I'd thought I understood my brother-in-law's sin. That it was the incest. The transgression of forbidden boundaries. Pure and simple.
But I spent some time with an old and much more literate than me friend. It was one of these conversations when you wish you might somehow take notes. I remembered being there before, in his space of erudition and revelation, and despaired even in the moment that I would be able to recapture it on my own.
I never can, or maybe it's just the beer we drink together, and that wherever that particular perversion sends me I can't make it back alone? Who knows.
But this old friend maintains that when he, as a child, gave priests blowjobs (or did he let them give it to him? See, I never can quite remember) it was because he wanted to, and they were known as sure and risk free marks. And he finds nothing wrong at all with his "idyllic" childhood, nor, and I guess he's looked quite hard, any possibilty for actual perversion in life as it could be lived.
I don't think he's denying crime. He might be denying sin. It's easy for us both to agree that my brother in law belongs in jail, but not exactly why. Deterrent? No, I don't think so. Punishment? It's not sufficient. To get him out of commerce is what I'd likely think, but I'll have to revisit that one later, in more fullness of time (as if!).
Anyhow, back in my own thoughts now, and a little bit less dizzy, I do find one corrective which fits. It's not the boundary crossing, exactly, quite so much as it is the context which sharpens the transgression, and makes the boundary clear. I confess that I have an impossible time imagining any circumstance where the father/daughter boundary would be OK to cross, but are there other cultures where it might be? Dunno!
In this case, what her testimony revealed was that it was his way of self-righteousness which needed correcting. That without that, the transgression could have been resisted, she felt, because, I guess, it would have been so self-evidently wrong. It would seem he convinced himself too, that what he did was covered, somehow perversely by its absence, in the Bible.
And I hardly can avoid the irony - he is a Creationist - that this also is the error still among evolutioninsts. My friend - it won't shock you that he harbors mild racist tendancies - himself in all his way better read than me brilliance, still, I think, doesn't get how evolution works.
It's not the boundary between the gifted and mutated for better survival individual and the rest of his crowd which counts. This gift for better survival has to get assimilated back by reproductive sex into that selfsame group. And it's the group's better survivability which over longish time which defines new species, as environmental boundaries get sharpened to some new niche. Which finally leaves out by genetic misfit, wayward one-time members who want to screw back in.
Now that's a mystery worth scientifically working on, and I'm certain there are fascinating books to read (I'll get right on it!). Not my field or niche for sure, but I'm confident enough that I've got the outline right. Better survivability has got to be screwed back in or its just irrelevant. And by very definition - that the offspring are not only better adapted for survival as adults, but also for survival through the grueling reproductive process (which is where the real winnowing gets done) - this survivability becomes exclusive.
Perverse sex is just non-productive sex, but there's no sin to it. Hell, it might be the opposite, as creative practice play must be part of life. It's surely part of growing up! Who even knows what might prove productive (or does fucking monkeys always and only suggest AIDS)?
So, it is appalling when some smooth talking sociopath gets away with stuff. Like that salesman in Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, who somehow can't resist the dolled up wailing jilted lover he meets coming last one off the plane. She awake that promised lover was leading her on. He sincere in comforting her in such extremis (how could he not?), but also sincerely moved by her dolling up so sexy for the lying scoundrel lover. One thing leads to another, and the only thing, really, you can blame him for is telling about it. Or is that what exhonerates him?
I don't know. This here transgression now, writing about family and friends. Does that make my own identity forever dicey? Some fictions must be kept?
Or is it more, as my friend and interlocutor did urge, that the real sin is the keeping within ourselves the truth. The hiding. The pretending to more than what we are. It feels dicey, for sure. It is appalling.
And so, the mob, in evolutionary terms, need not cruelly reject any interlopers. Nature does it for them. So, who imitates what when we reject those who don't fit in? My favorite sophomoric question still. A school for gifted kind of thrill, where my friend and I both did teach (he still nurses anger for what I did when elevated, like by his instigation, to become his boss. I disagreed! But it was my role to take those hits, and did so.)
But certainly we must reserve jail for those who harm us, and never those who merely offend. I care not a whit for deterrence or penal theory. I just think away and gone is good, and for enough time to think about it and to come to terms. I favor country club prisons myself, and I'll bet they're cheaper in the long run, just simply because coming to terms would be that much more likely, but I'll save that breath for another time.
In this time here, I simply want to say that it's the bombast which makes him guilty (me too?). It's the proclaiming as knowledge what you can't know. As truth what you've never trued. As God what you could never, as judging by your actions, could ever have experienced. And if you did, then stop protesting so much too much already, and get on with doing something about it.
My daughter helped start a chapter at her college, of Students for a Free Tibet. She actually used it as an excuse for why she doesn't write me! But she let me in to witness part of one gathering, where the members and interested people were way outnumbered by motivated elite Chinese overseas students, who were there to protest and to correct distortions to their government's fine record.
I was and am appalled. These students should at least know that they aren't allowed to know better. Somehow, even after time in this country, I guess, but then the language barrier is huge, I know, they've managed to keep intact the internal censorship their government imposes (yes, I still harbor much resentment for those who help Chinese Googling that way).
I take cold comfort that this will prove an evolutionary dead end for their country. This much I know; that you can't constrict free creativity without destroying survivability.
Oh hell, I know those naive American students are still more stifled by their own mediated understandings of China, as concocted by now near dead MSM for their own, the students', patriotic indigestion. I know there are distortions to and fro, and that religion also manages to make it into the equation for some likely conspiratorial conversion process.
After all, the Dalai Lama is on the side of true religionists everywhere. And the Chinese on the side of rational science and progress. But how can patriotic fervor so trump independent thought. I know, I know, we do it here at home all the time. Still!!
So, this much is clear (and then I have to get dressed, take a shower, and compose my thoughts for announcing today to all the quarterly gathered executive directors whom I endeavor to serve, that I'll be moving on, perversely in these economic Hard Times.): That we will destroy our national survivability to the extent that we allow capitalist excess to distort the news and feed us pablum digestible shit. That to the extent that we allow the ascension of religionists to positions of any secular power, we'll sin against mankind. That to the extent the Chinese manage to continue to quiet all dissent, they'll hand back to us all advantage.
This much is clear.
But also that horse breeding, and people breeding for that matter, have very little to nothing at all to do with evolution. That this bizarre supposition that there is or ever could be any racial priority on some evolutionary scale is not only harmful but perverse as well. That any thought that intellectual giftedness must be nurtured for its survival value is itself a Nazi offshoot (though I'm thinking seriously of a valiant attempt to resurrect my old school - it would make a good last ditch - in service, always and only, to those poor kids themselves, and I might just shill the shameless tout about their otherwise lost utility just to get the funding. But I might not. I still think basic research should have it's own claim to funding dollars, and literary and queer studies too for that matter, so there!)
Motivated research, just like guided evolution, is always and only a road to nowhere. Barbaro legs. Beauty is always and only ever a surprise. Truth too.
There need be no laws against cloning, I declare. It's just too God Damned boring to worry about. I hope and trust.
I am so fucking sick and tired of bombast. My own too! There has to be grace to be found somewhere. I pray.