Thursday, September 30, 2010

"CALIFORNIA DREAMING." Probably my favorite performance from one of my favorite skaters. I will be in LA all weekend, with an overnight Sunday/Monday flight home, so expect absolutely no posting until at least Monday night. Not sure what I'll have for you then, but I will try to keep my All That Skate fannishness to a dull roar. Again, do email me if you're in the area and want to have coffee, since it looks like that will be happening, most likely on Sunday afternoon.
YESTERDAY, WHEN I WAS MAD: Photos of DC in the late '80s. Dream City. Via PES.
DOWNED CITY RISE: The third picture (the one with the birds) is a gorgeous expression of one of the things I love most about Daredevil. I think I'm going to have to pick this thing up.

Via Sean Collins.

Monday, September 27, 2010

KEEP THE ASPIDISTRA FLYING: (edited to add links, itals, and tags, but nothing else) OK, as promised, a reply to John Corvino. It's long so it will be broken into two posts. In this post, a tiny bit on biological relatedness, and a really long bit on iconography; in the next post, sexual regulation.

First, I feel very silly. I'd actually read the column on biological fatherhood which Corvino wrote earlier, and to which he links in his reply, and I wish I'd reread it before writing my post. I truly don't think he can separate the case for gay marriage from the case against honoring biological ties (or the case for donor conception) as cleanly as he'd like to, but that's a complex argument which I'm not entirely sure how to articulate right now. One philosophical claim is that I'm not sure why heterosexual couples get to be really important and interesting in—to use Catholic jargon—their procreative function, but remain banal and Just One Kind of Couple Among Others in their unitive function. One claim about rhetoric is that I've very frequently been told that gay marriage is great because how dare you say adoptive families, or stepfamilies, or single parents who make sure their kids have “male role models,” are missing anything at all? ...But I should say that the previous sentence could easily be turned back on me, since I hate so much of the rhetoric deployed against gay marriage.

And the more important point for this specific discussion is that I should have engaged with Corvino's actual position, and not what I projected on to him. That was ridiculously sloppy and gross, and I truly apologize for it. You should read his column and think about how we can honor both biological ties and families formed in other ways, since that's the question he's grappling with and it's obviously an important one.

Now, Corvino to me on sex difference as iconic rather than practical or contingent:
It’s hard to respond to that, except to note that it depends on a radically different worldview from mine: As I see it, of the many important purposes of marriage, iconography is pretty low on the list.

I value marriage because of the concrete ways in which it recognizes and fortifies families, helping them to sustain relationships that do them—and society—palpable good. It serves people’s deep needs for intimacy, care, support in childrearing, and
so on. Gay and lesbian people have those needs, too.

So if it’s a choice between marriage-as-iconography and marriage-as-meeting-concrete-needs, I’d pick the latter every time.

I think we're talking past each other here a bit. Let me first state what I think iconography does for society, then why I think the primary benefits of marriage are often due to its iconographic rather than practical nature, and then how this relates to marriage as the union of man and woman.

Iconography is how a culture inspires its members to meet common goals without using the police power. Iconography is how a culture gets its members to long to do the right thing, rather than coercing them into obeying the laws. (Thus the iconographic nature of marriage actually skyrockets in importance when forced marriage is outlawed and legal penalties for premarital or extramarital sex are rescinded.)

There is no government in which iconography does not play a major role. How articulate a culture is about its own iconography, and the content of that iconography, determines (this is just off the top of my head, and only counting stuff where government gets involved): what is taught in public schools, where conscientious objection is allowed and where it is not, what is a religion and what is a scam, what is charity and what is politics, how people describe their desire for public service or military service, and what's in the national anthem.

A quick interlude: I'm in the middle of Paul W. Kahn's Putting Liberalism in Its Place. Kahn, himself apparently a liberal, is nonetheless concerned with mapping the limits of liberal philosophy and the “here there be dragons” areas outside those limits. His basic thesis is that liberalism thinks in the categories of reason/discourse and desire (/choice/self-expression), but is baffled by the categories of honor, sacrifice, and love/personal loyalty.

And my claim here is that social order, rule-utilitarian maximization of happiness, reason (which IMO in the liberal mind gets defined instrumentally, as “the thing which helps us get to rule-utilitarianism,” when they bother to define it at all rather than simply relying on how they were raised and saying that that's reasonable and everyone else is crazy), and choice are not the only goals toward which a government may orient itself. In fact, with Kahn, I'd argue that no government in the history of ever has actually oriented itself only around these goals, without incorporating notions of beauty, sublimity, nature, honor, and similarly illiberal things.

