Ow, a bee stung me!

by John Holbo on April 5, 2015

We have a saying in the Holbo-Waring household. “Ow, a bee stung me!”


You say it if you have just utterly failed to foresee a wildly foreseeable but minor injury.

I nominate Mike Pence for the role of the guy who got stung by a bee, in the Indiana RFRA controversy.

Then again, for social conservative martyr complex consolation purposes, Mike Pence backing down may be as satisfying as Mike Pence not backing down. And the pizza parlor people are doing fine, seems like.

I’m thinking of writing another meditation on religious liberty, but first I have to make sure the CT commentariat is tired out, so you can’t cause trouble.

Resolved: whatever minor effect(s) Indiana’s RFRA would have had on a few florists and wedding cake bakers, the intended function of the original law was basically symbolic. Regarding same-sex marriage, and gay rights issues generally, social conservatives are now primarily concerned to re-brand ignominious culture war defeat as noble culture war defeat.

Conservatives want to say they went down fighting for freedom against those who hate it. The alternative? We wanted to deprive a minority group of equality and dignity, wrongfully, but we lost. That doesn’t sound so good.



marcel 04.05.15 at 2:35 pm

I cannot imagine ever being too tired out to cause trouble, much less the local commentariat. I suspect that we will all lurk silently to lull you in complacency. Then, once you present your musings (I’m thinking something at the level of typical of Douthat or Brooks), we will come out swinging and take you down. There may be some regrettable but unavoidable collateral damage along the way.


marcel 04.05.15 at 2:37 pm

However, you have to promise not to let your wife join the fray. Her articulated scorn is a marvel to behold (so long as it is directed elsewhere).


John Holbo 04.05.15 at 2:38 pm

Sorry, you predict I will side with Douthat and/or Brooks, or you merely predict that characteristic level of complacency?


AcademicLurker 04.05.15 at 2:41 pm

social conservatives are now primarily concerned to re-brand ignominious culture war defeat as noble culture war defeat.

A “Lost Cause”, as it were…


Rich Puchalsky 04.05.15 at 3:16 pm

The story of the pizza parlor summarizes everything that is stupid and wrong about America.

First, the pizza parlor co-owner says that she would refuse to cater pizzas for a gay wedding, if a gay couple ever asked her to deliver shoddy pizza parlor pizzas to a wedding which obviously none of them have ever done. So her denial of service was a fantasy. Some people read _50 Shades of Grey_ and fantasize about something like that, some fantasize about God looking on approvingly as they don’t deliver crappy pizzas to a gay wedding.

Next, some coach gets investigated for supposedly tweeting that the place should be burned down. You know, I don’t even care that the tweet was probably of the “heads on pikes” variety. Anything that remotely sounds like let’s burn the pizza place down _Do The Right Thing_ Spike Lee style because of someone’s unapproved fantasy is stupid and vicious enough. Left activism, people!

Next, the right wing outrage machine raises $800K + for the pizza place. Will they ever even have to sell pizzas again? Like, should they even bother to ever reopen?

Maybe outrage storms can be the basis of our new economy. We’ll all work for disposable income that we can send off to some recipient chosen essentially at random, and the recipient will get Two Minutes Hate plus $800 K, plus someone else will get Two Minutes Hate and lose their job. It all balances out.


brandon 04.05.15 at 3:24 pm

Who the fuck is the Red Bee supposed to be punching in panel 4? That guy, except his suit is not blue, his hair is not gray, and he’s not behind a desk? I’m sorry, I’m focused on the important questions.


Belle Waring 04.05.15 at 3:27 pm

You just compared my husband to both David Brooks and Ross “I Would Do Anything For Love, But I Won’t” Douthat, marcel. You say you don’t want me to be full of venom what I will direct towards your own beloved eye like unto a spitting cobra, but on the internet (so, maybe less like a cobra, and more like 8chan). But how was that not a vicious slam against me, personally, right there? Like, a strong, strong implication that I would sex David Brooks up? I can put up with a lot in the name of free discussion, but a woman has to draw the line somewhere. Any further suggestions that I would–in all likelihood–engage in oral congress with tepid “what the New York Times thinks Republicans sound like” pundits will be met with napalm. Additionally I will use some sort of igniting substance, so that the napalm is burning and not just, you know, hanging around as a flammable gel. It’s still very dangerous, of course, but less frightening in the very short term. Nope, on fire. Because look at Ross “I Would Do Anything For Love, But I Won’t” Douthat’s visage, which is slowly enlarging at all edges towards clayish podgy quadrilatery, so the brow’s lofty aspirations have become brick-like, and the face part is left ever-lonelier in the middle. Do you want to allow him near your…I’m at a loss…area? You do not. Well, marcel, in this respect you and I are just alike.


