January 22, 2007

"I aestheticized the sleaze right out of it."

Says Robinson Devor, director of "Zoo," a documentary about bestiality:
Not graphic in the least, this strange and strangely beautiful film combines audio interviews (two of the three men involved did not want to appear on camera) with elegiac visual re-creations intended to conjure up the mood and spirit of situations...

"A lot of people looked at me as if I was an exploitative person, dredging up something for profit, and that bothered me. I was certainly asked many times, often with a wrinkled brow, 'Why are you making this film?' It was something I did resent; I thought artists had the opportunity to explore anything."

In the end, Devor ended up agreeing with the Roman writer Terence, who said "I consider nothing human alien to me."
Would you go to see this? I must admit, I've already seen a movie about bestiality, but it was for laughing, not for marveling at strange beauty.

43 comments:

vbspurs said...

Maybe when you've been taken to a sex show in a tourist trap town where the third "scene" was a woman and a goat, you don't exactly care about bestiality documentaries. (Don't ask, it wasn't my idea)

Of course, in Norway 'animal sex tourism' is a booming business.

They even have animal bordellos, and animal sex tourist packages to Denmark!

(Gives a whole new meaning to Frequent Flyer Miles, huh?)

Turns out there is no law in Norway, banning animal bordellos. I presume there is one in the US...right?

Here is the Norwegian minister speaking of the topic.

Extract:

"He added that as long as the animal was sheltered, fed and cared for properly, there is nothing to prevent animal bordellos from existing in Norway.

"It could be that the animals don't really care," Knævelsrud said.

If a little fox is said to care whether a pack of hounds and aristocratic fiends in red coats are chasing after him, then I think it's safe to assume a chicken would mind if its tuchus was being penetrated, don't you think?"

I've also seen that Woody Allen movie, Ann, but don't recall any bestiality. Unless you mean the spider scene...(gulp).

Anyway, I've seen Salò: 120 Days of Sodom, and that'll have to do me.

Cheers,
Victoria

Ann Althouse said...

One of the segments in the movie is entirely about bestiality. Gene Wilder has an affair with sheep. I tried to find a photo of the sheep in a black garter belt or Wilder down and out after he loses his love. He's a bum on the street, drinking Woolite.

SteveR said...

Clap Clap Clap. Let's applaud the brave artist who strives on, in the face of prejudice and hostility, to show us the depths of humanity in a caring and sensetive way.

I call BS, is there any redeeming value in knowing any more about this? He was "bothered" by people questioning him, BS again, a perfect way to establish your bonafide as a heroic and sympathic person along with the movie's subjects.

Why not just call it: "Pride and Prejudice, How I Found Humanity at the Donkey Show"

JohnK said...

Is there anything that movie makers won't try to mainstream and explain? There is nothing interesting, compelling or illustrative about people abusing animals for their perverse pleasure. All it shows is the obvious fact that some people are really sick and twisted. Sometimes there is no deeper meaning and no reason to look beyond pure voyeurism. There are entire websites devoted to the fetish of eating other people's feces. Would that make a compelling movie? I don't think so. Sometimes things are what they are and there is no deeper meaning. Sometimes filth is just that; filth and nothing more. Why someone would want to waste two minutes much less two hours of their life examining this topic is beyond me.

That said, I am sure this movie will get lavished with critical praise. Movie critics will endorse anything no matter how vile as long as doing so sticks a finger in the eye of common morality and makes them look hip and cutting edge.

LoafingOaf said...

I wouldn't judge a movie I haven't seen. Though I won't be seeing this movie so I dunno, based on your article:

strangely beautiful film

A strangely beautiful film about bestiality? Would they make a strangely beautiful film about rapists? (Someone probably has, come to think of it....) Animal rapists can be strangely beautiful?
Only if a filmmaker goes out of his way to make them look that way, I'd guess.

elegiac visual re-creations intended to conjure up the mood and spirit of situations

Why would I wanna subject myself to something trying to put me in the mood of an animal rapist?

