Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ed Brayton's Response to Pat Robinson "non-traditional" marriage

Dumbass Quote of the Day : Dispatches from the Culture Wars
You really can't see how we can allow consenting adults to marry another consenting adult that they love and still make child rape illegal? Are you a fucking moron? Yes, that's a rhetorical question.

I am sure Pat would be appalled by the language used, which makes the riposte even more suitable.

Read the comments. Ed has some entertaining readers.

On Torture

Star Trek: The Next Generation's eerily prescient torture episode. - By Juliet Lapidos - Slate Magazine
Torture scenes are typically an opportunity to demonstrate a protagonist's fortitude or an antagonist's ruthlessness. In this episode, however, torture is an exercise in futility. Picard doesn't have the information the Cardassians are after. They can zap him all they want, but they'll never learn the Federation's secrets. Picard states, truthfully, that he knows nothing of value, but the interrogator refuses to believe him and to let him go. Torture is thus portrayed not as a reasonable if barbaric strategy but as a waste of time. That is, not really a strategy at all.

The extended torture sessions take a toll not just on Picard but on his interrogator as well. The more time the Cardassian spends with Picard, the more he becomes fixated on breaking his prisoner. And so the supposed goal of torture—information—is sidelined, while the means by which the goal will theoretically be achieved—mental submission—becomes an end in itself. As Picard puts it, "Torture has never been a reliable means of extracting information. It is ultimately self-defeating as a means of control. One wonders it is still practiced."

It is funny, but whenever I hear someone saying that torture works I always think of this scene from ST-TNG. I know that it is fiction but since the torture advocates seem to think that "24" is a documentary, I think that I am allowed this rebuttal.

h/t to Josh Marshall at TPM for the article that goes with the clip