Glen Tomkins 04.05.15 at 3:49 pm

Alligator Wrestling

“I’m thinking of writing another meditation on religious liberty, but first I have to make sure the CT commentariat is tired out, so you can’t cause trouble.”

Alligators have almost entirely fast-twitch muscle, so they are very powerful for about 4 minutes of maximum effort, then boom, they’re weak as kittens.

Alligator wrestlers make us of this feature of alligator physiology. Before jumping in the tank with the beast, they make a big show of poking it with a long pole. The audience imagines that this is death-defying bravado, making the alligator they are about to wrestle angry. But what the alligator wrestler is actually doing with that pole is getting the thing to make a maximum effort, and carefully gauging the response to decide when all that fast-twitch muscle strength is completely depleted (but not quite so obviously depleted as to give the game away), so that it’s safe to jump in the tank.

Nice to know you think of us as having reptile physiology, if not reptile brains. But I guess that approach comes from dealing with graduate students too much.


dilbert dogbert 04.05.15 at 4:46 pm

Wow!!! A wedding without pizza!!! Oh! The Horror!!! Someone please help out an old phart who is disconnected from current culture, and let me know if pizza is the new new thing in weddings.


MPAVictoria 04.05.15 at 5:19 pm

I think you are right on here John. In 30 years every one of them will claim they were always for Gay rights. It would be political malpractice for the democrats not to take advantage of the situation in the meantime. Make the bastards sweat.


Charles R 04.05.15 at 6:10 pm

Blaze TV fans and forward-the-email-friends raised more than $800K for the pizza place to not work. Or is it people intend the money to compensate for the loss of revenue resulting from the owners choosing to not operate during these stressful times? Either way, perhaps it’s important to hold onto the logic at work in the reasoning of these supporters of the Memories Pizza: when people are dispossessed of their means to financial participation, we support them by providing them aid and monetary support. Thus, when endemic poverty afflicts someone so that they cannot easily develop their own means of entry into exchange and markets, these tens of thousands of supporters of Memories Pizza demonstrate they already believe we should pool our resources together and help them out, too. Rather than call them homophobes or bigots or whatever insult will make one feel morally righteous, call them subsidizers, socialists, or communists. While consent to give remains important, as it should, the logic of corporate assistance—we show solidarity and values as one body by how we share and distribute resources—remains the same. Framing the issue this way might help either or all of the sides involved to think more about what these “shows of support” mean not only within the group but outside the groups, and how we might grow our groups to include one another if that were what we want…

It is true, though, that self-righteousness motivates a lot of people to threaten or harass complete strangers across the planet for expressing their opinions, and these crowds of people now shut down businesses, organizations, individuals who otherwise would have only harmed—if we understand expressing opinions and views as harm at all—a comparatively much smaller number of people. They produce actual harm for saying something found ‘offensive’ or ‘socially backward’, rather than for demonstrated behaviors of hatred or antipathy.

Is this the progress of reason? Is this what we can expect from the moral democracy of our time? At this time when the greatest number of people now have an outlet for their voices to be heard, there’s an awful lot of ease with which people seek to not only demand conformity in what we say publicly but enforce it through economic disruption and social ostracism.

But even then, why not allow space to those people who want to remain aloof or separate from the social bodies people more easily assemble into these days? Swarms, hives, mobs, crowds: moral panics afflict reasonable and righteous people regardless of how they view gods or laws or justices; there isn’t really any sign that people who are “liberal” or “progressive” swarm any less than people who are “traditional” or “conservative.” But they will not allow someone to have their freedom away from either side, both sides, those sides—everyone has to be included in the misanthropy flood, because the social life demands a demonstration of how far we’re willing to go to side with one and not the other. These demonstrations have to outdo the previous ones; they have to be hurtful; they have to teach a lesson; they have to humiliate; they have to shame; they have to mock—because respecting another person for wearing different colors as the human they are is just not right any more.

