Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Someone somewhere might be having fun

Michael Phelps inhaled. So what! Why do we think it's our place to censure victimless fun? Why didn't Prohibition wring that particular kind of tut-tutting out of our political system?

Marijuana is a goofiness-enhancing drug, not a performance-enhancing drug. Ask anyone who's ever been stoned, and you may get a grin from the memory, but no one will tell you how razor-sharp their concentration and coordination became. Well, no one who's sane...

It has long puzzled me why the Abrahamic religions are so devoted to stamping out most sexual pleasure. Sure, they'll tell you it's god's will, but I'm looking for a historical and sociological explanation, not one that requires me to accept the faith of the "explainer". If there was ever a time when people were screwing so hard that they starved, I haven't heard about it, and you'd think they at least would have left enough offspring to tell their story in oral culture (heh).

It's not as though Judaism, Christianity, and Islam etched in stone their scriptural opposition to sexual expression at the same time, in the style of "Life of Brian". Maybe it's the ascetic tradition - those guys each went eremetic out into the Sinai, the Dead Sea, or Arabia, going commando under their itchy robes, and they could have mistaken the suppression of libido from grime, dehydration, and isolation as necessary for the inspiration they believed they had achieved.

More likely, it's all just an overreaction against the cult of sexuality in ancient Egyptian polytheism. Those guys built monuments to their own phalluses and celebrated masturbation among other practices. Then the current abstemiousness would be the price of Exodus. Call it Pharaoh's revenge! But even Wikipedia is missing this, so maybe it's just science channel titillation, not real history.

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