Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Whole New Generation of Space Monkeys

What does this remind you of?

Give up?

Ladies and gentlemen, for your midweek enjoyment, I bring you the latest update on what Tyler Durden has been up to.
He's become a scientologist. And apparently he was also very inspired by Barack Obama, because, hey, why else would he have so much hope about the human spirit while writing the script for the scientology commercial?
I must say this is quite a 180 on his outlook on the human population. Apparently, he has decided that everyone is a special and unique snowflake.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Homosexuality Legalized in India

The Times of India posted a great brief about the legalization of homosexuality in India.

"No one can label us as criminals now,’’ said Rohit sporting an ear-to-ear grin. ‘‘The thought that we can’t be harassed on the pretext of law is a big relief,’’ added the gay rights activist in Chandigarh.
The New York Times elaborated on the law that had been overturned. According to their report, the law had been put in place by British colonists during Britain's rule over India. Many gay rights activists saw the law as an "archaic holdover from colonialism". Many people are thrilled with the change. While the courts that overturned the law rule that it is unconstitutional when compared with laws that guarantee individual liberty and protection against discrimination, others say that the law will have a negative effect on the youth in India, New York Times reports.
“This is wrong,” said Maulana Abdul Khaliq Madrasi, a vice chancellor of Dar ul-Uloom, the main university for Islamic education in India. The decision to bring Western culture to India, he said, will “corrupt Indian boys and girls.”

"The High Court’s decision should be overturned, said Murli Manohar Joshi, the leader of the main opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. “The High Court cannot decide all things,” he said.
I am happy for all of the gay men and women who have been liberated from social stigma and harassment. Reports say that the law was not often used to jail practicing or open homosexuals, but rather as another way to dehumanize and embarrass them. From what I've seen in documentaries about the relationship between some middle eastern cultures and homosexuality, there's a conception that homosexuality is a concept that youth can pick up if they become too "westernized". As if homosexuality is a trend that you can pick up like wearing Converse or Adidas. Muslim culture, according to the documentary "I Exist", plays heavily into this.

Anita George, student at the University of Georgia and one of my friends, said Madrasi's objection to the overturn probably stemmed more from his Muslim background rather than Indian culture.
George said despite the fact that there is some social stigma in India against homosexuality, homosexuality in Indian culture is "not a new phenomenon".

"It was a part of society for a very long time. There is even a huge chunk of the Kama Sutra devoted to the practice of homosexuality," said George. "Maybe the fact that Indians are against it is part of the islamic influence or even where the western culture influence comes into play. Because [during the period when] the Kama Sutra [was written] Indians... didn't seem to care about homosexuality either way."

The passages in the Kama Sutra that deal with homosexuality seem to be ambivalent about the morality of the sexuality. Some passages seem to indicate that sexual acts between two men are fine as long as love is involved, or if the custom of the country allows, others insist that fellatio should never be preformed by learned men but do not say if it is correct for two men to be in a relationship. There aren't many verses that deal with relationships between women, but it does say that "some women of the harem, when they are amorous, do the acts of the mouth on the yonis of one another, and some men do the same thing with women. The way of doing this (i.e. of kissing the yoni) should be known from kissing the mouth."

I find it interesting that the objections to homosexuality in India were more based on social stigma, even when the law against homosexuality was in place. That system has a lot in common with the fact that the opposition to homosexual marriage in America generally has more to do with social or religious objections than with a conflict with our national philosophy.