It's fine to make a documentary that looks at the psychology of the deranged people who rape animals. I'll leave it to their doctors at the mental hospitals to view the movie and gain insights into them, and whatever hipster audiences at Sundance wanna see just because it's a "taboo-breaking" movie. I've seen movies for that reason too, but I guess this subject matter is not for me.

the subsequent revelation of the existence of an Internet-based zoophile community (the men refer to themselves as "zoos," hence the title) was a shock

I love the way people act like they're "shocked" to find out there's communities of this sick stuff online, as if this is some new revelation. When I was a kid, venturing online for the first times, I went to a chat room about dogs, to talk about pet dogs. Turned out to be a room of supposedly lesbians (probably were men) talking about sex with dogs.

Hopefully it's mostly people who don't actually engage in it, but will this movie make them more likely to or less likely to? I'd like to know that, but I don't wanna see the movie.

LoafingOaf said...

BTW, Drudge knew how to spell "bestiality," unlike the headline writer for the Sun-Sentinel. Which probably only means that Drudge has read more porn mags. But why isn't it "beastiality"?

Mark the Pundit said...

Gene Wilder has an affair with sheep.

So is this a comedy or are they trying to be serious?

Elizabeth said...

I suppose this makes me a prudish feminist, but having sex with anyone or anything that can't explicitly consent to sex is rape. I can't see it any other way. And certainly, the bodies of small animals (and humans) aren't made to accomodate the sex organs of adult humans. Animals who are penetrated by human males can end up dead from massive internal organ damage. I'm missing the beauty in that image.

Kirk Parker said...

"I thought artists had the opportunity to explore anything"

Res ipse loquitur!

Palladian said...

"But why isn't it "beastiality"?"

Because the root is the Latin bestia, the same root that is the source of the word "beast". "Bestiality" keeps closer to the Latin, at least in the root word. "Bestiality" (until recent times) meant savage, animal-like behavior. The OED lists Chaucer's circa 1374 "Troylus" as the first occurrence of the word "bestiality (or "bestialitie", as Chaucer spells it) in English. Chaucer used it to mean stupid, brutal, animal-like. The "sex with animals" meaning of "bestiality" don't appear in English until the 1611 Bible (The King James Bible) according to the OED. Interestingly, the OED calls this definition of "bestiality" ("unnatural connexion with a beast") obsolete.

Al Maviva said...

"Hey, you're just a prude if you have problems with (bestiality) (cinematic depictions of child rape) (fill in the blank with the transgressed taboo of the day)."

Yeah, whatever. I'm getting really frikkin bored with this pathetic obsession with indecency. Really, my left liberal artsy-fartsy friends, wasn't de Sade paying a naked prostitute to stamp on a crucifix while he masturbated and then having anal sex or a threesome with her and another prostituate or a boy and then writing about it as transgressive as it gets? I mean, how do you top that for intentional immorality?

All the rest of this indecent garbage is pretty much derivative second rate crap. You want to cover yourself in chocolate and roll around naked on a stage with a snake in front of a live audience? Sorry, it's been done. We squares are not freaked out, except to the extent you want taxpayer money to fund things any reasonably well perverted 14 year-old boy could come up with. No, I'm not outraged by the gross indecency of the intentional effort to attack traditional morals. Most of my outrage is saved for the incredible mediocrity of this garbage, and the fact that we're supposed to collaborate with the artist and either "ooh, ahh" the "works" (pardon the expression) or we're supposed to show shock and horror at this amazing transgression of our square standards. "Joe Blow sleeps with the sheeps, on film." Oh yeah, great art work. Lovely. Hang on while I get the Comstocks out and we'll have a protest...

Please. I'm tired of it. You can go away now. The act is really, really old. It's like Rocky V, only worse. Want to generate true shock and outrage and really transgress? Become an observantr Catholic, or worse yet a fundamentalist protestant, and then start lecturing your artsy (ex-) friends on how immoral and lacking in skill their art is. That will provoke genuine outrage. Until then, just drop it.

As per usual with all absurd real life situations, the Onion sums it up best:

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28377

Velobiff said...

Are you out of your tiny mind? Christ on a crutch

Daryl Herbert said...

I suppose this makes me a prudish feminist, but having sex with anyone or anything that can't explicitly consent to sex is rape.

Under that definition, a cucumber could be a rape victim (and would have more credibility than a certain Duke-area stripper)

the bodies of small animals (and humans) aren't made to accomodate the sex organs of adult humans. Animals who are penetrated by human males can end up dead from massive internal organ damage.

