June 19th, 2004

pod

Pinko commie pity fuckers

I have a friend who has a theory. It's a self-serving and utterly ridiculous theory but an interesting one nonetheless. You see, my friend believes in communism. Not Stalinist style purge and splurge, but the more gentle theoretical 'we could all get along and have plenty if not for those damned capitalist' kind of communism.

This is not particularly unusual. There are lots of these cock-eyed idealists around, especially when you're young. Plus he's Russian, and many of them have a complicated relationship with the country's communist past. The thing that makes my friend's particular theory so, interesting, is that he believes it should apply to realms generally not discussed in communist theory. Specifically, he believes that sex should be distributed according to communist principals.

This might strike you as a little bit odd. Perhaps that you think that sex isn't a fungible resource like money or oil. I'm inclined to agree, but he doesn't seem to see that as an issue. In truth it's not an entirely original idea. John Rawls suggested distribution of social goods as well as income, meaning that things like accolades and respect would not be distributed according to merit but rather according to "to each according to his needs" principles. Respect is a lot like sex in some ways, specifically that there's not a limited amount of it and that it can be pleasant to bestow upon someone who is worthy and a huge mistake to bestow upon someone who doesn't. It's not like sex in that it's not nearly as intimate (some would argue the reverse) and it has a different set of repurcussions. Still, I think respect is more like sex than it is like money, and I think that the idea of distributing it according to communist principles is interesting.

The first issue in distributing sex is figuring out who has the resource and who needs it. Now one could take an old school sexist approach and just say that women have it and men want it, but I don't think that's a functional viewpoint in this day and age. For one thing we've come to accept that women have sexual appetites too, and they'd probably want to be recievers as well as resources. For another there's the homosexuals, who would just gay the whole process with their deviant desires. I suppose there would have to be some sort of desireability rating done by the government, based on looks, age, and sexual skills. This would be a mess but I don't think there's any way out of it. Those in the top half of the population would possess the resource and those in the bottom half would apply for distribution of it. Perhaps we could factor sexual desire, or horniness, into the matter but then I think we run the risk of having too many women in the giving group and too many men in the recieving group.

The next question would be whether we would factor in the desires and needs of those we've marked as 'resource' in the distribution. This is a complicated question. On the one hand it might be unfair to make the most desireable people have sex with the least desireable (or most horney) members of the population. On the other hand it is against communist or rawlsian principles to worry about the feelings of the contributors. Just as we shouldn't be concerned with someone's desire for self expression or vocation it is silly to consider their sexual interests. As for moral or religious objections, those are just laughable.

Of course the way my friend thinks about this system is a bit idealistically. He imagines that as someone who is extremely horny and hard up for sex he would have his pick of beautiful women to have sex with. He hasn't thought about the lines, shortages, or any of the rest of it. The truth of the matter is that bureaucratized sex would probably work in a way quite similar to other bureaucratic governmental functions. There would be red-tape and confusion and, of course, corruption. Right now the only thing a winning candidate can promise to a supporter is a patronage job or maybe a fat municipal contract. Imagine if he could serve up Ms. Ilinois.

Okay, this is a silly thought exercise for obvious reasons, but what I think is so interesting about it is how it shows so many of the problems with both communism and social legislation. When you legislate redistribution or limited distribution of resources you objectify not only those resources (Fine in the case of something like money, which needs to be objectified, not so fine with something like marriage gay or otherwise) but the people from whom those resources were confiscated. Taxing a religious man to pay for an abortion isn't THAT different from requiring a woman to lie down for a man she loathes. It's a matter of degrees, or to mutilate a Winston Churchill quote, we're just haggling over the price now. That doesn't mean that we catagorically shouldn't do it, just that it's a grim thing that needs to be carefully thought through. This is why I'm not a conventional liberal, because I don't believe that confiscation doesn't carry a real and serious cost. The guys I really hate are the dishonest rich, and a majority of the rich are dishonest when it comes to taxes or business practices, that's how they got rich. There are, however, some honest people who've accrued a fortune and I'm very conflicted about confiscating their money to pay for programs they don't believe in or agree with. I almost wish there were a flat tax, and then beyond that there were a progressive charitable contribution requirement. In other words everyone above a certain threshold would pay 15% of their income in general taxes that would be used for non-controversial programs (if there are such programs, but I imagine that most people who have money don't object to law enforcement or road maintenance) and then above that line people would get a menu of things they could choose to put their tax money towards, at rates going up to, say, 50% of income. This system would be far too abuseable to be functional, but I think if it could be made to work it would be a lot more fair (I recognize that we already have tax deductions for charitable contributions, but unless you donate virtually all your money to charitable causes you are still going to be paying into the general fund).