(I should note that I have at least one huge problem with Kahn so far, but I'll get to that when I've finished the book!)

I wonder if one way to put why Corvino and I haven't yet “achieved disagreement” on this issue is the following: I believe that there are no fully secular arguments. I believe that eventually we hit rock bottom and you have to start talking in terms of whom or Whom you love, and what you believe to be the facts about human nature which we shouldn't change even if we can, even if they hurt. And these claims about love and nature are, if not entirely or explicitly religious, still very, very close to religion. Yet a pluralist society rightly seeks to postpone hitting this rock bottom as long as possible, and often, rightly, recuses itself from judging between competing systems of love and nature.

But I think that because it is so universally attested, in the law and liturgy and art and popular culture of societies with such a vastly divergent array of religious beliefs, the iconic status of sex difference is not sectarian and lies several steps above the rock bottom. My impression, which could be entirely wrong, is that Corvino sees this iconographic claim as on the rock bottom, where a pluralist society ought not descend, or at best a half-step above it.

Okay, but why is marriage an important arena for iconography?

My beliefs here are strongly influenced by my work at the pregnancy center. The women there so often long for marriage with a poignancy I can barely describe. They do not expect practical benefits to outweigh practical drawbacks. The practical benefits provided by (occasionally) slightly greater social support are counterbalanced by the threat that they will lose their government aid, and that they will find it much harder to leave a man who becomes abusive, addicted, incarcerated, or otherwise unacceptable. The benefits of marriage are, for them, primarily about what it will do for their sense of self, which is a result of its iconographic power.

And also, my beliefs here are strongly influenced by, like, being gay. Gay couples long for marriage not solely—and often not primarily, as the rejection of civil unions suggests—for the practical benefits. I do not mean in any way to denigrate the importance of e.g. being able to make medical decisions for an incapacitated partner. The practical benefits are real. But the benefits I talked about in my “Home and Dry” post, of home and honor, are entirely a result of marriage's iconic status. And I think that these benefits lie close to the heart of the push for gay marriage rather than alternative kinship forms. (The other reason for “gay marriage, not alternative kinship forms” is that modern folk, to our great detriment, stripped away the social and legal recognition and honor which once accrued to forms of kinship such as friendship and godparenthood. This is bad. Because we can only understand kinship in terms of marriage and parenthood, we can only understand gay relationships as either marriages, or not really kin at all. This is the false dichotomy Corvino should be attacking!)

Okay, but so, marriage is really important, people long for it, I get that. What does that have to do with sex difference?

Let me throw out three thoughts here. 1. What's past is prologue. Even societies which found ways of honoring some forms of homosexual relationships have not considered those relationships interchangeable with marriage, or a form of marriage, until very recently. This means that 99 44/100ths of our marital iconography is geared toward the needs and desires and images of heterosexual couples. I think for anyone with even a smattering of Hayekian humility in the face of the past, this overwhelming persistence of heterosexual marital imagery should give pause.

2.I complained here about Julia Kristeva's attempt to separate “biological” from “biographical” life. But I think she's gesturing toward or elaborating on a real insight: The stories we tell about our biology can deeply affect how we use our bodies. Therefore if we misunderstand which aspects of our bodily differences are iconic and which are merely necessary, we will very likely misunderstand how we should respond to those differences, how we should act in our bodies. So, since I already believe that sex difference is iconic in a way which very few other differences could ever approach, for all the reasons I gave in the links in that last post... it's important to me that we get the iconography right.

3.I don't want to instrumentalize beauty or sublimity. I believe that the practical, biological differences between men and women are, in themselves, largely responsible for the nature and importance of marriage. But the existence of this institution, which acknowledges and responds to la difference, is valuable in itself. As an analogy: The honor gay couples are seeking for their love, when they work for gay marriage, will produce practical benefits in terms of social support. But it's also valuable in itself.

I think our basic job right now, as a society, is to find ways of honoring nonmarital kinship without conflating it with marriage. This is basically an iconographic task, and gay marriage works against it.
RULES OF THE GAME: Corvino to me, on why marriage will still be sexually-regulatory even where homosexual couples are included: “Here Tushnet proffers the usual false dilemma: either marriage is solely male-female or else it 'means whatever you want it to mean.' But there’s plenty of reasonable middle ground between those polar (and false) alternatives.”

