Sunday, March 4, 2018

A Postmortem on our Discussion on Post-postmodernism (A Brisk Sunday Read)

Here are a couple of my postmortem notes from our discussion on the podcast. They represent a few interview points that we did not have time to get into in great depth during my time speaking with Vance and Baz.

I would like to expand for just a few words on the fluctuation between postmodernism and post-postmodernism and where gonzo journalism relates to the death of some archetypes in our fictional narratives. I may go off into a few tangents on 1) the role of authenticity in fictional narratives, and 2) decolonial v. post-colonial readings of some of the conflicts in queerdom and the law, using a few hypothetical legal experiments. Drawing upon a Hegelian rationale, I will try and provide a few conclusions and leave this discussion for now with a few un-answersble legal questions for anyone to consider who enjoys this material and would like to join in on any further discussion through social media.

Please note this post will contain what is considered adult content by the Blogger platform. I will be using some images of lewd emails in the discussion to provide some real life context and relevancy to this discussion. They have been censored and redacted to make sure this post fits within certain content guidelines. Also, this doesn't really hinder our discussion because I do not include them for the purpose of drawing attention to the redacted details inside; I am more concerned with how language and the law of the land - at national and international levels - have a causal affect on the struggle we currently see in our legal world to create some amiable direction for the incoming wave of 1st amendment issues that can be drawn out these hypotheticals.

For those who have a few more hours to look deeper into the nuances of postmodernism, I recommend listening to Episode #67 of Waking Up with Sam Harris and recommend that you have a basic foundation for how a bimodal reading of sex and gender under post post-feminism and Germaine Greer. I couldn't find the exact Greer speech I originally wanted to when I started out writing this article, but I'll use what I can find to help illustrate my point. The YouTube clip can provide some understanding into how Greer might read into the following legal hypothetical models.
 If you want to understand more about gonzo journalism and you'd rather experience learning about gonzo journalism through a modality other than books, I recommend watching any of the following films, being careful to avoid watching with an overly nostalgic enthusiasm for the genre. While these movies are a lot of fun to watch, I recommend them for reasons other than entertainment. More important than the "fun" competent of these films are the fundamental questions about the pragmatism of attempts to translate gonzo journalism into film or television. I recommend you watch them while keeping in mind the assumption that if we can no longer trust postmodernism to solve our problems, we must also admit that gonzo journalism is a failure, unless it can be revived in a crisis of post-postmodernism. So, what is the value of gonzo journalism for our discussion if it is attacked by discussion of post-postmodernism? Does the value of  "drugs, liquor and violence" in Hunter Thompson's work mitigate the harms of his anti-Prohibitionist ideology? The modern brand of postmodernism, in my view, never reaches a level of consciousnesses to work through some of these questions. But, rather than rambling on for too long about this, I will leave you to think about these questions when you get a chance to watch these films:

Movie List:

Tangent 1:) Authenticity

One metacognitive quandary that comes out of the Greer bimodal approach to law and feminism seems to be that it takes a woman to know what a woman's legal needs are. As a gay man, I do not feel the need to tell Greer what feminism means. If she feels it is connected indivisibly from our understanding of sex organs, I am inclined to believe her, and it is rational to do so from a legal perspective. It makes a lot of sense to both sexes, in the interest of both pecuniary and linguistic economics, to be opposed to a Bill like C-6. In the United States, the authenticity of one's sex is interwoven with the discussion of how fundamental a right truly is, such as the right to terminate a pregnancy. The outcome of the level of scrutiny determines the restrictions that the government can place on that right. In the United States, the federal government's interests in due process and equal protection requires an intermediate level of scrutiny when rights concerning sex are abridged, as opposed to laws restricting sodomy, which rarely pass the lowest level of constitutional scrutiny.

If the C-16 Bill, as discussed in Harris' podcast, were to be applied to the way sex is read into the US Constitution, it would hypothetically require that gender values, in addition to sex, would elicit at least an intermediate level of scrutiny or even a lower, rational based level of scrutiny. Would that be authentic to your view of queerdom?

