Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"By the same token"

Like you, I can say I am often
wary of an image of something
seemingly familiar, if it does-
n't correspond with expectation
in my experience. A physiognomy
stamped in red, white and blue,
for example, is not unlikely to
have me groping for the religi-
ous freedom to have nothing to
do with it, if not succumbing
to fears for social cohesion.

And then I realise, there are
not a few places where I'd ra-
ther sit, than on the United
States Supreme Court. Can you
imagine, having to nanny the
permutations of phobia, through
every iteration of inexperience
as if it raised a Constitution-
al consternation?

Yes, you were about to say:
coming out must be bad enough;
just imagine, shepherding so-
ciety through every phase of
the dissolution of panic.

And how ringingly the forbears
of today's inventors of divine
mandates for discrimination,
did regale us with the horror
of military indiscipline, many
will recall within the careers
of half the United States Sen-
ate. Wasn't it our dear John
McCain, for example, who hec-
tored witnesses before that 
same Committee on Armed Ser-
vices which he now so richly
abuses to disturb Executive
conduct of diplomacy, for un-
dermining the sacred phobias
of seamen slumbering in their
bunks, with erotic suggestion
second only to Eisenstein's
in Battleship Potemkin? It
was - and aren't we all glad
for the context of our life?

Any moment, one almost expects
a disciple of genuine "strict
scrutiny" to intone from the 
Bench, that it's high time to
accept a change of experience
before running off to Court
to suppress an image. Yet who
can blame an institution, for
reluctance to turn away its
most anxious supplicants, in
view of the mischief to be
enjoyed in trade. Thus, yes,
money is speech, and corpor-
ations are persons, by such
sleight of hand as to inspire
any nitwit to assert a piety.

By the same token, isn't it
endearing when yesterday's
testament for discrimination
becomes today's for getting
on with experience? I refer,
for example, to the brief
lately tendered by the aug-
as friend of the Court, for
the class of retired officers
in the United States military,
imploring the Court to recog-
nize a universal right of mar-
riage, in order to protect
unit cohesion in the armed
forces of the United States.
The Army and Marines cannot
recruit, the Navy cannot re-
tain its own officer corps,
the brief stipulates, if the
Court ignores our experience.

Compliments to the revolution
would not seem premature. We
are almost moot. What ever
shall we wear?

Adam Liptak
The New York Times©
20 April 2015

ii  Sergei Eisenstein
    Eduard Tisse
    Battleship Potemkin

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