I don't know if Gabriel Rotello coined the term “sexual ecology,” and I haven't read his book of that title. But it seems to me really obvious that heterosexual, gay, and lesbian couples have different sexual ecologies. (This is true even when the heterosexual couple is infertile or quite old, because men and women are very differently-situated due to the complex interactions of biological differences and cultural expectations.) Those differing ecologies seem very likely to me to develop different rules, because they face different needs with different urgencies. I think Andrew Sullivan and the guys in this study are closer to the mark than Corvino when they suggest that gay marriage shifts the norms of monogamy in complex ways we don't yet fully understand.

Put the same point another way: I find it fairly easy to understand why an infertile heterosexual couple, or a heterosexual couple in which both husband and wife are 80 years old, should nonetheless be sexually exclusive. I find it fairly easy to understand why heterosexuals should avoid premarital sex to the best of their ability (even though I realize that, human nature being what it is, this restraint will be scattershot at best). I am not sure how I would argue against safe-sane-consensual open gay relationships (especially when there are no children in the household) or how I would argue for abstinence until gay marriage. (I've talked with a couple of people who do hold the latter position, though they seemed a bit embarrassed by it!) The case against wild promiscuity, which is partly practical due to health concerns and partly philosophical due to concerns about the fragmentation of the self, is not really the same as the case for complete sexual exclusivity.

So maybe what I'm really asking—and this is not, or not solely, a question for Corvino but for those who share his “lots of differences matter in a marriage/sexual difference is not crucial” position—is whether they, too, distinguish between the rules and norms by which the infertile heterosexual couple should abide and the rules and norms by which the gay couple or lesbian couple should abide. Also, do they think that the urgency of these sexual norms is different for infertile heterosexual couples and gay or lesbian couples, and therefore the stringency of the norms should be different? If they do, then the word “marriage” no longer expresses a set of sexual norms, but rather at least two conflicting sets.

If they don't, then I'd like to know whether a) they are expecting gay/lesbian couples to play by fairly strict rules in which sex before or outside of marriage is frowned upon, i.e. do they accept the “rollback, not containment” approach to marriage for every couple?,

b) they would like couples to assess their own fertility and other risks (e.g. the risks inherent in women's vulnerability in heterosexual relationships) and abide by the rules of the risk-category into which they fall?,

c) they expect marriage to remain sexually-regulatory while maintaining a sort of internally “separate but equal” situation in which heterosexual couples play by the stringent rules while gay/lesbian couples work out different norms?,

or d) some mix of all of the above depending on where you live/which subcultures you belong to, or some other option I can't think of right now?

I strongly suspect that a) will be rejected by most gay people, b) overestimates humans' rationality and ability to accurately assess their own risks (this inability is what we have social institutions and iconography for—I'm reminded of the friend who remarked, when someone asked him what time our debating society was meeting, “It's meeting at 7.45, because it always meets at 7.45. Traditions are how people who can't remember anything manage their lives!”), and c) is an unstable situation in which, again, “marriage” per se implies no especial set of sexual norms.

(You may say that this last situation is precisely the one in which we find ourselves today. See previous post re: that's a bug not a feature, aka I want rollback not containment.)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"I WANTED TO THROTTLE A SWAN." Slings and Arrows, a comedy set in a Canadian theater company, is available on Netflix Instant Viewing. Why have I not watched this already? Why aren't you watching it right now?
PASTORS, ETC., IN POOR AREAS: I'm working on a piece for Commonweal about couples who get married in church, in order to be married in the eyes of God, but don't register with the state because they would lose welfare benefits (inc apartments, health benefits etc). If you know anyone who has done this, or if you know pastors who may have performed these weddings, could you encourage them to get in touch with me? My email is on the sidebar there, and if you email me, I'll send you my cell phone number. Because the legal status of these marriages is somewhat doubtful, I'd be willing to offer various degrees of anonymity (first name only, or something like that).

Thank you, and of course, please pass this around!
WRITTEN BY THE VICTORS: JWB notes that I might want to inform readers that my Weekly Standard review of Red Families vs. Blue Families is now available to nonsubscribers. I did not know that!