Tangent 2:) Decolonial v. Postcolonial Perceptions of Legal Analyses

Race receives a higher level of scrutiny than either sex or sexual act because American society has agreed that race-based discrimination deserves the highest level of constitutional scrutiny when race may be abridged as a fundamental right. So, then I must ask the reader, what constitutional value are you assigning to gender in this conversation with regards to race? Is that important to represent authenticity? What are the reasonable limits to subjectivity in defining how fundamental is a right when it insists on non-bimodal uses of gender identities? And lastly, does the conversation about a bill like C-6, or my Canadian hypothetical model, take away from more critical issues, like decolonialism and postcolonial? What a strange ironic paradigm it creates when writers cannot discuss issues of race because doing so would come in violation with the ideological rules of non bi-modal gender language-based discourse.

Hypothetical Comparison 1: Bill Sigma v. Bill Tau

Suppose a law is passed which requires public and private employers to include a third general pronoun in the Crown's interest in protecting harassment at work ("Bill Sigma"). 

The Problems with Postmodern Legal Reading of Canadian "Bill Sigma".

Suppose a lawyer is working in a court under Bill Sigma and he comes across this piece of evidence in e-discovery in an employee's claim of sexual harassment. Would Bill Sigma further protect this client's interests? What if the client were referred to by "zher" preferred gender identity in compliance with the law during all stages of zher job negotiation process...would the inclusion of that term have had any bearing on the content of the harassment? On the motivations of the harassment? I'm not compelled by any arguments that it would.

Are there additional client interests which might outweigh the Crown's interest in procedural and judicial economy? And if the law does extend to employees of the Crown, does zher's interests in requiring the Queen face fines and jail for refusing to call the client zher outweigh the Queen's interest in telling zher to fuck off?

A postmodern reading of the law would argue that yes, zher's interest in having the Queen call her by gender-specific term would be worth the costs of enforcing this interest at the Crown's expense. This argument makes no more sense than Mexico building a wall. We have enough brute force in our lives already. Is there even a rational basis for requiring this to be outcome of all future court proceedings?

Potential Scope of Un-answerable Legal Questions Under the Postmodern Legal Reading of USA "Bill Tau".

Now, suppose a similar law is passed in the United States, only the Courts determined that the law set a precedent, which was that the federal government's constitutional interest in bimodal gender language in private industry required a strict level of scrutiny. The Court then extended that interest to those with mental illness, and further enacts a law that requires private employers to ban the use of the words like "crazy", "retarded". "stupid, "estupido"...Would the client be better or worse off if this happened in the United States? Would the interests of the federal government really be served in prosecuting this email as hate speech when it's interests in preventing sexual harassment are already served by existing law?

If you read this using a postmodern lense, you would argue that the President and the Supreme Court's interest really should be that strong, but I am not compelled that this argument is valid when it requires an inauthentic valuation of scrutiny. I also do not believe the Federal government's interest in preventing hate speech is prevented under Bill Tau.

Synthesis of Rationale from the Hypothetical Premise

I think to achieve some conclusion from this exercise, you must conclusively ask how fundamental is gender to the concept of human rights? Are we capable of placing differing values to the legal regulation of our concept of gender, as opposed to our social regulation of the concept of non-bimodal gender identities? Can we draw that line in our public debate without outrage? This balancing act, and how the scales tip according to our perceptions of reality, can potentially determine our governments' abilities to use brute force, to surveil, to gerrymander, and plenty more other ancillary legal powers, not just the ability to call a man or a woman by a more specific gender term.

Hypothetical 2: Tribal Counsel Resolutions Alpha and Beta

Suppose a Truth and Reconciliation Committee, like Canada's, were to seek to enter the use of the phrase "two-spirited" in adopting a procedural resolution ("Resolution Alpha"). A strong argument against this rule would be that non bimodal uses of sex and gender identity would not be valuable to the interests of evolutionary biology. A strong argument for this rule would be that allowing "two-spirited", male, and female to discuss gender identity - in non-bimodal terms - would be more authentic than the bimodal model. Who wins in this hypothetical argument? What about if a similar resolution ("Resolution Beta") suggested using the Mormon-specific ethnic term "Lamanite"? Would your analysis be different?

What would be the consequences of this resolution under the Canadian Bill Sigma? How will issues of sovereignty and conflicts in laws resolve some of the sub issues which you might imagine would come out society if such laws were passed?

And what about US policy? What would be the consequences of sovereignty and conflict under the US Bill Tau?

Those are some further questions for thought I will leave you with for now. Thank you for reading.