Yes, sex with chickens destroys them, in a very painful way. That's the problem--it destroys them in a painful way. That there's a penis up inside them instead of a rubber truncheon (or a cucumber) is really not relevant.

And where that kind of damage is not present, it's not a valid objection. Just because sex with a chicken is intensely violent and cruel doesn't mean gentle sex with a horse is problematic.

As far as the inability to consent: dogs can make their wishes known. They can beg/plead for things (like going out for a walk) or try to avoid things (like going to the vet). It's very likely anyone who is having sex with their dog knows whether the dog wants it or not.

The main reason we want to protect children from adult-child sex is that it's always seriously psychologically damaging to the child. That just doesn't apply to dogs (maybe to puppies!)

It doesn't much make sense to criminalize non-abusive animal-human sex, at least for animals that we're allowed to slaughter and eat! We're worried about whether a cow can consent to being violated, but we don't worry about consent before we turn Elsie into a bunch of hamburgers. Given a choice, I think I know what the cow would prefer!

vbspurs said...

Yes, sex with chickens destroys them, in a very painful way. That's the problem--it destroys them in a painful way. That there's a penis up inside them instead of a rubber truncheon (or a cucumber) is really not relevant.

Jesus. This is too much reality on Althouse.

BTW, I asked this in my bordello piece, but where the HELL are PETA when you need them, eh?

Oh sure, stick tofu on Anna Wintour's mush as protest for Vogue's fur usage, but when a chicken is being raped by a human rubber truncheon, they're no where to be seen! Sexual diversity, dontchaknow!

Hypocrites.

Cheers,
Victoria

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

Reminds me of this

Seriously though, what is wrong with your head if you think this is beautiful in any way?

I'm under the impression that rape can occur when the party is unable to give consent, be that from intoxication, underage or inability to speak, you know as in being a F*cking animal!

If this is legal why isnt sex with the comatose? Why can't I go to Norway and open up a bordello with a bunch or Terry Schiavos?

I guess animal rights has run aground on the rocks of western secular freedoms for perverts.

Revenant said...

I suppose this makes me a prudish feminist, but having sex with anyone or anything that can't explicitly consent to sex is rape.

Which would mean that rape is the only form of sex animals ever have, since they cannot and do not explicitly consent to anything, ever. The only moral thing to do, therefore, is to make certain that male and female animals are prevented from ever coming into sexual contact with each other -- think of the hundreds of millions of innocent animal-women that will be saved from rape every year!

The same "no consent=rape" reasoning, of course, also makes the use of animals for farm labor "slavery" (they didn't consent to work) and the use of animals for food "murder" (they didn't consent to die). Basically, it is a position that only makes sense to a vegan PETA activist who views animals as furry humans.

Palladian said...

"It doesn't much make sense to criminalize non-abusive animal-human sex, at least for animals that we're allowed to slaughter and eat!"

Sure it does. It's extremely dangerous to human health for humans to copulate with different species. There is some speculation that HIV/AIDS "made the jump" from primates to humans because of some "contact" with primates, which may have been sexual.

Pogo said...

Elizabeth's definition has my vote. There is nothing 'non-abusive' about sex with an animal. Treating animals as things to do with as you please, like so many blocks of wood, weakens the prohibition to mistreatment of humans.

Necrophilia, pederasty, and other acts were called abominations because they indulge human appetite to a destructive degree. There is nothing good about this at all. And yes, it is far worse than killing animals for food.

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

It's very likely anyone who is having sex with their dog knows whether the dog wants it or not.

As anyone whose sat through a standard fortune 500 sexual harrasment class will tell you, not fighing back is not the same thing as consenting.

To summarize Daryl:

We kill cattle for food because they taste good and don't understand what's a happening to them. So anything less than death must be acceptable.

So let's have sex with the comatose. It feels good and they don't understand what's happening to them. Plus we already kill them so I'm sure given the choice they would prefer to be sex objects rather than dead.

Am I missing anything?

Elizabeth said...

Pogo,

How's it going, you fuzzy little vegan PETA freak!

Daryl Herbert said...

Am I missing anything?

