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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

 

Silo Rains on Penguin Pride Parade

Silo and Roy have split up. After 6 years of same sex relationship bliss, Silo has become ex-gay. Reached for comment earlier today, Silo insistes he was not pressured into his new identity. He denies rumors that he has been hired by Focus on the Family to begin a zoo ministry among gay penguins. No word on custody arrangements for their adopted daughter Tango. Silo's ex, Roy, has refused all requests for interviews. Reportedly, he is considering a request from Vanity Fair for an exclusive story. Stay tuned...

Comments:
I may not agree all the time with your posts, but this kind of humor is something I certainly admire and respect. We all need to laugh a little bit, the world is bitter enough. Thank you for your sense of humor!
 
Nice op-ed.

I'm guessing those who would use the story of the two "gay" penguins to poke fun at ex-gays are now eating their words.

Unless they make the predictable argument that the penguins were bisexual/straight to begin with, but were only confused.

If anybody says that, I think I'd cough up my lungs from laughter.
 
Yep, ex-gay penguins. Although we have to wait and see if Silo "backslides" and hooks up with another male penguin. If he finds another female to mate with later on, does that make him an adulterer? Or maybe the NY Times will photograph him slipping into a seedy penguin bar to 'use the bathroom.'

All jokes aside, I expected more press on Silo once Andrew Sullivan pointed out his 'switching teams' a week or so ago.

And on a more serious note, I agree with you nearly fully! Others have echoed your points (see my post below, and Positive Liberty as well)
http://arbitrarymarks.blogspot.com/
2005/09/penguin-love.html

http://positiveliberty.com/2005/09/
pope-property-and-penguins-scattered
-thoughts.html#more-745

Penguins, and others in the animal kingdom, lack the ability to form conceptual identies of themselves and externalize & reshape their innate instincts through the use of language. That is a key difference, one that should not be forgotten. As much as biology, from fruit flies up through penguines and chimps, will give us glimpses into how humanity's DNA and building blocks may function, it cannot ever answer the more existential questions.

That is something that the more thoughtful on both sides should agree on.

In the meantime, what about LIA/R being shut down? They don't work with penguins there...
 
Thanks all.

Oh be prepared to lose those lungs, Ali.

CK - I will be posting about LIA soon. I want to get some more information first. Critics need to note the reason for the threatened closure: treating mental illness. This apparently has nothing to do with the ideological issues and everything to do with regulation of residential activities. If staff are giving out meds with no medical or nursing oversight then I think they could fix that pretty quickly. Let's see what the nature of the state complaint is...
 
Oh well, I guess Silo can now make a cringe inducing appearance on Howard Stern (what the heck was Cohen thinking???)

It's a little difficult to comment on the activities of all those unidentified Gay Activists(c) in your op-ed, but I understand Roy and Silo had miserable childhoods and never "gender identified in a proper way". That was told to me as scientific fact by an unidentified reorientation therapist, by the way.

They have been attempting to get Roy to take up an interest in football to fix that gender identity problem, but so far he's still just flapping around in a very gay way.

If he doesn't stop this ho-mo-SEX-yoo-alty soon they're going to ship him off to an unlicensed, illegal ex-gay residential unit for 2 months (one where both A&F underwear and/or fish are banned, if you get my drift...).

And an unidentified NARTH person has told me that the chick raised by Roy and Silo is "undoubtably going to turn out to be a lesbian". I wasn't at all surprised to find out that Tango knows nothing about hair and makeup, or needlework, or cooking or any other the other womanly virtues she missed being raised in a deprived one-sex household.

Anyway...

One thing is curious -- your op-ed basically claims we cannot deduce human sexuality from animals but you also confidently claim that those two penguins prove that "sexuality in animals is flexible, context driven and influenced by factors we do not fully understand."

Surely it's one or the other? And that seems a "big call" based on the antics of one bird.

As to why conservative Christians are holding up Emperor penguins as paragons of sexual virtue -- apart from them doing what you said we should not, they quite obviously know nothing about the real sex lives of the little guys. A new mate every year, 10% of chicks raised by fathers who genetically aren't the father...

Hmm, which came first... depraved Hollywood or that plainly of-the-devil South Pole?
 
Warren -- probably a good decision to not comment on LIA. Or rather, stop commenting on LIA.

(I know you hate when we're about to do this, but...)

You said LIA was involved in therapy on 1 July (and said they should not be).

