July 2024

A Personal Note On Pride Month

While the holy month of Pride was upon us, I thought often of the ancient Dance of Death. Through the 1990s, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, a parade saluting sexual behaviors that shortened lives struck me as a celebration against itself—an inverted Danse Macabre. What once had been cautionary and didactic was  becoming exhortative. The parade was encouraging if not, in a perverse way, edifying. A certain kind of free spiritedness, however lethal, was assumed to be tinged with heroism. Continue Reading
Pope Francis, The FCC, And Gender Ideololgy

Pope Francis’ coy two-step on sexual mores hangs over Catholic culture like the sword of Damocles. Papal ambiguity weakens the Catholic Radio Association’s current effort to resist newly mandated reporting rules about workforce diversity. Driving the rules is an ideological ambition to demolish the scaffolding of traditional behavioral norms regarding sex. Specifically at issue is the “nonbinary” classification. In February, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reinstated a dormant requirement that radio stations must file Form 395-B. The document requires radio stations and their affiliates to list the race and “gender” of their employees. Continue Reading
Seeing Things: Female Impersonation from Cabaret to Identity

So far as seeing things is an art, it is the art of keeping your eyes and ears open. (John Borroughs, 1908) You really can tell some things just by looking. It cannot be said too often: the eye is an organ of the brain. It has its own way of knowing. When it looks, for instance, at the grotesque Admiral Rachel (né Richard) Levine, or Sam Brinton, the non-binary former Biden appointee to the Department of Nuclear Energy, it discerns the gulf between sanity and a simulacrum of it. Continue Reading