Yes. People aren't animals.

Why is it the people who call for "moral clarity" now want to blur distinctions between humans and non-humans?

As anyone whose sat through a standard fortune 500 sexual harrasment class will tell you, not fighing back is not the same thing as consenting.

As I said before, we can often tell the difference between "fighting back" and when a dog acts as though it wants to enjoy sexual congress with a person.

If I was a dog, and someone was giving me oral sex, I would find a way to make my consent known. Probably like three times a day. It would be like "hey, take me for a walk"--which a lot of dogs do.

As Ron White said about refusing to give his dog a handjob (perfectly platonic, to collect a sample for medical reasons) "he follows me around enough as it is"

Revenant said...

It's extremely dangerous to human health for humans to copulate with different species.

You are much more likely to contract a disease from eating something than you are from having sex with it, so no -- that isn't a sensible rationale for it being legal to eat a cow but illegal to boink it. Particularly given that we aren't even legally obligated to *cook* the cow meat before we eat it -- and consumption of raw infected flesh and blood spreads disease far, far more easily than mere sex does.

There is some speculation that HIV/AIDS "made the jump" from primates to humans because of some "contact" with primates, which may have been sexual

The idea that it may have been sexual comes from people with dirty minds. Both monkeys and chimpanzees are hunted for meat in Africa -- consumption of infected blood is the probable method of transmission.

Revenant said...

Elizabeth's definition has my vote. There is nothing 'non-abusive' about sex with an animal.

This person has never owned a male dog.

The very notion that a male dog, which will cheerfully hump just about everything it can even if you'd rather it didn't, is suffering "abuse" in the case where the thing it is humping is the genitalia of a willing human rather than the leg of an unwilling one, is patently ridiculous.

You could argue that sex with a female animal, or anal sex with a male animal, is abusive (although, as I noted earlier, this means that it is abusive to let another animal have sex with them, too). But the idea that letting a male animal stick its penis in something and thrust to completion "abuses" the animal inspires nothing but laughter in those who've actually owned male animals. The trick is getting them NOT to screw things.

Anonymous said...

I was once asked to investigate the discovery of some Internet porn discovered in a workplace, under that company's disciplinary code.

The Police were able to confirm, thankfully, that no child pornography had been accessed, but it was discovered that some of the videos were of dogs having sex with women.

This led to some lively debate about what any woman would be doing having canine sex, even for presumably a fair amount of cash.

One colleague felt moved to ask whether perhaps this was all just simulated, until it was pointed out that dogs can't act, they just do it.

Then there was the question of whether any offence against the animal had been committed. Precise judicial ruling not being required to sack the offender we never sought to find the answer.

The reasoned vox populi view though was that a male dog penetrating a human female was unlikely to be an offence; whereas had it been a male human penetrating a female dog, then most certainly it would have been.

This was largely on the somewhat uncertain basis of 'consent' - though granted that the tranferability of even the concept in general, let alone the determination in particular, from human to animal was at best dubious.

Haven't thought about the case much since it was closed, but now the subject has come up and as this is a gathering hosted by a sharp legal mind - and no doubt frequented by similar others - I'd be interested in any lawyer's comment on the matter.

Fatmouse said...

You people talking about consent are forgetting the fact that the guy whose real-life story this is based on was a catcher, not a pitcher.

With a horse.

I've seen, thanks to the internet, a video of this guy in action. About 1/2 a second after seeing something the size of Hulk Hogan's arm rammed violently into his backside, you have to wonder at what point he thought, "hey, this is a smart idea!"

Anonymous said...

I watch a lot of very odd movies. I often enjoy very odd movies. But this movie? No thank you. I've never thought that aestheticizing the sleaze out of sleaze was a worthwhile endeavour.

However, I do see potential for a great deal of unintentional humor in this movie. Can you imagine a bunch of romantic shots of a man petting a horse while a voiceover talks about the man being in love with the horse or desiring the horse or some such nonsense? That could really be hilarious.

vnjagvet said...

I suspect that scientific testing, conducted properly, will eventually uncover valid human behavioral reasons for many hitherto uncontestible taboos such as the ones against incest and bestiality.

Daryl Herbert said...

vnjagvet, the valid, objective reasons against incest are already known.