Then you said LIA wasn't involved in therapy on 28 July. I guess some other info must have come to you in the 4 weeks prior.

LIA said they were, and getting insurance co's to pay for it. Given they appear to be boasting about their therapy (and the $), one wonders why all the sudden changes in their promo materials and website over the past 2 months.

And finally, the latest update from someone who has prob. been the most accurate reporter in the whole affair.

Still waiting to hear a peep out of Exodus who oversee the whole sheebang...
 
I'm actually waiting for Exodus/Love Won Out to comment on Anne Heche's statement about her mother's involvement.

They've been using Anne's name to further their cause and yet Anne think's it's disgusting.
 
Dr. T, yes, a post on LIA would be great. I understand why they shut them down doesn't have to do with ideological differences--but my concern is that if ministry groups (with even less supervision than LIA, which was connected with Exodus) believe they are treating a sin and a mental illness simultaneously, some dangerous practices could (and I emphasize could) result.

Back to the penguins, you say

"So when activists talk about homosexuality in the animal kingdom, keep in mind that we don’t know much about what function same sex behavior serves for any animal species."

and I wonder if you would consider homo sapiens subsumed under the category of animal species?

You also say

"And for family values or gay rights, penguins don't march."

Right. They waddle.
 
"One thing is curious -- your op-ed basically claims we cannot deduce human sexuality from animals but you also confidently claim that those two penguins prove that "sexuality in animals is flexible, context driven and influenced by factors we do not fully understand."

Warren does not contradict himself here. He is saying two different things: 1), we cannot use animals to explain human sexuality,
and 2)Penguin sexuality, empirically as it would seem in this case, is "flexible," as evidenced by the switch in gender, and "complicated", since most do not know what is really going on.

I don't believe he makes the anticipated leap that human sexuality is also flexible because penguin sexuality is. You are looking for him to fall into that trap. I'm somewhat impressed that he avoids it, at least for now.
 
Nope George.

If we cannot deduce human sexuality from animals, why deduce animal sexuality from humans? That was what I directly asked.

(I have views in this, surprise, as well. But they can wait).

As for your assertion -- I believe that to be true, but not because of that single statement. The entire article is surely meant to support the notion that sexuality is fluid, therefore gay can change to straight. No? Not that it's said exactly...

You'll note I didn't come out and say that here. But since you ask, that is my view. I could otherwise believe it to be just a light-hearted scribe... except for the circles Warren has moved in over the past years, his clear views on the subject and where this article is turning up as we speak. It's not a lazy Sunday feature for the NYT.

I'm a bit slow. Not stupid.
 
Comparing animals to humans for any reason is plain stupid. The penguins weren't "gay" to begin with...they were just two animals. Gay is a nothing more than a clever social sexual constuct made possible through the liguistical manipulation of the gay community. Now, they want to foist that broken ideology on two penguins who dont even have a conscience. How desparate can you get to prove a lie... er rather point?

The emotional nutcases who made this out of an international event in the first place ought to be laughed off the continent.
 
Daryl - Don't hold back; how do you really feel about this? :)
 
One thing is curious -- your op-ed basically claims we cannot deduce human sexuality from animals but you also confidently claim that those two penguins prove that "sexuality in animals is flexible, context driven and influenced by factors we do not fully understand."

Not sure how this statement can be made to inspire certainty: "influenced by factors we do not fully understand." I suppose I am saying with confidence that we do not understand the significance of sexual behavior in animals. Doesn't seem like dogmatism to me. But I don't want to be dogmatic about that :)

CK - Waddle, march, what's the difference? As for the status of humans, I am, as you know, one of those neanderthals that believes humans were designed specially for human things.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Gotcha. So when you say 'animal kingdom', you're excluding humans. That's what I thought, but wanted to clarify.

And waddling and marching are different... Just try waddling when your commanding officer barks at you to march, and see what response you get! :)

(It was just a funny picture to me, penguins waddling, holding signs and chanting slogans...) Later!
 
"If we cannot deduce human sexuality from animals, why deduce animal sexuality from humans? That was what I directly asked."

I'm not sure that's what he is doing. Where in the world did he use humans as a model for penguin sexuality?

Gay people often give me an argument along the lines of "animals do it too, therefore its normal." They ought to read this op-ed. I see this op-ed as a reaction to those types of arguments.
 
CK> So when you say 'animal kingdom', you're excluding humans.

