Saturday, April 24, 2004

So now that I'm back, let's talk about a few things. We'll start with gay marriage. (Why not?)

I'd like, before I go any further, to direct you to my prior words on the subject here. And note a few changes since then. Most of them center around my naivete.

Three weeks after I wrote that, I had a discussion with a senior associate at my firm. Nice guy; if not brilliant (and he probably is), very close; thoughtful; and gay. I mention the last because he told me, in no uncertain terms:

(1) I'm not merely a bigot, but a monster, for trying to stop the legalization of gay marriage.

(2) This is not something that can be debated among rational people. I'm simply evil.

(3) My "noble, but meaningless" belief that "the law matters -- if you strip aside all the trees of the law, you'll have nowhere to hide when Satan comes looking" and my antiquated belief in a separation of powers are either dodges (at best), or more likely naive maliciousness (he explained how that's not oxymoronic; it made sense at the time). And:

(4) No weapon was beyond reach to make gay marriage a reality. The explicit comparison to Jim Crow -- from a man making six figures, with the respect and esteem of not only his immediate colleagues (including myself), but of the profession, who was never, you know, forced to sit at a different lunch counter, or drink from a rusty old water fountain while others were allowed to drink from the clean one -- was breathtaking in its force, conviction, and, let us not forget, absurdity.


I am now wholly in favor of the most restrictive possible Constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage imaginable and politically workable. If it must allow civil unions, so be it; I'd rather it forbade the whole slate. Screw federalism.

I say this because I now understand that I've been thrust into a war for which I did not ask; in which I never expected to be; against enemies whom I had never thought of as enemies, who in turn view this entire conflict as Manichaean in nature, who have absolute conviction behind them; and over an institution at the very base of society, the existence and nature of which no one would have thought to question with any seriousness for centuries. If a man who I would otherwise have thought thoughtful and moderate is actually a raging demon where this is concerned, I can only imagine what the activists preparing papers are like.

Norman Podhoretz once said something to the effect that in a contest between two sides, when one has unlimited aims, and the other has limited aims, the side with the boundless goals wins by definition every time. I therefore adopt a boundless goal: The complete denial of gay marriage throughout this country and, if I have my way, every other country in the world. (Except Europe: They're dying anyway. I don't want to waste the time on them.)

I'd also like to make a rather straightforward point. Conservatism is not an ideology; it's an inclination. It's the subtle but unmistakable certainty that changing things, while sometimes necessary and good, is almost always bad. Not to go all Andrew Sullivan and start casting my ideological opponents into the outer darkness, but you cannot be a conservative and advocate gay marriage, unless you believe that the harm society as a whole experiences is akin to the effects of slavery or Jim Crow. It's precisely that simple. To be in favor of overturning countless years of inherited wisdom and tradition based on a fifteen year old political movement, with spurious claims to victimhood and suffering, is not to be a conservative; it is to be an unapologetic radical.

Just so we're on the same page.
I'm aware that it's been about four months since I posted regularly. I probably owe all of my (two) regular readers an explanation; you'll just have to accept an apology. Life got hectic for a while. No catastrophes, no disasters, no emergencies (well, two, but they were small).

So: My apologies. It'll happen again, kinda. See below.

Anyway, here's the deal.

I'll be posting again, regularly. But probably not here, precisely.

I've spent the odd moment at five in the morning (while shaving, which wasn't the best idea ever) thinking about where to go from here. I have to maintain my anonymity, because lawyers are probably the most closed-minded people outside of a university campus, and let's just say my political beliefs don't line up well with most of the profession. (I had an opposing counsel recently tell me, offhandedly, that conservatism by nature of the tendency itself means that one is predisposed to bringing back chattel slavery. Seriously.)

Blogger has been pretty well ideal, and since June 2003, I haven't really had any problems with it. But Ben let me take Movable Type for a spin, and it was... well, you can't go back after that. And I'd like to upload pictures, and silly things like that. And have my own disk space.

On the other hand, while I'm not precisely a cheap S.O.B., I'm also loathe to spend money on server space. Well, not precisely -- more accurately, I'm loathe to spend money on server space and a domain name that could be fairly easily used to track back and find out more about me, and therefore disqualify me from future employment. (Brief caveat for those who know me: I really like my job. A lot. But I don't count on anything any more.) If you know my (Dungeons and Dragons reference) true name, you can find a lot of garbage I've already put out, that made its way net-wise, deliberately or otherwise. I'd rather not add to that stockpile.

But a personalized page would be sweet.

Anyway, long and short of it is, I'll probably post here a little longer, then get around to a new site. Probably.

I've also been invited to take part in something bigger. Cooler. Faster... well, you get the idea. I'd rather devote most of my blogging time to that, for a host of personal and political reasons. I'll provide a link, once it's operational.

Anyway, short of it is, hiatus is over. Let's rock.