It's a difficult topic and I'm not sure that there's a solution that balances on that tightrope between needs and desires. None of the solutions being offered comes close enough for comfort though, and that's not a good thing.

As for my friend, well he is operating entirely on selfishness and readily admits it. His current strategy to get a woman is not to worry about self improvement but rather to attempt saturation bombing by hitting on every potentially available beautiful woman (yep, no fatties or uglies need apply) until he finds one with low enough standards or enough desperation to go out with a guy who has no job, a GED but no completed college courses, a growing belly, and pretty much nothing going for him other than a ton of potential and smarts. Part of me admires his chutzpah, part of me is amused, and part of me is both angry at him for being brazen enough to declare to the world "I'm a taker, not a giver, and I'm hoping to date above my station while I'm unwilling to date below or at." Part of me is worried that he'll succeed and thus make me more cynical than I already am, no mean feat.

Of course this is an incredibly common attitude among men in our society. We all want to attain women (Or just things in general, because this kind of attitude is totally objectifying to the XXers) better than us in some way, and we are unwilling to put in the necessary work to improve ourselves and rise to their level. We aspire to do what it takes to get them and keep them, but not deserve them. I'd like to exempt myself from that "we" but I can't really claim that because I can't disentangle those feelings from defense mechanisms. I think it's a really sucky attitude, though, and I'd like to try and avoid it if possible.

Getting things that you don't deserve is what communism is all about. It's also the current prevalent attitude in American capitalism and the reason our society is starting to collapse in every measurable way.
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I can't get enough

A few random points:

If anyone's interested I won the latest captioncontests for the third time in a row. What perplexes me most about this is that as far as I know I have yet to get a single "Friend of" or even a comment from that. It's not like I really care, it's just interesting. You'd think three wins would get you at least a couple looks at your personal journal but, well, not so much.

I've decided not to take any writing samples to this silly website job thing today for a bunch of reasons, the soundest of which is that I don't have anything ready. That's irritating. I think it's just a travashamockery anyway. I have a couple other web based job offers but nothing that pays, which is unfortunate. I can't wait to talk to my cousinperson tomorrow. At least then I will know where I stand and can get on with the business of finding employment. The days are starting to run together like a big sticky mess of cheese, and that's no gouda.

The Taco Bell express on 95th street closed. It was replaced by a tasti-D-light. I was finally going to get to go to Taco Bell guilt free and they took that away from me. BAH!

I am not getting enough protein right now and that stinks. I need to fix that. It's important to get your protein, especially when losing weight. I don't want to lose muscle mass. I should start lifting again.

I have two scripts for comedy shorts in my head but as of yet I've been unable to write them. I really need to buy a scriptwriting program. If I had a JOB I could afford it. I should get it anyway as it's almost the definition of a good investment. Not necessarily from a monetary perspective, but from the perspective of sanity.

I want to visit more museums, but I don't want to go alone and most of my friends are ignorant. I should go alone anyway.

Weight loss is still proceeding something like according to plan.