So you can read it here. As I said before, I don't think I nailed the problems with the book, but the review might still be worth reading. Please politely ignore the way I completely fuddled the rich man/CAMEL/eye of needle metaphor at the end! Or laugh mercilessly at my incompetence... you know, whatever floats your cup of tea.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

And I never meant to blogwatch, all I had was the will to survive...

Wow, it's been a while since I've done one of these.

Balkinization: The only book by a Supreme Court justice you will ever need to read.

Mark Oppenheimer notes that he is blogging a lot more now, so if you liked his profile of me in the NYTimes you might check him out. Yale, religion in America, and whatever other bees roost in his bonnet.

Sean Collins has a great tribute to the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books. I'd forgotten those amazing titles. "Somebody Fell from Aloft"... shiver.

And I know posting has been sparse at MarriageDebate, but after midnight I'm going to put up just a cornucopia of links on everything from breaking the cycle of divorce to "America's one-child policy" to why you should not have a baby with a dude you found on Craigslist.

I am still going to reply to John Corvino. This week has been difficult (and I could use your prayers, if you pray). Stay tuned....
POLL: 1 IN 5 AMERICANS BELIEVE OBAMA IS A CACTUS. Real posting soon, but for now, have something which made me laugh. Via PES I think.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

CAPTAIN'S LOG, SUPPLEMENTAL: I only wish I could make all my confessions in the captain's-log format.
"No country lives as blithely or as uneasily with the opposed ideals of orgy and restriction as America."
--David Thomson, via Wesley Hill (buy his book! which I will read soon!)

Friday, September 17, 2010

"GAY MARRIAGE, STRAIGHT MARRIAGE, AND LA DIFFERENCE": John Corvino replies to my post on marriage and sex difference. I will put up a small and partial reply later tonight, and possibly more later, but I wanted to get the link up there now.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

RANKLE. Nosferatu and also the Smiths. I don't even know.
HOME AND DRY: Hello and welcome, if you got here via Andrew Sullivan. You want this post. And now the promised follow-up, in which I talk about what I think the most beautiful argument is in favor of gay marriage: It gives gay people a home.

Sullivan's written about this quite a lot, of course. Both he (in Love Undetectable, I'm pretty sure) and Jonathan Rauch (in Gay Marriage) have described, briefly and without self-pity, really intense childhood exchanges with their mothers. I don't recall the exact wording of Rauch's story off the top of my head, but I do remember Sullivan's. From memory, thus possibly a bit off: He asked his mother if God really sees everything, and she said yes, at which point he replied, "Well then there's no hope for me."

I mean... a little kid.

And I've written before about how I experienced some fairly intense childhood alienation of basically exactly that kind. I felt like I had no place in the world and couldn't have one--shouldn't have one, hadn't earned love or self-respect. Becoming Catholic, I should say, was in part about accepting that I could be loved by Someone who genuinely knew everything about me. In order to be really Catholic you have to accept healing and love, and there are times when that's very hard for me, still; it's still somewhat baffling to think that I might be made in the image of God. (I mean, what does that make God?)

I have no real sense of why I associated that sense of alienation with my sexual orientation. One obvious possibility is homophobia; I certainly don't remember ever hearing anything antigay until I was in junior high, and my parents had gay friends etc etc, but it's impossible to prove that I wasn't somehow affected by subtler and pervasive cultural bigotry. Anyway, point being, I've said many times that it was such a relief to come out to myself because it seemed like I could finally explain that alienation in toto; and because being gay wasn't something I thought anyone should be ashamed of, I could finally put all of that unhappiness and sense of homelessness behind me! I don't know that this relief is especially common for gay teens, but I do think a lot of gay people did have that childhood sense of intense separation, of being cast out.

And since virtually all gay people are raised by heterosexuals, the home in which we grew up doesn't provide obvious models for the kind of relationships we want to form. It's hard for us to know how our own love stories can fit in to our family story, the family model we grew up with. (Yes, I realize that a lot of straight people can say the same thing, but walk with me here for a moment.)

Gay marriage promises that, for those of us lucky enough to grow up with parents in a loving/good-enough marriage, we truly can fit our own futures and dreams into the family story we grew up with. We can step into our parents' shoes. You all know that I think this promise is based on some really false beliefs about sex difference and family structure, but believe me, I feel the power and attraction of the promise.