First is the association between incest and child molestation. It's obviously possible to have an incestuous relationship between consenting adults, but it seems like there's a serious correlation between men who have incestuous sex and men who molest children. For instance, if I found out that some married couple with kids was actually a brother and sister, my first instinct would be to fear that the children were being molested (if he wants to screw his sister, why not his daughters, too? What could be stopping him?).

Incest also greatly increases the chances of genetic abnormalities in children (2 copies of the same bad recessive gene are much, much, much more likely if the two parents share so much DNA to begin with, because they have the same problematic recessive genes).

Primitive people were really, really creeped out by birth defects (as we are today). So associating birth defects with incest would cause that to become a taboo--if that taboo is not already hard-wired into our systems via evolution. Evolution would favor creatures who abhor incest because it leads to weaker children. Which is why even in the animal kingdom, most species will avoid sex with relatives (others, like Bonobos, don't give a damn, and incest is common). In fact, humans might be the only species "smart" enough to overcome otherwise hardwired taboos.

With modern DNA technology, we can screen out problem children (abort them) and possibly in the future even repair genetic problems. For now, people can simply use contraception to avoid pregnancy (a "responsible" incest practitioner might get pregnant via a sperm bank, and raise that child with her brother-husband).

The fact that we can work around many of the downsides to incest doesn't necessarily mean we should legalize it (just like the fact that bestiality doesn't cause too many problems doesn't necessarily mean we should legalize that). In fact, as libertarian as I am, I still want anti-incest laws in place.

As far as taboos against bestiality, it doesn't seem like there's as much legitimate reason--either historically or reasons that are still relevant today--to ban it. It may have been a threat to the social order (why bother getting married if you can get a goat? Or maybe having frustrated males around is somehow important to the social order) but that can't be true today when everyone's allowed to do their own thing sexually.

I don't think we're going to find objective reasons to criminalize bestiality, whereas with incest, the psychological angle (only creepy people do it and they're probably inflicting psychological harm on themselves and their sex partners if not outright raping them) will provide objective reasons to oppose it in all circumstances, even well into the future. Even for libertarians who want to legalize all sorts of things.

Pogo said...

I blame Foucault, Rousseau, and the postmodernists, post-structuralists, and post toasties

Pogo said...

I agree with vnjagvet.
The thoughtless rejection of taboos will ultimately prove destructive.

And P.S. I have had dogs and cats. This is abuse not because the animal feels bad or that such acts are against its nature, but because it debases humans.

LoafingOaf said...

It's very likely anyone who is having sex with their dog knows whether the dog wants it or not.

Are you mentally ill? You think a dog-owner might know that his/her dog wants to be effed by a human? I feel safe in saying that no dog wants it.

The main reason we want to protect children from adult-child sex is that it's always seriously psychologically damaging to the child. That just doesn't apply to dogs (maybe to puppies!)

How do you know it's not psychologically damaging to a dog? Dog's are very sensitive and intelligent and my guess is you definitely would be damaging a dog psycholically if you raped the dog. Dogs get very damaged by abuse, and that is abuse.

It doesn't much make sense to criminalize non-abusive animal-human sex,

I reject the notion that there is such a thing as "non-abusive" animal-human sex. Well, the only animals I've ever heard of that sometimes wanna have sex with people are dolhpins, but I don't wanna know about that.

We're worried about whether a cow can consent to being violated, but we don't worry about consent before we turn Elsie into a bunch of hamburgers. Given a choice, I think I know what the cow would prefer!

Do you think you know? Cows are actually very dependant upon humans and would go extict without us. Over the ages they developed certain animals developed a symbiotic relationship with humans, which benefitted both humans and cows, or, for another example, chickens. Cows and chickens and certain other species did better with a relationship with humans than without it. For example, a chicken's fate would be to get killed and eaten by a weasel, or with a human to live a better life and have a somewhat lss harsh fate.

What has perverted everything is the meat industry with their factory farms, where they engage in extreme abuse which I'd agree is worse than being effed by a human. But that doesn't mean people should be more tolerant of additional forms of animal abuse.
I don't think animals should be abused at all! And if a cow really had a choice, I think they'd prefer being treated decently by humans in exchance for their milk and even meat than being outrageously abused, whether that be from factory farms or from bestiality freakos.

