Thursday, June 17, 2010

Subjective Reality - On the March!

Reading the paper today, I was twice (that's right - twice!) reminded that this world has a serious problem with the notion of subjective reality. Things like facts and evidence are given equal time, or sometimes even a back seat, to gut feelings.

The first article was about the current Prop 8 trial in California. I've been following this story, and a friend of mine has been writing about it for SF Public Press. It's a pretty interesting process from what I'm reading, and the judge is asking a lot of tough questions from both sides. (Of course, if he rules against Prop 8, conservatives will call him an "activist judge" and not allow room for any further debate beyond that particular ridiculous talking point.) As I was reading the latest article on the story, I was struck by one thing in particular. Apparently one of the defense's main arguments was that upholding Prop 8 (which means that dudes can't marry dudes and chicks can't marry chicks) was "fundamental to the survival of the human race".

Okay, hold on...I'm building to a point here, but I just can't let that go. Fundamental to the survival of the human race? Are these people REALLY that stupid? (Yes, they are.) Men are no longer going to want to have sex with women if gay people can get married? Maybe they have a point. I know that for the few months there when gay marriage was legal, I was thinking about leaving my wife and seeking out a Brad Pitt-type man to be with. (The man is handsome; you have to give me that.) Once it was illegal again, I found my wife attractive once more. And guess what? We're due to have a child! These people just might be on to something. I will tell my son, once he's old enough to understand, that he owes his very existence to Californians making sure that homos can't marry.

Sorry for the digression there. Anyway, the judge asked the defense why they only called up one witness - and a pretty lame-ass one at that. (I might be paraphrasing a bit here.) When asked what testimony was given to prove this assertion about the survival of the human race being at stake, attorney Charles Cooper responded by saying, "You don't have to have evidence of this."

Once more for dramatic effect: "You don't have to have evidence of this."

That's an argument. That's what somebody said. No, not somebody. An attorney. In court. That was an argument. Maybe there's more to this quote. Maybe the full response was: "You don't have to have evidence of this, because it's such a bat-crap crazy idea that there is no way to actually get any for it. But doesn't it just feel right?"

An hour later, when I woke up from having passed out from the stupidity-induced coma that I went into as a result of reading that, I came across another interesting little news item. Apparently, Obama and BP conspired to create the current oil spill disaster. Who do we have to thank for this bit of information? Bill Randall, a congressional GOP candidate in North Carolina, is the man to thank for telling the world.

You'll never believe his evidence. Hold on, I need to look it up.

Here it is: He feels that there is a possibility. He feels it. Well, hey, there ya go! Who needs evidence when you've got a feeling! You'll also never believe this. The man is associated with the Tea Party. Well, those folks have demonstrated that they only subscribe to the most rigorously tested and scrutinized theories, so that gives him even more credence if you ask me.

Ugh. This is the problem, folks. This is why former Playboy models are given the same amount of authority as scientists. This is why there are "science museums" that show Adam and Eve playing with velociraptors. This is why even though the glaciers are melting, Global Warming is simply a hoax. (After all, we have a few out-of-context quotes from some emails! That debunks the whole thing! So what the data still shows that the average global temperatures - including the ocean temperatures - are rising?)

I was going to try and make the point that Charles Cooper and Bill Randall have fecal matter in their craniums. However, I actually have evidence to back up that assertion. (What else can explain the stupid stuff they say?) However, it's pretty obvious that evidence no longer has a place in the realm of public discourse.

(Oh, and what does the image have to do with this blog entry? I did a Google image search for Bill Randall. Some images of an African American man came up. This image came up as well. I feel as though this is a picture of the congressional hopeful.)

1 comment:

Kristine Magnuson said...

Thanks for the nod in my direction. True quote, since I was there in the second overflow courtroom myself, that Cooper twice said(regardless of what the pronouns or prepositions were) something like Your Honor, we don't need to show evidence or We don't need to have evidence.

He was trying to say the full burden of proof was on the other side as plaintiffs.

I'll post a link to the transcript when my story goes up today or tomorrow so we can all see what the exact words were, minus some um...ums.

You really had to be there. This whole trial, you just had to be there. The transcripts are great, but they just don't capture the pacing of authority or of stumbling. The overly-long pauses, the looks on the defense counsel's faces, the frequent hilarity in the courtroom, and the judge's decorum, tact, generosity, patience, and focus.

America should have seen this trial firsthand. Neither side should object to that, right?

Look forward to an interview Monica Jensen filmed of me interviewing John Ireland and John Ainsworth, directors of the only full set of trial reenactments from start to finsih, which can be viewed at

Again, thanks for sending traffic our way to SF Public Press!

I had a great time reading your blog since you never mince words, (and you have the most natural-sounding voice, which is why you can get away with being equally sarcastic and hilarious). I guess all our creative writing classes must've counted fer somethin' after all.