And this longing for home is one reason the Church's silences, clinical language, and general lameness w/r/t speaking to actual gay people is so frustrating. Because the truest and best alternative to the home promised by gay marriage is precisely the home promised by Christ, the loving embrace of the Holy Family. When I say that the cure for alienation is in kneeling at the altar rail, this is not especially believable if the actual Catholics you've known were clueless at best and bullying at worst.

Anyway, I continue to believe all the stuff I've said in prior posts about gay marriage, but I thought it was important to throw this out there as well. The longing for home is even more powerful to me, and even more beautiful, than the longing for honor which also animates the gay-marriage movement.

Monday, September 13, 2010

UNZIP MY BODY, TAKE MY HEART OUT: I'm still thinking about that conversation on gay marriage between Ross Douthat and Andrew Sullivan, in which my Busted Halo interview played a supporting role. Specifically, I'm still thinking about this John Corvino column written in response to me and Douthat. I'm still not sure how to structure this post or its argument, so I think what I'll do is put four ideas on the table, and see what happens. The first two are mainly about men and women, and the last two are mainly about the biological connection between parents and children.

1. Some girls are bigger than others. Corvino's main point seems to be, Yes, men and women are obviously different in ways which are very important in marriage. And therefore gay, lesbian, and heterosexual relationships are going to be different in ways important to marriage as well.

But there are a lot of important differences! A cross-class marriage, for example, will face different challenges from a marriage of two people from similar economic backgrounds. An interfaith marriage faces different challenges from those faced by a Jewish marriage. A marriage of two opposite-sex octogenarians faces different challenges from those faced by two opposite-sex 18-year-olds. And so on.

...And I think that perspective requires one to believe that sex difference is One Difference Among Others, not (I know I always trot out this phrase) la difference. It requires one to believe that sex difference is not iconic, that there is no such thing as what Maggie Gallagher trenchantly calls "bringing the two halves of humanity together," since humanity does not come in two halves. I've written here about why I do believe sex difference is iconic, here about why that belief does not require specific gender roles e.g. boys don't cry, and here about why that belief is (at least in the Bible, and the Catholic faith!) prior to and distinct from the very obvious and important fact of procreation. I genuinely believe that sex difference is sublime in a way that age difference, for example, is not. Its sublimity stems in part, though I think only in part, from its danger, its potential for horror, and its simultaneous potential for exceptional beauty. Acknowledging the role of sex difference in marriage and sexuality is good and beautiful, whereas acknowledging the role of age difference (for example) is merely necessary.

2. Newsweek/Newspeak. If lots and lots of differences are as important to marriage as sex differences, or sex differences are as unimportant to marriage as lots and lots of differences, it's exceptionally difficult to understand how marriage could be an institution which regulates sex at all.

I mean, if "love is love is love," if love makes a family, then surely sexless relationships could be as completely marriage as anything else, no? I don't even think you need to go to the "why does number of partners matter when sex of partner doesn't?" place (although you probably could; the typical Jonathan Rauch-type case against polygamy applies the harm principle, understood as "which kinds of marriages tend toward liberal democracy and which tend toward patriarchal authoritarianism," in a way which invites the government to judge whether e.g. vows to "love, honor, and obey" are anti-American), since there are lots of examples of loving relationships where the harm principle doesn't seem to do any work at all in distinguishing these relationships from marriage: friendship, for example, or polyamory. (The harms from polyamory can be dismissed as speculative just as easily as the harms from motherless or fatherless gay households, by trotting out children who grew up in these families and did just fine. They do exist.)

I think Corvino's approach ultimately leads to the really depressing Newsweek "debate" about marriage, in which all parties agree that marriage means whatever you want it to mean--whatever rules you personally believe necessary to fit the specific needs and specific challenges of your relationship, since no differences are intensely and iconically important. Here, marriage is desirable precisely because it promises honor without regulation. I don't think that's sustainable. But I also don't think it's very admirable.

The obvious comeback at this point is to say that contemporary marriage doesn't meet the unique needs and challenges of heterosexuals and their children. I think that's not entirely true--culture and tradition are more powerful than we think, and I don't think the pro-marriage Newsweek writers will be able to sustain their genderless view of marriage for very long--but it's importantly true. The biggest problem in the USA, I think, is that marriage is no longer viewed as an institution which should regulate sex before marriage. (Here, have some depressing statistics about religious affiliation, beliefs about sex, and premarital sexual activity.) But the obvious comeback-to-the-comeback is that if you care about marriage, or if you care about the children which intercourse bizarrely continues to produce without our consent, you should be seeking rollback rather than mere containment of the non-regulatory marriage culture.

