About the Name of this blog

This blog's title refers to a Dani fable recounted by Robert Gardner. The Dani live in the highlands of New Guinea, and at the the time he studied them, they lived in one of the only remaining areas in the world un-colonized by Europeans.

The Dani, who Gardner identifies only as a "Mountain People," in the film "The Dead Birds," have a myth that states there was once a great race between a bird and a snake to determine the lives of human beings. The question that would be decided in this race was, "Should men shed their skins and live forever like snakes, or die like birds?" According to the mythology, the bird won the race, and therefore man must die.

In the spirit of ethnographic analysis, this blog will examine myth, society, culture and architecture, and hopefully examine issues that make us human. As with any ethnography, some of the analysis may be uncomfortable to read, some of it may challenge your preconceptions about the world, but hopefully, all of it will enlighten and inform.

Thursday, November 3, 2011



I just found out, according to Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, that I am homosexual.  This was an amazing shock to me, as I have always considered myself to be straight. (but certainly not narrow)

Don’t laugh; if you are a male past approximately the age of 12, you are also gay.  We have achieved 100% homosexuality in the male population.   How has this happened?

Apparently, unbeknownst to any of us, masturbation is a homosexual act.  (And I thought it just led to blindness and hairy palms.)

Who knew?

As a side note, apparently, female masturbation does not equate with lesbianism, since, according to Driscoll, they don’t often engage in that activity.  So women are off the hook, it’s just us guys in this case.

Driscoll states that there is only one situation where solitary masturbation is not homosexual, and that is if you are a happily married man, away on business and leveling up your paladin to pictures of your wife.  (Thanks Urban Dictionary for the most obscure euphemism I could find.)  I know plenty of married men, and trust me, no matter how much they love their wives; they would still prefer a Sticky Mag for that.  Interestingly, he does allow you to masturbate with your wife in the room.  (Which is likely to ensure that that will be the only sex you get for a long time.)

We are defining deviancy downward to make people afraid of their own bodies and their natural sexuality.  It is a form of control, to make you ashamed of the actions that someone else does not approve of.  Shame is the most potent weapon to make people do what you want them to do.  It is so powerful that early societies used shunning to guarantee appropriate behavior - it is almost universally effective.

When you make people ashamed of their actions, you gain a foothold over them, one which can be exploited to get more holds.  You also get people to monitor the activities of those around them, to find out if they are sinning, and to denounce them if they are.  You turn people against each other, and you maintain power over the group.  They are classic control mechanisms.

In other news, Daniel Avila wrote in the county’s oldest Catholic newspaper, “The Pilot:”

Disruptive imbalances in nature that thwart encoded processes point to supernatural actors who, unlike God, do not have the good of persons at heart. 

In other words, the scientific evidence of how same-sex attraction most likely may be created provides a credible basis for a spiritual explanation that indicts the devil...

...whenever natural causes disturb otherwise typical biological development, leading to the personally unchosen beginnings of same-sex attraction, the ultimate responsibility, on a theological level, is and should be imputed to the evil one, not God.

On the one hand, I guess I should be happy that an Assistant Director for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops accepts the possibility that homosexuality is nature not choice.  On the other hand, it scares me that he is actually stating that the Devil fiddles with genetics to make people gay.  (I have a picture of the Devil working in a genetics lab, laughing diabolically, (since that’s the only way he can laugh) as he creates a “gay virus” to infect unborn babies.)

These attitudes need to stop.

It has been my experience that most of the people that I have met who violently hate homosexuals do so out of concern that they might be gay themselves.  I am not saying that they are actually gay, just that they might be afraid that they are.  Maybe they had a stray erection in the shower in high school, perhaps they had gay dream, possibly, it was just a simple intrusive thought, but somehow, they became afraid that they were gay.  And rather than address the issue head on, and determine if they are or if it was just one of those things, they react brutally.

They are so afraid that they might be gay that they must stamp out all homosexuality.  That way, when there are no homosexuals left, they will not be tempted anymore. 

This brings up an odd point about human sexuality, when we are afraid of something, we often fetishize it, which then rewires the brain to make us embrace that which we fear.  We become a walking paradox, and the effort to stamp out homosexuality actually reinforces those drives.  Hence, the vast number of homophobic politicians and preachers caught in gay scandals.  They literally drive themselves to do it.

Imagine instead a world where sexual orientation was not even an issue; a world where all that mattered was that you found someone to love, and someone to love you; a world where a loving family with strong bonds was the most important thing, regardless of it’s composition.  We are all stronger with more love in the world.

And I think that’s what any loving, caring God would want.

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