Exactly CK -- I was hoping someone would make that claim directly, but we can now pick up from here :)

The fact that same-sex couples are observed to pair-bond in the same way and for the same observed reasons that opposite-sex couples do -- among either humans or animals, it seems -- makes discussion about "sin" or "God's Will" or "choice" or "broken humanity" appear as ridiculous as calling it "clever social sexual constuct made possible through the liguistical manipulation of the gay community".

(Odd. Apparently "gay" doesn't exist, but a "gay community" does...)

It also makes the exgay/reorientation claims about the origins of same-sex (and, by extension, opposite-sex) attractions/orientation appear absurd or (at best) tenuous. Hence my original comments about teaching Roy about football or shipping him off to an unlicensed exgay camp.

What the observations about same-sex and opposite-sex pair-bonding in both animals and humans instead indicate is a biological basis for the observed behavior. That it appears as the minority expression and has been observed as more than "friendship" strengthens the case for a basic biological inheritance. As to the "why" -- who yet knows?

Of course, you'll never accept that all species have a biological inheritance if you prefer the views in a 2500-year-old book over the collective weight of the sciences since that time...

And Warren (note: George, you seem to agree with me as to the purpose of the op-ed.)

... without knowing a cause (which is fair enough), you said animal sexuality was "flexible" and "context driven". This was from your human and indirect interpretation of the behavior of one bird.

I wonder where the unchanged Roy or his never-gay feathered buddies figures in all this?... do they prove that penguin sexuality is inflexible and object driven?

What you are basically dredging up is that "polymorphously pervert" notion of Freud; with the exception that he at least applied it to human infants rather than adult animals. No? I thought you said not to make that sort of extrapolation. Or did you mean the extrapolation only works in one direction?

(Of course this wouldn't the first time that has been done from an exgay/reorientation perspective...)

Life, as they say, is a bell-shaped curve but the overwhelming majority of animals (incl. humans) do not display flexible or context driven sexuality around pair-bonding. The majority are stable in their attractions and the resulting behavior, even when opportunity otherwise exists.
 
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"What the observations about same-sex and opposite-sex pair-bonding in both animals and humans instead indicate is a biological basis for the observed behavior. That it appears as the minority expression and has been observed as more than "friendship" strengthens the case for a basic biological inheritance. As to the "why" -- who yet knows?"

Then there is a basic biological inheritance for cannibalism, aggression and infanticide/infant-abandonment. Sexual orientation is not something special (not that you were saying that, of course).

Ultimately, everything has a biological basis. I can speak because I have the acoustic biology necessary. I can think because I have a biological organ called a brain.

Moreover, I have a desire to cheat on my wife because, well, polygamy is observed in both animals and humans, and thus, according to your logic (which I don't necessarily disagree with) it must be biologically based.

Is it okay?
 
Ali -- oh, you didn't explain you wanted to talk about religion.

Is homosexuality "OK" -- from a biological or personal viewpoint then, yes it is "OK". I have no idea what you hold as far as religious belief goes. I'm not sure, other than idle curiosity, how much I should even be interested in what your beliefs are.

From a biological perspective, aggression is well explained (as is infanticide) in circumstances of survival. Cannibalism appears to be different, as most occurs as part of religious or cultural ritual among people who aren't hungry.

As for you sleeping around on your partner -- which is different to polygamy -- I can only suggest you don't need the advice of others. Biology does indeed draw both men and women as a whole to seek sex in many and varied ways, but your own relationships with a person you love (and who loves and trusts you in return) may suffer if you do so.
 
I think its ironic that Silo went ex-gay.

Perhaps he had a secret meeting with Dobson from FOTF, where he was given 10000000000000000$ in cash, under the table, to pretend that he's ex-gay.

Maybe ex-gay-watch will report on this in the future.

I think Wayne Besen better start making his rounds at gay bars...maybe he may catch him with his pants/feathers...

Oh wait,

he's a penguin, never mind
 
Well, my sources tell me that Silo was paid off in Krill, the fav dish of the Chinstrap penguin. And now that he is ex-gay, he feels much pressure to say that he is because they will cut off the Krill if he reverts yet again.
 
Everytime I see this headline I fall over laughing...."gay" Penguins.....umm, lets, perhaps try the terms, "nesting confusion", or alternately "identity confusion"..

A rather poor set of suspects to trot out as an example of anything realted to humans.
 
Well, the activists haven't learned. Check out the new post on the lesbian penguin.
 
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