Bad Santa just shipped from my internet store and I can't wait until it arrives. For those who have been reading this journal since Christmas you may remember how much that movie perked me up when I saw in the theatre, and I have a feeling it's going to be a personal favorite on DVD as well. One of my secret fantasies is to hook up with a traditional woman (and by this I don't mean non-transexual, although that is definitely a requirement, no offense intended) and go to her parents house at Christmas. Then I want there to be a situation where everyone contributes his or her favorite Christmas movie and the family sits around watching them. I would, of course, bring Bad Santa, a movie that flew far enough under the radar that most of them wouldn't remember how dark the advertising for it showed it was. We would watch it after the children had run off to sleep and I would revel in seeing the midwestern politeness do battle with the desire to watch happy fluff as the family got to see the most cynical dark movie about Christmas ever made. It would be a really interesting experiment.

Yes. These are the sorts of things I fantasize with. Not so much the hot makeout session with the girl in her childhood bed, but the heated discussion after exposing her family to Bad Santa. Me attempting to explain that it was both horizon broadening for them and an honest representation of my sensabilities. Her attempting to explain that she has to LIVE with these people 365.25 days a year.

These are the sorts of fantasies I have. Thousands of them. I never claimed to be normal.

Because I really don't see myself in an actual relationship with a traditional midwestern woman I also want to have a 'man's Christmas movie marathon.' Right now I'm thinking Die Hard, Die Hard 2, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Bad Santa, in that order. I'd love a few more suggestions though.
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tonight outmatched

I'm really tired of these beheadings. Not just because of the whole killing of Americans thing, although that was pretty bad, but because it lacks creativity. It's like, okay, we've seen the whole head removal thing, and it's great. I love the imagery, the symbolism, and it really focuses us in on the face, the most human element. But you don't do an encore performance without switching things up. It's just not shocking the second time. You need to be more creative. Maybe a disemboweling. Something with fire ants perhaps? I don't know, I'm not a terrorist and I'm not an expert on what kinds of executions are the most spine tingling. I just don't think that two beheadings in a row is an efficient use of American victims. The images will get confounded and in a few months nobody will remember the second one. Poor thinking, my Al Qaeda friends, sloppy work by sloppy minds.

Today was the first day where I've really felt alive in some time. I went to the job meeting and it went decently. I was one of the first there and I introduced myself to both the guys who run it. They assigned me to watch the stuff and act as the greeter for people who wandered in. I don't know whether that will influence the decision, but I think it's good for me to be proactive in those situations. The discussion was reasonably interesting and the site seems somewhat promising. I will go to the interview and talk to them. The only thing is I need political column type writing samples. I think I can edit and improve some of my old journal entries, and to that end I would really LOVE to get some suggestions from you guys about any entries you found interesting or memorable. If you think I don't have any, that's fine, but those who actually like what I write would be kind to give me some suggestions.

After the meeting I walked down to 13th street and 1st avenue with a guy from there, because I wanted to get some exercise in. It was a goodly walk, and we chatted the whole time. Interesting dude, almost 30, married to a 22 year old woman. He's been unemployed for awhile and he got his degree late in life. Claims to be conservative but isn't hardcore. Hates New York. It was a decent time. I enjoyed going on a longer walk and learning some stuff about the type of person I don't spend a lot of time with.

I got home at 7:30. Then I went out to 125th street to get the Taco Bell I'd been denied the day before! It was cool to walk among the rusted struts of the train and take a late evening stroll. I think part of what made it a good day was going on the interview. Thinking about the future and employment and the world around me. I also made a good comment at the meeting. A guy said to me "The Swedes scare the shit out of me" (about their socialist system.) I replied "You don't like 6 foot blonde girls?" It was not a great line for me, but what was healthy was the reference of sexuality in public, something I haven't really been able to do throughout my life. I avoid even inuendo for the most part, like I'm not worthy to make the comments. I am and it was a good thing that I actually made one. Healthy.

All in all a decent day. Tomorrow SHOULD be my cousin discussion day. That's got potential too. I feel decent.

P.S. Saw Bubba Ho-Tep. It was okay, but I wanted to like it more than I actually did. Some of the directing techniques were excellent but at other times it was pedestrian. The mummy was unimpressive. Bruce Campbell was pretty good but I felt excessively made up. Ozzie was wonderful as the black JFK. That was the best part of the film. All in all I had a lukewarm positive reaction to it. Worth seeing, but not worth going out of your way to see.
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