Liberal folk enjoy blood in the water just as much as suburban evangelicals, as when people enjoy watching this or that Internet friend take down, burn, or rip into whatever scapegoat is theirs for the day.

And if the scapegoat violates social norms, all the justification is already there to lynch. We just have to provoke the scapegoat, poke its shoulders, call it names, antagonize it into striking back. We cannot let it alone.

The beast we feed will never be satisfied with whatever goats we slaughter. Once we cannot let it alone, it will never leave us alone, neither.


Tyrone Slothrop 04.05.15 at 6:34 pm

I’m with brandon: who the fuck is the Red Bee delivering a haymaker unto? Orange Devil Gumby? It’s perplexing…


Alan White 04.05.15 at 8:32 pm

Nice turn of phrase. I hope my own governator, Walker: Taxes Ranger, soon complains of many stings.

My fav quote from the parlor owner: “That lifestyle is something they choose. I choose to be heterosexual. They choose to be homosexual. Why should I be beat over the head to go along with something they choose?”

I always want to ask what morning it was that these people woke up, yawned and stretched, and said to themselves “Know what? I think I’m going to be hetero for the rest of my life!”


Barry 04.05.15 at 8:36 pm

MPA Victoria: ” In 30 years every one of them will claim they were always for Gay rights.”

We’ve seen it before: ‘evangelicals were the core of the abolitionist movement’, ‘evangelicals were the heart of the Civil Rights Movement (MLK was a Southern Baptist!!!)’.

Almost always this comes from people who’s politics, philosophy and theology would put them on the other side.


PatrickinIowa 04.05.15 at 8:56 pm

Was you ever stung by a dead bee?


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© 04.05.15 at 10:40 pm

but first I have to make sure the CT commentariat is tired out, so you can’t cause trouble

We see right through you, like you’re cellophane…


mattski 04.05.15 at 11:20 pm

You will NEVER get to 1,000 comments on this bullshit.


CJColucci 04.05.15 at 11:27 pm

John, you’re a lucky man.


Nick Barnes 04.06.15 at 12:46 am

However much I might look down on this small-minded pizza purveyor, I can’t help thinking this is a storm in a stuffed crust. Does it make me a concern troll to suggest that it’s poor manners to criticise wedding choices? 21 years ago, we got a local vegetarian workers’ co-operative to cater at our wedding, and the food included some excellent pizza.


Matthew Ernest 04.06.15 at 1:33 am

Somehow it never ceases to amaze me that people who defend the correctness of all market decisions will also defend a business turning away perfectly good money.

While we should feel some shame over the mockery of the idea for having pizza for a wedding, since being too poor for a big sit-down dinner and a fancy cake doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to get married any more than being gay means you don’t deserve to get married, we can turn that around and say if you’re operating in an economy where the best your clientele can hope for at their wedding reception is pizza you shouldn’t be so eager to turn away anyone who is able to pay.


marcel 04.06.15 at 2:25 am

[silently lurking]


dr ngo 04.06.15 at 2:54 am

marceau, we see you


mattski 04.06.15 at 2:57 am

C’mon, marcel. Get off your ass and give Belle her comeuppance.

We need the eggs entertainment.


cassander 04.06.15 at 3:46 am

@Matthew Ernest 04.06.15 at 1:33 am

>Somehow it never ceases to amaze me that people who defend the correctness of all market decisions will also defend a business turning away perfectly good money.

Why would that be? It’s an example of markets working exactly as intended and reducing prejudice. Business owners are punished for their intolerance, they lose money. Other less bigoted businesses have the opportunity to make money. The stronger the general prejudice, the greater the reward for rejecting it.


JPL 04.06.15 at 4:16 am

Belle @7:


But just one tiny infinitesimal point: I’ve suddenly realized I have a burning desire to see the birth of ‘quadrilaterality’, not so much as a realization of the derivational process, but on the grounds of pure euphonia.


Sancho 04.06.15 at 5:06 am

Oh yes. In fifty years we’ll have gay conservatives shouting that gay rights were always a conservative issue, because it was about winning freedom, and the concept of freedom belongs to conservatives. QED.


JPL 04.06.15 at 5:13 am

(I’m not that excited about the imminent realization of Douthat’s facial quadrilaterality, as it would be just the final manifestation of his inner essence.)


