Well, true. What I find striking is the antisocial aspects of it, since the only real issue of conscience evident in Tali's posts manifest in a loathing for individuals, resulting in a willingness to take extremely stupid positions for the sake of being oppositional. But look at how this troupe works. It is nearly cultish in itself. These summaries intended to praise those who aid and abet child molesters are deliberately constructed to pretend there is a gray area. Like Tali's glowing praise for aiding and abetting the molestation of children: "You've pretty much hit the nail on the head. In a house of 19 kids, one of the children goes down a bad path.  The parents institute an escalating series of remedial actions , and appear to have raised the child into an adult who no longer molests . And liberals are complaining about this? It's almost like they are pissed that they missed the opportunity to tar and feather, and then crucify, a conservative . Isn't it a shame that you can't punish someone for what they did in childhood, especially when they are reformed?" I marked some problems with the paragraph: (1) In an inherently difficult situation to manage, a predictable result occurs. (2) If recidivism was not already an issue, there would be no need for an "escalating series of remedial actions". (3) Lack of evidence must necessarily equal evidence of lack. (4) This is what it's really about, as an entire political culture just discovered a gaping crack in its foundation. (5) This sort of bitter, childish accusation is all they have left. There are, of course, a number of cynical issues going on. But consider how broadly ownership culture affects Republican politics. Indeed, the simplest way to express it is to consider the power of social conservatives within the Republican Party, and then remind ourselves that ownership culture is an integral component to the entire soccon platform. I have recently been musing nostalgic about the heavy metal wars, the glory days of the PMRC and Christian censorship advocates, in no small part because the seeming caricature of the supremacist hardliners from what would seem a relatively unimportant social-issues dustup has become something of the operating reality in hardline conservative politics today. The argumentative form, such as it is, seems very nearly identical. But there is another connection. Here's the story of how the Parental Music Resource Center came to be: Tipper Gore didn't stop and think before buying her nine year-old daughter a copy of the Purple Rain soundtrack. Yes, really. That's what happened. That's how it started. And, you know, pretty much any parent would be shocked to hear their nine year old daughter singing "Darling Nikki"°, but come on, really? So they went and started all that. Tipper Gore and Susan Baker. And we all know how that went. While Satanism drew a lot of attention in the heavy metal wars, there was also a general prudishness that failed to distinguish between various modes addressing sex and sexual issues. To these Christian censors, there was no difference between rape culture and women's liberation. I take comfort in the hindsight that 2 Live Crew, the iconic band that marked the censors' swing from metal to rap, was one of the gayest rap troupes in history. Still, though, there are some of us who see a difference between male-dominant sexual expression like anal gangbanging and unclean rimjobs―two of 2 Live's most notorious lyrical images―and the idea of a woman who will fuck simply because she is horny. But to the prudes the liberated woman is denigrating, because she has fallen from her glorious, God-given place in service to men↱°°. This failrue to acknowledge the difference is a distinguishing characteristic of ownership culture when it treads into rape culture. As I noted previously↑: This isn't about how to treat a woman, but which woman to treat that way. My point is that certain events and issues have coalesced in recent times, and erupted as such more specifically, in such a manner as to suggest that I'm witnessing the same ideological heritage. And that serves as a marker; look at how broadly this ownership culture permeates the soccon platform. It is present at every defining level. Abortion, birth control, nonmarital sex, homosexuality, transgenderism, marriage, even rape itself. Remember, social conservatives started trying to dissect rape in order to reserve statutory rape as something less real or legitimate. And it goes beyond. Music? Really? Movies? Books? I'm not joking↑ about reading lesbianism into a Shakespeare joke. This is where their minds are at. This is what ownership culture is for. Think of something specifically identifiable, like a "great" religion. In a way, we who do not accept the presuppositions can actually view what these people are doing as a complicated version of a child's game. They're playing make-believe, but on a much higher valence. Ownership culture is a large, communal sex fantasy. This is why gendertyping and inequality are so important to the game; the sexplay doesn't work if you change the rules for the participants. And look at how much ownership culture touches. All of that is at stake if this whole thing blows up. That child molestation happens is reality. That it will happen in a setting like this, that is designed to foster sexual exploitation, is obvious. But the confounding aspect of this tragedy, the hard line that people are drawing in defense of child molestation―whether this specific case or, as we have seen, more generally―arises from what is at stake. At every juncture, the Duggars seem to have acted in defense of an abstract higher cause. That is to say, we might reiterate here the point that their focus has been on defending and justifying the molester instead of supporting and empowering the victims. This is not how God does it. Nor is it any working definition of Justice. The higher cause is the ownership culture by which they extraordinarily identify, which in turn serves as a lever to justify both their fame and political influence. And if one celebrity or set was all that was at stake, they would be thrown under the bus. But this goes beyond just the Duggars. This is like Horatio Alger syndrome, or the Tea and Crumpets Party; there is specific sympathy toward child molestation. This is as clearly as we ever see this part of our societal influence, and on some level even those subsumed in ownership culture can perceive the exposure and continuing damage. This doesn't just shake the Duggars; this shakes an entire political platform. And that is why the defenders have fallen back to the lines they have; there is more at stake here than just the Duggars. In order to preserve that, they will justify Josh Duggar. And watch them struggle to literally rewrite the narrative. It reminds me of this Christian censorship advocate named Bob Larson, who used to rewrite the lyrics to songs in order to scare parents about heavy metal. Yeah, really. The guy still works; he has a church ... in Arizona. Couldn't see that one coming, could we? But this is what is going on. They are trying to redefine the fight because something bigger is at stake. And if you watch them in this context, Duggar supporters do start to make sense. Not that the resolution shouldn't horrify us, but still, it starts to make a certain amount of sense. The movement is in neurotic rupture and panicking into the range of antisocial behavior. Which, in turn, points to one other important element: Cruelty. In another issue, I'm watching very closely as a vicious maneuver plays out. As with and even more so than gay youth, the young transgendered are an especially vulnerable population; naturally, they are the next targets for soccons in the Gay Fray. And we might pause for a moment to consider that the conservative push is ultimately doomed, but will carry out over something of an extended period. It's bad enough taking that kind of crap on the home front, but the focused vice from the halls of power, even at the valence of presidential campaigning? This is going to be an especially rough time, but part of the point for soccons is to actually take the time and effort to pour that scorn upon a vulnerable cohort simply because they can, and that cruel sense of self-empowerment, the empowerment of the bully, is part of the reward one earns for participating in this giant sex fantasy. I would then simply point to the untold number of sex abuse survivors in our society, and remind that slut-shaming, blaming others, and justification not only of abuse, but conspiracy to protect the abuser at the expense of the victims, has reached the valence of presidential politics. And, you know, bullying sex abuse survivors is just part of the reward. It really is that sick. ____________________ Notes: ° "I knew a girl named Nikki, I guess you could say she was a sex fiend. I met her in a hotel lobby masturbating with a magazine ...." °° The notorious Def Leppard t-shirt for "WOMEN: Worship Our Masters' Every Need" stands out in my mind; the song makes the point well enough, but there is always the question of how it was intended, and the general opinion remains that biting irony was not so much on the menu―this was a treat for the boys.