THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 411, April 1, 2007
"It's the business of mass media to distract Americans
from everything that's actually important."
Credit The Libertarian Enterprise
About two years ago, a person coined that term in a different context. Nevertheless, it's a very descriptive word. He meant it to describe the feeling we get when we feel uncomfortable, faintly creepy, and unpleasant. Oogie.
My mother in law is an old person on the internet. This means she is forever forwarding jokes, inspirational stories and that sort of crap that old people like on the internet.
This is relevant. Please bear with me.
Recently we have been treated to a senior Army General saying, "Homosexual Acts are immoral"
Today my Mother in law sent me an article in which Andy Rooney supposedly claimed an American right not to approve of homosexuality.
A couple of days ago, a friend of mine said, "I'm tolerant of gay people. I just don't like 'em and I don't approve." Showing he'd missed the whole point of that toleration thing.
Okay so let's tie this together. I could do this easily with pictures, but that would mark this rant as Hormel potted lunch meat product.
So work with me here. Picture a romantic kiss between a man and a woman. That's a nice picture. Right?
Now, picture two gay men kissing just as passionately. Or two lesbian women. Not such a nice picture.
Here's why. I put myself in the pictures I see. Romantically kissing a woman is cool. Romantically kissing a hairless man/boyoogie.
I am putting myself in the picture. This is why advertisement works. This is why TV and movies work. This is why Pornography works. I put myself in the picture.
I don't like kissing boys. I like kissing girls. If I picture myself doing something I don't like, that feels "oogie"
Nowthat oogie feeling can be powerful. In many cases that feeling is how we might tell if something is wrong. If I picture myself killing a kitten, or stealing from orphans, that feels oogie, too.
Therefore, that oogie feeling can be a marker for right and wrong behaviors.
But not necessarilyIf I picture myself eating a pickle, I feel oogie, too. I just don't like pickles. Now picturing a hot fudge sundae, that's cool. Throw some pickles on top and I am back in the oogie zone.
The real marker for what's right and wrong is the question "Who gets hurt?"
Now there's another point to be taken into consideration. It's important. It's the ability to tell one thing from another.
When I see a picture of a Hot Fudge Sundaethat is cool. I picture myself eating a hot fudge sundae and I recall how good that HFS tastes.
I haven't actually touched a drop of hot fudge. The picture is not the deed. The mental image isn't the same as eating the stuff.
One thing. Another thing.
It's important to know that when I see a picture of two boys kissingI am not either one of those boys. I don't have to put myself in the picture.
When I see two boys walking down the street holding hands, obviously behaving romantically towards each otherI might picture them kissing or having sex and feel oogie. I wouldn't want to be there or do those things.
But I haven't. They didn't ask me, they didn't do anything to me. One thing, another thing.
That oogie feeling reflects what I would like to door would not like to do. My oogie feeling is about me, not them.
Their romantic feelings are about them. Not Me. I am not involved, present or affected.
Saying "Picturing Gay people kissing makes me feel oogie" is okay. All that means is that you're not gay. But that's a not a moral stance.
The difference is that when two gay men touch each other voluntarilyno one is getting hurt. Since there is no harm, there is no immoral act.
Gay men don't make me feel Oogie. I make me feel Oogie by putting myself in the picture. Therefore, no Gay people are responsible for my Oogie feelings. I am.
Many people mistake their own oogie feelings for moralityor some external principle.
This is responsible for a great deal of evil in the world.
Think about it. How many pieces of conventional morality boil down to "That makes me feel Oogie when I put myself in the picture"?
How many people are pointing their fingers and saying, "That's evil" when what they really mean is "That makes me feel oogie."
Tolerance means recognizing when an "oogie" feeling represents a personal preference, and then shutting up about it.
Or perhaps by asking the next question, "Why does this make me feel oogie? Why am I in this mental picture?"