Thanks to a good chunk of my Facebook friendslist, I came face-to-face with the latest meme virus to infect the social conscience.
Hear those squeaky wheels, lushes and reprobates? That’s the sound of the latest bandwagon rolling into town. Its name: “marriage equality”.
Not that I’m bothered by queerfolk gaining the freedom to indulge in the socially endorsed BDSM ritual known as marriage. Actually, I lie: ideally, I’d love for the state to get ‘n’ stay the fuck out of the marriage biz (amongst other things), leaving folk – queer, straight, bi, poly, siblings – to sort out their own bondage arrangements. I have some sympathy for those who see “marriage equality” as a potential Trojan Horse for future state encroachments; and, of course, I completely sympathise with those who resent their peaceful, private affairs being subject to public and political approval. Nevertheless, seeing as the state won’t vanish anytime soon, I’m all for homogamous unions getting isonomy in the meantime. As long as the Anglosphere doesn’t go down the Denmark route of forcing churches to conduct said unions (a reason for the religious to support church-state separation, if ever there was one), it’s all good.
None of that, however, excuses the clone army mentality across the social networks over the past few days. Driven by an evangelical fervour matching that of their Bible-thumping, Prop 8-supporting counterparts, many of the pro-“equality” folk dispense with all nuance, mischaracterizing sections of their opposition as driven by “hate” (as opposed to rigid traditionalism and/or religious piety) in order to pass as shining heroes. (Incidentally, many of those assimilated into the equality Borg displayed the same erasure of personal identity a few years back in the name of atheism – onward, anti-Christian soldiers!)
As well as the abject demonization of the opposition in the name of “tolerance”, the fundamentalists employ a marked bifurcation in an attempt to increase their numbers, upbraiding those in agreement with their goal who fail to break out in Borgasm.
Wanting to bind all into one uniform bundle? I suppose that fits the criterion for equality – and faggotry of an altogether different kind.
In many ways, this outbreak of point-and-click crusaderism shares many a hallmark with the Kony campaign that infested the Net this time last year. We have the zealous emotionalists, all too ready to submerge themselves in some Good Cause™; said zealots mirroring some of the worst traits of those they claim to oppose; the need to pin a Good Guy Badge to one’s proverbial lapel in a show of sanctity; the berating of the less impressionable as unenthusiastic do-nothings…
…and, of course, the delusion that a few clicks ‘n’ shares on a social network will somehow “make history”.
Makes me wonder when and what the next contagion will be. I, for one, hope (against hope) for a mass inoculation before that time.
Just don’t expect me to make a fucking meme of it.
UPDATE (3/4/13): Check out Jay Michaelson’s piece addressing the inconvenient truth behind “traditional marriage”.