Revenant said...

The thoughtless rejection of taboos will ultimately prove destructive.

Heh. People have put forth numerous thoughtful reasons why laws against bestiality make no sense. You're the one offering a thoughtless "it should be illegal, and no I can't give a good reason why" in response. You've offered disease (makes no sense -- eating animals is riskier) and abuse (makes no sense with male animal/female human sex), and now retreated to blind adherence to tradition.

You should seriously entertain the notion that if you can't think of a rational reason why something is wrong, maybe it isn't.

This is abuse not because the animal feels bad or that such acts are against its nature, but because it debases humans.

What debases humans is forcing them to adhere to a code of behavior you can't justify obedience to. Liberty is not debasing.

vnjagvet said...

Daryl:

I respectfully disagree with you regarding bestiality. Pogo succinctly states why. It is debasing to humans. Aside from hygeine, I suspect there is some reason that most human societies have made the practice either taboo or criminal. The former is enforced by extreme social ostracism; the latter, of course, by punishment.

But even those escaping ostracism or punishment, will, if subjected to psychological testing, be found not to be feeling particularly healthy in mind or soul when they are indulging in this practice, but rather will be found suffering from deep seated self-loathing and remorse.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Why is it that when people have sex with our animal friends it is always with horses or goats or dogs? Why not rhinos or wolvervines or pirahna? That would be hot!

Let me tell you about giraffes. Not as hot as you might imagine.

Contrary to my Wikipedia entry, I have never had sex with a platypus. Why not? Because I am a racist.

Daryl Herbert said...

This is abuse not because the animal feels bad or that such acts are against its nature, but because it debases humans.

Animals are being "abuse[d]" because you don't like what happens to humans? I thought leftists were the ones who twisted the definitions of words to serve their own ends (and undermine any clear sense of values)

And why are you basing objection to bestiality on the same grounds as traditionalists have objected to homosexuality? We've heard these arguments before--the importance of tradition and that gays are debasing each other and that's why it should be illegal.

Pogo said...

Re: "retreated to blind adherence to tradition.
...you can't think of a rational reason why something is wrong, maybe it isn't.
...Liberty is not debasing"


Revenant, you place too much blind faith in the supposedly 'rational' side of man. You think sex with animals is a rational choice? You think men who choose a sex act with an animal that kills him is using his powers of reasoning? Feh. Ambrose Bierce's dictionary was meant as farce, sir.

Such behavior is guided solely by sexual appetite, and an unlovely one at that. Rational thought is useless in divining anything of beauty, love, hatred, joy, loyalty, or any other emotion. So tying this to The Enlightenment is bordering on satire.

Tradition is not blind, but the cumulative wisdom of society passed down in the guise of rules of behavior. A code that has existed for tens of thousands of years has the presumption of truth, and pretenders to the throne need to prove otherwise. How many times must a people be told this oven is hot before they believe? Tradition accomplishes this quickly, without each generation having to relearn each lesson anew.

Because it rejects wisdom in the guise of thought, eschewing tradition qua tradiition is therefore highly irrational. And liberty is not the same as libertinism or a justification for licentiousness.

Joe Baby said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Revenant said...

if subjected to psychological testing, be found not to be feeling particularly healthy in mind or soul when they are indulging in this practice, but rather will be found suffering from deep seated self-loathing and remorse.

So you're telepathic now?

Just because you would be filled with self-loathing and remorse if you did it doesn't mean other people necessarily are. I'd be filled with self-loathing and remorse if I let another man have sex with me, because I find the idea to be utterly revolting. It doesn't follow that *gay* men must be filled with self-loathing and remore.

Mind you, I've no doubt that many of the people who practice zoophilia are action-packed with issues. But that's to be expected of any illegal activity, since the possibility of jail time makes rational people less likely to do something. It doesn't follow that they'd continue avoiding it if it wasn't illegal. During Prohibition a much higher percentage of drinkers were alcoholics or mentally ill people than are now, simply because people who didn't have a *need* for a drink were discouraged from having one by the prospect of being fined or jailed.

Revenant said...

