Jane Haddam’s WordPress weblog

Late Afternoon and I Don’t Want to Cook Chicken

with 3 comments

So, you know, here I am, dispirited already before the term has even gotten started. 

I gave a quiz today.  It was a ten-answer definitional thing, you took the term, you define it.  All the terms and all their proper definitions were posted on Blackboard last week.

And I still got six people with zeros (out of a hundred) and another eight with tens.

And As The World Turns is ending, as the Guiding Light ended a while back.  I’ve never watched a daytime soap opera in my life–in fact, I can barely stand to be in the same room with them–but my grandmother did, and I have distinct memories of staying over at her house and watching her do it.

That said, I’m not sure that I’d sign on to Lymaree’s claim that the sexual control of women was always one of the prime reasons for formal marriage.  In Christian Europe in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance it was at least as often aimed at the sexual control of men, which the Church was always having a lot of trouble with.

Of course, in that period, there was no such thing as “homosexuality.”  There were men who liked sleeping with other men and men who liked sleeping with boys, but all that was classified under ordinary lust, under the apparent assumption that your normal male would sleep with a tree trunk if that was all he had available, and that the job was to get him to sleep with his wife and produce children.

But I’d like to say that a lot of the problems we’ve got–and certainly a lot of what drives things like the Tea Party–is the fact that we’ve federalized everything.

Not only are too many rules being made and enforced by unelected bureaucrats, but they tend to be national rules. 

I understand that in two very distinct areas–first slavery, and then Jim Crow–“states rights” were code words for doing the wrong thing and a thing of a kind that could not be allowed at all.

That doesn’t diminish the wisdom of federalism.  We’ve got those 300 million people, 4000 religions and religious denominations, every racial and ethnic group on the planet, and literally millions of immigrants, both legal and illegal.

No matter how much sense it makes to insist that states not deny citizens the right to vote or go to school on the basis of race, it makes none to insist that we should enforce a national policy on childhood obesity, educational focus (NCLB), or smoking regulations.

And the people who insist we should enforce such policies nationally are always ending up in places they don’t want to be.  It was liberal justices, not conservatives, who found against the small homeowners in Kelo and who found in favor of corporations and other employers who wanted to enforce no-smoking and other behavioral regulations on their employees even when those employees were off the job and at home in their free time.

The Tea Party, I think, comes out of the feeling that the nationalization of regulations about everything is inevitable, and therefore the only possible response is to get your own regulators into power.

But maybe that’s because I’m still reading the Chambers book. It’s a very long book.  And the theme music is curiously unchanged between then and now on a lot of points.

But it is really late in the afternoon, and I really don’t want to cook chicken.

Or anything, for that matter.

Written by janeh

September 15th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses to 'Late Afternoon and I Don’t Want to Cook Chicken'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Late Afternoon and I Don’t Want to Cook Chicken'.

  1. WOW! Yesterday’s post brought what I think was a record number of comments. Robert commented about experimenting on entire countries.

    I think that is the root of objections to federalism. The US has 50 states. That’s 50 social laboratories available to try out ideas. Why reduce that to one laboratory controlled from a single city where the controllers don’t have to live with the results?


    15 Sep 10 at 6:52 pm

  2. Sadly, simple extortion is one reason. If I as a national politician, say that marriage or education are state matters, who, concerned with those issues, will pay me money or work in my campaign? How many bureaucrats will I get to appoint and browbeat? Keeping a government small is difficult. Shrinking one is even trickier.


    16 Sep 10 at 5:23 am

  3. I think you misunderstood me. The sexual control of women as part of marriage was aimed at trying to ensure paternity of the children who would inherit. So, virginity before marriage and all sorts of isolation afterwards were aimed at this.

    Some societies even went so far as to have inheritance go to a man’s sister’s children. One could never be certain that a wife’s children were one’s own, but the children of your mother’s daughter were certain to be of one’s blood.


    16 Sep 10 at 11:37 am

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Bad Behavior has blocked 737 access attempts in the last 7 days.