and wonder why you haven’t told them directly.
And frankly, better they should know now than suddenly hearing she’s died, especially if Kevin’s got a new baby. They’ll be mad at you for not giving them a chance to say goodbye, like @dormousing_it mom.
Frankly, you have to live with them for decades to come and them not knowing would always be between you. Also they might have some good ideas.
@Elaine – you say your mother is stubborn – stubbornness isn’t much affected by reality, is it! It is a bit crazy-making in this situation. Your mother says she doesn’t want to be a burden, she doesn’t want people to worry about her, she doesn’t want people to help her – and yet all of these things are happening right now, and will increase over time. Her ‘stubbornness’ hasn’t prevented them. Her family are worried, are helping, and are burdened (by secrecy and by the limitations she is insisting on).
While your brother is there, are you able to step back at all? You have always seemed such a competent person, so it would be very hard for you to do, but what might happen if you say to the other family members who know things are worse than they seem, that you have to step back for a week? Your own physical health, psychological and emotional health, all need prioritising by you so that you can keep going, and have space to deal with things emotionally. Think about what safety nets of your own you can activate – meals cooked by someone else, a coffee with someone with the agreement to only talk about something silly, time spent in a natural environment etc. I don’t know if your husband is home or away, is he available for more affection and wordless support etc.
Thinking ahead a bit, what can you outsource to other family members – eg is there someone you could speak to and say “there might come a time when mum can’t stay at home, even if she wants to, can you research what options are available if that happens?” Can someone else research what would be available for extra care at home, if it was requested? It’s a help to have that knowledge even if you don’t use it, and some things do take time to get set up.
Many good wishes to you Elaine
@Moggie: I didn’t know anyone could take that phrase seriously, but then everyone I know uses it jokingly and we all learned it from Illuminatus.
I keep overestimating the RW, I guess.
@Alan: Thank you! Just what I needed. I note that the crossing the road video was fwd from another Twit account called @CAPYBARA_MAN, which is delightful, if repetitive. But he cross-posts from other capybara accounts too.
@Elaine: as someone who has had multiple relatives with health scares in recent years – myself included, and had to think very hard about my 2020 resolution to cut my Trump supporting relatives out of my life entirely as a result (finding out third-hand mid-January that a cousin I used to babysit passed away from an allergic reaction at sixteen in December because I had severed contact with their parents made miserable news even more painful.), this is one of those questions I’ve had to give a lot of thought to recently. Both in terms of my own mortality and that of others.
I would say talk with her about it, and explain that not telling him will cause him more grief than telling him. Ask her to reconsider, and explain that it’s not a matter of telling him or not, it’s a matter of whether she wants to break the news to him herself, let him find out from family gossip, or have you do it.
@Elaine, just a thought (I had it better expressed (maybe!) last night but I must have done something wrong and it was lost to the mammoth) –
one of my brothers died two weeks ago after being ill for a considerable time; he was adamant that he didn’t want any of us going to visit. Partly he didn’t want us to see him like that, partly he didn’t want to have to cope with having visitors, maybe. Phonecalls were not possible as his voice was affected. But the main thing was, his kids told us all what he wanted, and we all respected his wishes and at least we got to send messages, photos (even just pics of random pretty/curious things or whatever) etc., and I hope he liked some of them; he answered a few, and not others.
I just wondered if your mum might feel better about your telling people if things are on her own terms – like, maybe she might prefer not to see people face-to-face or put her energy into phonecalls or long written conversations, but allow people to send the odd message with the full understanding that she doesn’t necessarily have the energy to answer everything.
Of course even if that works for her, it depends on the relatives following her wishes. I think it helped us a bit too, just having a notion of what he didn’t want us to do – if that makes sense?
Buttercup, Ivory Bill, Moggie, Alan, Ox, GSS:
I can’t see the phrase without picturing this
Thank you all for the advice. I believe I will sit down with my mother when she has a little more strength and talk to her about why Kevin and her brother should know. You have given me some tools to and words to express how I am feeling and why this is important for them to know.