Belle Waring 04.06.15 at 6:08 am

JPL: I think quadrilaterality is the actual and existing correct form, coming as it does on the heels of rectilinearality (of which it is a subset, surely), while mine is a barbarous nonce word. I equivocated a while last night, but accuracy didn’t appeal in the moment. I felt like I needed something punchier, like how I feel about Ross “I Would Do Anything For Love, But I Won’t” Douthat’s face. I hope you have all begun to realize that (although the nickname is dsquared’s, he has failed to lobby for it, because he works in finance, and thus lacks discipline and sticktuitiveness) I am going to relentlessly refer to Mr. “Rejects The Advances of ‘Like a Chunky Reese Witherspoon’ Because Birth Control is The Boner-Killer” in this fashion, yea, until the end of days, until you run for the rock for rescue, and there will be no rock, and you will hear a voice in the threads saying “come, call him ‘Ross “I Would Do Anything For Love, But I Won’t” Douthat,’ or I will cut you.” That voice will be mine. As far as the cutting goes you can cut and paste, so it isn’t as onerous a dictum as it appears, except for the poor first sod in the thread, but then there will be the brownie points, no? And you have the sterling example of Stephenson-quoter-kun to follow in this regard. My children were just reminded of him recently in the taxi when we all felt miserable and nauseated, and were like “he still calls himself that?! I love him so much!” HE MAKES CHILDREN HAPPY BY COMMENTING AT A BLOG. Lest likely–yet most awesome. Event. ERVER. We even have another -kun too, but I forget at the moment. He also is awesome–I salute you, um, daredemo-kun.

marcel: [gestures first to own eyes, then to your user name, repeatedly, with forked fingers in the universal “I’m watching you” pantomime. But in good spirit ;)] Also, John doesn’t actually need any defending, but I think it should be obvious that he thinks the obviously true thing: Republicans are horrible homophobes on the wrong side of history, whose leaders know they are losing, but whose base can’t accept anything of the kind. So now their only feeble hope is to eke out some bullshit “it was about ethics in catering” storyline, in which they only wanted small business-owners to have the freedom to take or refuse what business they wished, and gosh no they never hated gay people and wanted them to actually literally all die (with collateral damage to black immigrants heyoo!) and had to wait until a virginal little white boy actually fucking named White had AIDS before they would even acknowledge it existed, and they never suggested all gay men are pedophiles, and all in all Republicans have not pandered to their most loathsome, bigoted members why do you ask, hey look free sno-cones!

Finally, one the one hand it was ridiculous for the rando pizza people to be like “forget coming here for your gay tasting to decide what gay food to have at your gay wedding,” since, was this a likely problem? At the same time if you don’t have a ton of money and don’t want to go into debt over a wedding (which, though so many do it, sounds horrible, and John and I didn’t have to face that choice only because my family was footing the bill/hosting everything/putting all our friends up so they didn’t have to pay for hotels in a pricey spot/etc. so, easy for me to say) and just want to have a mellow party at your house with your closest friends and family that was BYOB and BYOKW (bring your own killer weed) and you serve delivery pizza among other things like homemade salad, and a friend makes your cake, fuck it, that would be a legit awesome wedding. I’ve been to a great wedding just like that, sans pizza, but if there had also been pizza it would not have detracted from it. And finally there is a sort of…whatever you call the stereotyping Asian-Americans resent in expectations of them as a model minority?…positive homophobia? in the many, many suggestions I’ve seen online that “gay people have weddings so faaaabulous that they would never be caught dead with your lame pizza, just STAHP.” Queer folk can have low-key pizza and BYOKW parties at their best friend’s house in rural Indiana, too. There’s not a minimum fabulousness quotient to love people of the same gender or something. And lesbians exist. And disproportionately get married, also. (I say this because the “too fabulous” comments mainly seem to take as a given that gay men are getting married, and are waaay too [snaps in the air at three heights in a zig-zag] for your pizza.)


bad Jim 04.06.15 at 6:15 am

I’m outraged by the trivialization of bee stings. Bees, bless their little hearts, we couldn’t live without them, kill more Americans than rattlesnakes, sharks, bears or spiders. So, for that matter, do dogs.

I was allergic, got a two-year series of shots, so maybe I’m immune. I’ve learned to be comfortable around them. My flagpole is nestled up against a native lilac bush which is thronged by bees through the months it’s in bloom, so on the days I want to fly something I have to nudge my way to the cleat warily, gently, respectfully.