Revenant, you place too much blind faith in the supposedly 'rational' side of man

The rational side of man produced the constitutional republic you live under, the food and medicine that keeps you alive, the car you drove to work this morning, the clothing you wear, and the computer you're using to complain about me.

Blind faith? Hardly. I believe in reason because reason works. The "its right or wrong because I just know its right or wrong and I can't explain why" technique does not work, save for the occasional lucky break.

I would further observe that if you are not willing to use reason in debate, you are left with nothing more than the "nuh uh!/yeah huh!" form of argument most of us *tried* to leave behind us in childhood.

You think sex with animals is a rational choice?

What's irrational about it?

You think men who choose a sex act with an animal that kills him is using his powers of reasoning?

I have no idea if the man in question knew he was going to die, or even knew there was a risk of death. But even if he did, pointing to an irrational zoophiliac does no more to establish that zoophilia is inherently irrational than the Catholic Church sex scandals do to establish that Christians are inherently pedophiles.

Such behavior is guided solely by sexual appetite, and an unlovely one at that

It is guided by the desire to sate the sexual appetite, sure. Your belief that wanting to satisfy your sexual appetites is "irrational" says more about you than it does about sex, though.

Rational thought is useless in divining anything of beauty, love, hatred, joy, loyalty, or any other emotion

I have no idea how to respond to such shockingly diseased thinking, so I guess I'll end here.

Pogo said...

If striving to sate your sexual drive is evidence of rational thought, my dog is Isaac Newton and my cat is David Hume.

Dorothy Parker didn't say "Don't let that little frankfurter tell you what to do" because she was being irrational, but instead she knew that thinking with one's genitals is instinctual, and therefore irrational, and tends to get one in trouble if listened to with any regularity.

Pogo said...

Re; "such shockingly diseased thinking"

Goat sex you find rational, but a calm discussion about the nature of thought and beauty is "shockingly diseased".

You're a funny guy, Revenant, I'll give you that.

Revenant said...

If striving to sate your sexual drive is evidence of rational thought, my dog is Isaac Newton and my cat is David Hume.

So far as I can tell, you seem to be arguing that if an animal does something for reasons that are not rational, then a human who does something similar cannot be doing it for rational reasons. But that's obviously false, since there are all manner of animal behaviors which are based in instinct in animals, but on reason in humans (e.g. storing food for the winter during the warmer months).

Personally, when I see a dog waiting in line with me at the drugstore to buy some doggie condoms so he doesn't knock up the bitch next door and thus prevent her from being receptive to sex for a long time to come, I'll believe the dog's actually applying some thought to the sex thing. But personally, anyone who's ever been to a sex shop and seen the really quite remarkable ways that people have thought up to satisfy the sex drive has to concede that this is definitely an area in which the full force of human intellect has been brought to bear.

a calm discussion about the nature of thought and beauty is "shockingly diseased".

When you have a thoughtful discussion with anyone about anything at all, Pogo, drop me a line; I'm always in the mood to see something new and different.

In any case, what I find diseased about your thought processes is that, like a battered wife who cries that the man who beats her bloody every week really does love her and just can't help himself, you think that reason has no place in matters of love and hate. You're either too ignorant of your own thought processes to realize that you do, in fact, apply reason to matters of emotion on a daily basis -- or you honestly don't apply reason to matters of emotion, in which case you're suffering from severe mental illness.

In neither case is there any point in my reasoning with a man who applies reason only when it suits him, and relies on mindless faith otherwise.

Pogo said...

Re: "you think that reason has no place in matters of love and hate"
Now you're moving the goalposts. No one argues that reason cannot be 'applied to' emotions; you're waffling here. Sex is instinctual; stuck forever in the limbic system. While reasoning can be applied to sating that drive, it remains fundamentally irrational. Daniel Goleman has discussed the concept of 'Amygdala Hijackings', where emotion not only trumps reason, but makes you use reasoning to support an irrational end. (Think Bill Clinton and his dalliances.)

Re: "When you have a thoughtful discussion with anyone about anything at all, Pogo, drop me a line"
I thought that's what was taking place. Apparently you have something else in mind, and I suspect it involves simple acquiescence. And why you find the need to insult me here I find puzzling. You're obviously a smart guy. Why resort to this when being collegially challenged?