It is frustrating talking with her at the moment because I know she is in pain and week. The women in my family don’t do well when we don’t feel well. Our stubbornness comes out. I now know what exactly my mother went through when she took care of my grandma during her finally year. She is Iris Jeans daughter through and through. I don’t want to blind side her by just telling Kevin and my uncle so I’ll talk with her first.
My dad is Alive and helping with it a lot. But he’s also 69 years old and has had a knee replacement and his gout is bad. There are things he can’t do and I don’t want him to do. I work full time. I’ve stopped teaching dance for the time being and I try to cook and keep the house clean as well as I can. It’s difficult to say the least. It’s really difficult seeing her like this so I can understand why she probably doesn’t want her loved ones to see her like this. Espically the ones she’s been a protector of most of her life.
Yes my husband is home. He is doing his best to be comforting and to help as much as he can. He’s not the best at the words of comfort thing but he is helping a lot. Doing a good job of keeping me from just spiraling into depression. Making me go on walk with him through a park and rose garden. Taking me on drives to stol and see nature. It’s also been difficult with him as well because he has back problems from being in the military. They have gotten worse. Their are many days when he unable to move and he’s in constant pain. The VA is slow to give him any treatment and he lost his job. He’s trying to get a remote job just to have something while we wait for the VA to approve his disability claims so then they will pay for treatment. Since we don’t have enough extra cash for him to get medical treatment right now. When his pain is lessen he cooks and clean around our own home as much as he cans. It’s difficult because it seems like the government is secretly hoping it’s veterans kill themselves before they have to pay them a dime in disability. And it’s even worse for mental health care. So yeah. Lots of balls in the air that make it difficult. We got a new cat. He’s great. Pretty much glued to my side when I’m home.
Elaine I am sorry to hear about your mum, I have a lot of empathy for you as I lost mine when she was 64 and I was twenty, but I was one of the people that weren’t told how ill she really was because she didn’t want to worry us. To be truthful over forty years later this still makes me angry, not with my father and brother who did know and who had to lie to me and my other brothers, but with my mother. In her case she had breast cancer diagnosed and a masectomy which I was told about by letter (no mobile phones back then!). From then until she died I did worry, because I knew I couldn’t trust her to be honest about her health, and there were several related health problems that came up that I did find out about well after dad knew. To the extent that after she had a stroke when the doctor said “of course you know she has metastatic cancer all over . . .” I missed the rest of what he said because NO! I damn well did not know. She died from further strokes over the next few days, which was far better than dying from the cancer directly, but I didn’t get the chance to talk to her because she was already too far gone. So that background out of the way . . .
Your mom does have the right to continue keeping others in ignorance, however it might help her to be able to let them know if you talked about circles of distress, think of your mom as the centre of a lot of concentric circles. Those directly caring for her are in the first circle, those who visit in the next circle and so on, the big rule is that you don’t dump your grief about the situation inwards; when people who visit talk to you they don’t go on about how awful the situation is, they talk about other things unless you want to talk about how you are coping. It return you tell them how your mom is doing, best not face-to-face so they can control their impulse to share how awful they feel about it all, and none of you bring it up with your mom unless she wants to talk about it. This may help her let you let others know because it will be helpful for you. It may not work, but might be worth a shot?
It is a tough situation to be in and there are no easy answers. A later similar situation happened years later with the ex-wife of one of my brothers, she made her mother promise not to tell him, but allowed her to tell my dad if the mum got my dad to promise not to tell my brother. Dad did promise, but then he told me without getting my promise so the decision was left up to me, which was awful. I did tell my brother, but he was about as angry as I was with al the messing about, and he too remained angry about it. So I guess I’m saying I’d tell as I did back then, but it isn’t an easy answer and won’t leave you feeling any better about yourseld. I am sorry I can’t offer any more comforting wisdom 🙁