3. Shadows searching for what cast them. I feel like--and this is an intuition, not the conclusion of a syllogism--John Corvino's column comes from a worldview which reduces men and women, in their sexual and familial aspect, to functions. If we can figure out the function of a father, we can replace biological fathers with father figures or male role models and no harm done. A fatherless family need not be a family with anything missing.

I think this worldview denigrates the importance of the body. Our physicality--our incarnation--goes far beyond function. That's why kids who grew up with really amazing, sacrificial stepfathers or father figures or male role models, or adoptive parents, very often express both intense gratitude toward the people who loved and raised them, and intense longing or anger or sorrow toward the biological parents who didn't, or who loved intermittently and from afar. It's possible (I know this, because it happens) to both honor non-biological parents and yearn for the connection of DNA, of flesh. Something is missing when parental love is separated from the fleshly, sweaty, physical union which created the child.

4. I am the least resilient person I know. I know that not all adopted children, not all stepparented children, not all children of single parents feel this loss especially keenly! My point is solely that there are two spectra on which we can assess the emotions and coping strategies of children raised without one or more of their biological parents.

One is resilience. Resilience is a good thing in itself. It signals flexibility, a future-oriented worldview, an ability to "make do" or "muddle through" or "eat bitterness" or focus on gratitude for what is there rather than sorrow for what is not.

But the other is what I'm going to call aesthetic sensitivity. I'm calling it that because I think attention to the meaning of the physical is essentially a function of the aesthetic sense. People who feel the loss of the biological parent most keenly are, I think, expressing an insight--not a weakness, not a handicap created by their culture, but an insight into what it is to be human.

These are two separate spectra. Someone can be both intensely sensitive to the loss of the biological parent, and extremely resilient. Someone can be really flailing or self-pitying, and not at all interested in the biological connection. But just as resilience is a good thing in itself, so a deep sense of the importance of physical, fleshly relatedness is a good thing in itself. The "family diversity" movement tends to praise resilience and downplay or even denigrate what I'm calling aesthetic sensitivity. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that they do this because resilience makes the adults' lives easier and the other thing does not.
FOUR SWIFTLY TILTING PLANETS: My thoughts on the new Battlestar Galactica, over at the spoilerous blog. I mostly agree with Sean Collins's takes on the series, which you can find here, here, and here, so this post will basically ignore anything he said with which I agreed. Makes my job easier!

(I did not watch any of the supplemental stuff or extended episodes, nor did I watch the "webisodes," nor did I watch The Plan nor any of Caprica. I liked the series a lot... but man is mortal.)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

TOMORROW... WILL IT REALLY COME? Okay, so when I said "tomorrow" yesterday, I actually meant tomorrow today. Real posting on Sunday, or at the very worst Monday just after midnight. On deck: more on gay marriage, sex difference, and utilitarian universalism; more on gay marriage, in which I tell you what I think the best (or at least the most beautiful) argument is in its favor; and a review of (REC) and (REC)2 (sorry, one of my bracket keys is broken) in which I talk about competing sources of authority, and the paradoxes of authority without power. And maybe some stuff about the "new" Battlestar Galactica, since I finally finished watching it.

For the moment, can I placate you all with a list of Martin Scorsese's favorite pre-'70s gangster flicks? Via Sean Collins, I'm pretty sure.

Also! I will be in Los Angeles October 2/3 for... cue high-pitched keening of utter fannish exhilaration... All That Skate! I will also be spending time with family, but I am in the market for a) coffee with readers, and b) recommendations of things to do in LA. Recommendations of where to see Spanish art or any art from roughly 1914 through 1950 are especially welcome. Oh, and also, please, somebody tell me where to go to Mass in LA! My strong preference is for the Novus Ordo, not Tridentine, but I do not care about Latin vs. English and I dislike guitars and handholding and, like, clowns. The major restriction is that I do not drive, because I cannot drive. I failed all three thirds of the DC driving exam, which, believe me, takes talent.

Friday, September 10, 2010

BISY BACKSON. Sorry! Back tomorrow with substantive posting.