-Kevin Snow

Friday, March 2, 2018

Podcast: Written on the Edge Ep. 153: The Price of Admission

Check out my recent podcast with Written on the Edge:

I will be doing an update to my response to the Wall Street Journal's article on Thomas Schumacher and my general response to Broadway/Hollywood's reactions to the article on Sunday.

Enjoy the podcast.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

How to Catch an Entertainment Industry Predator (Part 2)

Try reaching out through Twitter?

 Maybe I should just try his cell phone number...
 Oh shit, it worked!
What to do next? 
Maybe I should sleep on it, first.

How to Catch an Entertainment Industry Predator (Part 1)

In an effort to help others who are struggling with coming forward with their own #MeToo and #TimesUp stories, I have decided to document the process I am going through to come forward about my own experiences. First, I wrote a novel called "Mouschwitz" (this much you know).
Now, I am sending these letter to the two individuals I have named in my novel.

And this letter!
 But where to send them???????

Friday, November 17, 2017

"Bartians" preview: "KittyRadio's Y2K Party"

KittyRadio’s Y2K Party

    On April 29th, 1999, the Bartlesville Police Department received an anonymous tip regarding some nefarious graffiti in the Johnstone Park band shell, which read: “Columbine was just the beginning. Pigs will die tomorrow.” Police immediately believed the graffiti was a threat by a copycat killer who was planning a siege on Bartlesville High School, similar to the massacre that occurred in Colorado during the previous week. Just to make sure everyone got the point, the author of the graffiti, Gordon Tomutsa, also called in a bomb threat to the high school, saying he had placed several C-4 explosives throughout the building and was planning to detonate them as soon as the first bell rang.
    It was all nonsense, of course. Gordon just wanted to skip school that day. He had no intention of hurting anyone, but he saw the massacre as an opportunity to get a free day off of school. Moreover, he thought it was ridiculous that school had not already been canceled out of respect to the victims, and he thought he was doing everyone a favor by pranking the police and the school administration.
    School was canceled, so the police could clear the school and check for bombs. While they did so, Gordon took the opportunity to drive up to Kansas, where liquor was sold at a higher alcohol content and the strip clubs didn’t check ID’s. Specifically, Gordon was hoping to get a moment with his favorite performer Krystle Cole at the Fur Farm.
    But Krystle Cole wasn’t at the Fur Farm, Gordon discovered, nor was she at the Kansas missile silo, where Todd Skinner was synthesizing various drug cocktails with the help from some scared chemists.
    Todd couldn’t be bothered to help Gordon find Krystle, when Gordon showed up to the silo, because Todd was busy with a crisis on his hands. Todd was busy with a detour into manslaughter; he was injecting his friend Paul Huleback’s unconscious body with an unknown substance, several times over, causing him to overdose. While Paul lay dying in the back of Todd’s van, Todd drove around Kansas to various hospitals, refusing to leave his van or to let Paul’s body out of the van for life-saving treatment.
    Gordon saw Todd’s van approach the silo and waved him down. Todd ignored Gordon altogether, dragging Paul’s lifeless body out of the back of the van and hauling him inside the silo. There, Gordon continued to inject various chemicals into Paul’s veins, to an unknown effect, before loading him back into the van and dumping Paul’s dead body at an emergency site. Todd would never be charged with murder, in spite of all the witnesses and evidence against him.
    Krystle was not a witness to any of this. According to Kib, Krystle was with him, dropping acid at a nudist camp in the Oklahoma panhandle. Kib had been invited by Bonobo, an online pen pal from St. Louis, via KittyRadio. KittyRadio was a closed messaging board set up by the rock star Courtney Love to communicate directly with her fans without the scrutiny of the press. The members of KittyRadio regularly held meet-up’s, and Kib was attending his very first at Bonobo’s invite, in spite of Kib’s being just over the edge of 17 years old at the time.
    It was there and at that time, surrounded by a dozen or so other KittyRadio members from the area, that Krystle came up with the idea of having a Y2K party. The year 2000 was approaching, and media outlets were claiming this could be the end of the world, due to all of Earth’s computers being programed with only a 2-digit year calendar system. Once the year 2000 would come, the press believed, all of the computers would think it was the year 1900, and helter skelter would commence. The stock market would implode. Race riots would break out across the country. Governments would fall. Everything would be smoke, fire, and blood. Seemed like a good time to throw a party.
    When Courtney Love came to Tulsa with her band Hole a few weeks later, on May 11th, millennial anxiety was beginning to take hold in the South. The concert was sold out, and Courtney Love took the stage with a cigarette in her mouth, while “So High” played over the PA. Kib was in the back, avoiding the frantic mosh pit, making out with Bonobo, but Tesla was at the very front of the crowd to witness hell unleashed in all it’s glory.
    “Show me your pussy!” Tesla screamed to Courtney, and Courtney obliged, squatting down and lifting her dress to expose her vagina to Tesla at the stage’s edge. Hole started and stopped several times, but not due to Courtney’s antics. Courtney was lucid and in control, but the crowd was beyond reason. Everyone was screaming so loud that it was difficult to hear the music.
    “Stop! Everybody fucking calm down!” Courtney wailed from the stage, when the mosh pit tipped over and several people were pulled under, getting trampled in the chaos. Courtney would go on to stop the show two more times that night, threatening to leave if the crowd did not get ahold of themselves. “It’s just fucking music!” she yelled. “Fucking stop acting like it's the end of the world! I swear to God, I will shut this fucking shit down, if you motherfuckers don’t get control! It’s too crazy in here!”
    Tesla got pulled up on stage by Hole’s guitarist Eric Erlandson during the final song, and she made her way backstage to meet the band. Courtney autographed a guitar and gave it away to Tesla, like it was nothing. “Don’t let me see this fucking thing on Ebay,” Courtney told Tesla. “It’s your calling card to go out and change the fucking world. Be a bitch, and don’t take their shit.”
    When Hondo interviewed Tesla about the guitar on the radio on Z104.5 the Edge, Tesla simply said. “Fuck the man. Save the Indian. I saw Clove’s pussy!”
    Tesla found Kib blowing Bonobo, both drunk as gypsies, in the Brady’s alley. Kid’s left ear and face were bleeding. He had a large gash across his left temple that was gushing blood. “Some jock kicked me in the side of the face,” he explained to Tesla, as he doused his wounds in vodka. “Must have knocked something loose.”
    “Are you still throwing the KittyRadio Y2K Party?” Tesla asked Bonobo, showing him Courtney’s guitar. “Because I know a tranny in Bartlesville who’s got a place.”

