Thursday, June 22, 2006

My secret life

One can learn interesting things about oneself by perusing the Internet. According to one site, I am the benificiary of a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation. This is the award that pays the lucky ones the equivalent of five year's salary to pursue whatever it is that they are doing. My checks must have been diverted, as I have received nary a one. Seriously, I am now retired, and am pursuing my research on a Dynes grant.

Another source indicates that I am a founder of New York State's Conservative Party. I must be suffering from amnesia, because I am only vaguely aware that such a party exists. To be sure, I have long been critical of the Left, as its world view is fatally flawed. Perhaps I should use the plural, its world views. The comment still stands. But a conservative? As the lawyer Flo Kennedy used to say, "just because I'm wearing pearls that doesn't make me an oyster."

At this point I doubt that any political label could stick to my forehead for longer that a microsecond. One that has fit in the past, after a fashion, has been libertarian. Much of the libertarian critique of rampant statism makes sense, in my opinion. Still, one must be a libertarian with sanity (to adapt a saying of ex-mayor Ed Koch). I cannot go along with Harry Browne's assertion that the federal government can be reduced to eleven people, nor with his grotesque suggestion that a five-year old child ought to be able to buy heroin at will at the drugstore. The first idea is facetious; the second mocks the need for serious reform of our policies regarding controlled substances.

The key problem with libertarianism is that it assumes (following, it seems, the philosopher Kant) that everyone can become a completely autonomous self-actualizing individual. Perhaps so in some distant future, but it is heartless to assume that such is the case now. I noticed this illusion when some of my friends said that all would be well with the impoverished Katrina victims if they simply practiced "personal responsibility." I have encountered this problem one-on-one in trying to help a thirty-five year old homeless man I have long known. No matter what the encouragement on my part may be, he just doesn't seem to be able to raise himself up by his bootstraps.

The most sinister and baseless accusation is that I am a pedophile. I have been swept up into a net devised by a fanatical sexual puritan. Her main contention is the equally absurd claim that Alfred Kinsey was an abuser of children. As a scholar of homosexuality I have sought to understand the historical role of intergenerational sex. In similar fashion, I have been looking for better understanding of S/M. My tentative experiments in the latter have shown that it is not for me. For myself I cannot even imagine sex with teenagers--let alone children! To me meaningful sexual relations can only be between two adults who share the same range of maturity and experiences. Otherwise one is just engaging in masterbation a deux.

Googling oneself on the 'net is, I grant, somewhat narcissistic. Yet I can't wait fo find what revelations may be in store about myself. No more phony pedophilia, I hope.


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11:24 PM  

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