The thing about the steady march of progress is it’s supposed to be — and let me spell this out now because we clearly have some important members of our society who have missed what I’m about to say — a steady march TO progress. Has everyone got that? We’re not marching to Minnesota, or to get a turkey sandwich or even to CVS. We’re marching TO progress.

What that logically implies — and again I invoke the need to appeal to the lowest common denominator — is that we are marching AWAY from regression.

Good, I think that’s set then. Regression is behind us and Progress is ahead of us.

Now, while we have to grant that I firmly stand on a platform of schoolgirls in tighter uniforms, even I have to step out on a limb and say that Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri is a fucking idiot. To see exactly why let’s just get the whole quote out there:

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”

I really do feel a strong need to dissect here, so bear with me. First we have to understand the various categories of rape, most of which are apparently pretty benign, but do culminate in “legitimate rape”. I’m going to apply my wholly unscientific thinking and say that means when a man forcibly enters coitus with a woman and ejaculates inside her vagina against her will, just a layman’s thinking on the matter really. Now, I know you’re not all doctors — neither am I nor Rep. Akin — but apparently when this happens a woman’s vagina will actually enact a defense mechanism (see Joseph Campbell on the Toothed Vagina, that’s a whole can of worms unto itself and I won’t open it here).

Ok, this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard and to be absolutely fair me sitting here and harping about it is like Bill Maher debating religion with truckers (I know you saw Religiulous), it’s not fair, he’s smarter than they are and you feel kind of dirty about it afterwards. But I actually do have something mildly important to say about it all and, in fact, its not the rape comment — or not just the rape comment; it’s not the claim that Reagonmics is gonna save us; it’s not “targeteted killings”; and it’s not even the idea that if we kindly sit back and just pray really hard about it the economy will get better and Taylor Swift will finally notice me. It’s a matter of provincialism.

Regressive provincialism in our society allows us to stay blind to so many of the truths which the march of progress is forcing on us and rarely has it been more evident than in our times. Gay people, for example, are only now being recognized as people because of this march: that took 6000 years of society and progress!

The problem, though, is that this provincialism is used actively by the antagonists of our species (yes, I am hereby squarely placing you in that category, Rep Akin) in order that these antagonists might achieve what they’ve always wanted: money and power. For example: A good friend pointed out to me recently that the problem is not religion, religion is often a good thing, except that it is often used to perpetuate racism. Racism is a bad thing. And this is a prime example of the use of provincialism against us: many billions of people all over the world are genuinely enlightened and uplifted by the good that religion does. But because many of these people have not come into contact with many people of other races the SAME religion can be used to teach them racism!

Akin’s ill-fated attack on abortion is another excellent example. That dumbass doesn’t give a fuck about any rapes or babies or anything, the only thing he cares about is staying in office and to do so he must strongly expound a pro-life stance. Now, I have heard excellent arguments for and against that stance but Akin made neither. He simply made a base, provincial attack against his own electorate, undermining their god-given right to reason because he has decided that he should stay in office.

I think we all have to be on our guard in these times, even and most especially with the beliefs that we hold dearest, to ensure that we do not regress the great work we have already done and continue to do. C’mon people, this civilization took 6000 years to build, let’s not fuck it up now!


About Ask Liesmith

All that is gold does not glitter. Not all those who wander are lost. The old that is strong does not wither. Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken. From the shadows a light shall spring. Renewed shall be blade that was broken. The crownless again shall be king. (---J.R.R. Tolkien)
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3 Responses to Provincialism

  1. Jeff says:

    I agree with everything you’re saying about Akin, but you don’t think society is f’ed up more now than ever?

    • Ask Liesmith says:

      To be sure, I think society is better but certainly not perfected. We can go back 70 years to the Holocaust — things were fucked up then. We can go back 150 or 160 years when most of the black people in this country were still slaves. We can go back to the Inquisition, to feudalism, to McCarthyism.

      I think what you’re referring to may be decadence, our society is certainly degenerating into decadence as do all great societies before they fall. In this case the decadence we see is one of our elected leaders abusing our social beliefs for personal power. Not to mention treating us like idiots.

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