Last minute add to "Mouschwitz"

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

"Bartians" (unillustrated) should be available on Kindle sometime next week

“Sgt. Rusty’s Funeral” – A broken family searches through memories and keepsakes to piece together why their son died in the Iraq War.

“Westside B’ville” – Racial tensions flare up when a group of misfit middle schoolers play hooky from church.

“Stag Prom King” – A football player asks another boy to prom to win an argument with his conservative English teacher.

“Pediatricians’ Kids” – The assistant of Sondi, Dr. Gonzo’s ex-wife, struggles with cocaine addiction when she receives some unexpected guests.

“The Random Acts of Violence Club” – The high school competitive forensics team transforms to avenge the arson of Shin’EnKan, a beloved historical landmark.

“Lenehan & Curly” – Two drug dealers, disguised as clowns, are forced to take a detour in Kansas when police officers help them with car trouble.

“The Parole Officer’s Daughter” – Frustrated by the quest to lose her virginity, a young court volunteer pens a play in support of Timothy McVeigh.

“Dichotomy” – A roughnecked cowboy is forced to defend his reputation as a refined artist when an imposter comes to town.

“KittyRadio’s Y2K Party” – A group of trans students wait out the apocalypse in a haunted nightclub.

“Dr. Bill’s Painful Medicine” – A young pastor attempts to fellowship a serial child molester.

“State Representative Big Tuna” – A politician’s daughter experiences hallucinations and disturbing dreams, causing her to question his integrity and past.

“Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor” – The grizzly details of a local murder are revealed when a group of women sneak backstage at an Itzhak Perlman concert.

“The Daniel Who Threw Himself into a Den of Lions” – After a Mormon oil-and-gas family moves to China, their son runs away and survives on the streets selling Taliban heroin.

“The Survivors” – Divisions among the town’s social classes expand with surreal consequences during a high school reunion on the set of Terrence Malick’s film To the Wonder.