To me, “quadrilateral” evokes Milan’s fashion district.


JPL 04.06.15 at 8:37 am

Belle @28:

Yes, I thought you might not have wanted a longer word right there. I was looking forward to the “birth” of the word because actually the OED does not –yet– have an entry for ‘quadrilaterality’ (Word has just redlined it, but it’s an idiot), although it would be a perfectly respectable word, based on “later-al-ity”. It has ‘quadrilateralness’, but there would be a subtle distinction, which I’m going to think more about. Mainly, I liked the seven- syllable stress pattern of it. (And I did like “sticktuitiveness”; I’m not sure if we can get that one into the OED.)


Rich Puchalsky 04.06.15 at 12:53 pm

The pizza place other co-owner later specified that they don’t discriminate in normal deliveries (which I’m willing to believe, given that I don’t think too many people call them and say “I’d like a large pizza with pepperoni delivered and by the way I am gay”) and if you were poor enough to have to have their pizza at your wedding I don’t think you’d ask them to cater, I think you’d just order 5 pizzas or something like that. But once again: by their own claim, and not contradicted by anyone, they have never catered a wedding of any kind. All of the stuff about how poor people get married, and about how businesses shouldn’t turn down money etc. is beside the point, because this was simply a fantasy on the co-owner’s part.


Belle Waring 04.06.15 at 1:13 pm

OK Rich, that really is extra ridiculous. IMAGINARY GAY WEDDINGS!


Main Street Muse 04.06.15 at 1:46 pm

“You say it if you have just utterly failed to foresee a wildly foreseeable but minor injury.”

Indiana’s RFRA is not a “minor injury” sadly. It is codifying discrimination into law. Kind of unAmerican, in that invidious way the GOP has decided to be unpatriotic and unAmerican.

PatrickinIowa @15 – I love that movie! (It’s better than the original book, actually.)


Philo Vaihinger 04.06.15 at 1:55 pm

You actually wrote the expression “wildly foreseeable.”

Didn’t slow you down for a second?


Stephenson-quoter kun 04.06.15 at 1:55 pm

It comes to something when the best thing one has ever done to bring joy into the world is adopting a slightly silly pseudonym for the purposes of commenting on a blog, but there you go.

Is the reason that this thread doesn’t have hundreds of comments that it’s basically a happy-ish story? It looks like the reactionaries have backed down, at least to the reasonable position of accepting a balance between freedom of opinion for religious people and, um, consumer choice (is that the principle?) for gay people? If so, at least one cheer for non-idiocy.

Not being an American, a lot of the “they say it’s about X, but really it’s about Y” (where X is some high-minded thing like ‘freedom’ and Y is ‘I hates them faggets’) stuff is something I have to take on trust from people who know the situation better. I can imagine a principled argument in that says that nobody should have to serve someone else without explicit individual consent, and that we have no right to ask questions about why they choose to give or withhold that consent. I’m unable to square this with my personal preference that absolutely anyone should be able to buy pizza from absolutely any pizza shop. I’m a tiny bit concerned that this argument ends up getting resolved on the basis of the character of the people arguing for the former position (viz. that they are knuckle-dragging homophobes), because I instinctively feel that this isn’t a great way of deciding political arguments in general. But, since I can’t do any better myself, and the outcome is one I agree with, I suppose this is one of those times when the culture war seems to have ended with the right side winning and it’s not really worth asking any more questions.


mattski 04.06.15 at 1:56 pm

I’m outraged by the trivialization of bee stings.

Me too.

2B or not 2B


Rich Puchalsky 04.06.15 at 2:19 pm

I mean, I appreciate it as a fantasy. There’s all these gay people mysteriously wanting pizza for their wedding, maybe spreading out in the right of the frame if you imagine this scene as a rectangular picture or video still. And there’s the pizza co-owner, center stage with a big pile of pizzas stacked up to the left, virtuously but sadly refusing to sell them pizza, and in a little circular inset in the upper left corner of the frame there’s the face of God, white-bearded, looking down with approval as someone follows his commands. Someone just shared a bit of their fantasy life, and it’s a BDSM kind of fantasy (they are sadistically denying the wedding party the pizza that the wedding party inexplicably wants to buy, yet they are in a masochistic part of the frame, suffering criticism and having to be mean to someone because of God, so they get to combine both). But no actual gay people were harmed in the creation of this fantasy.


Lee A. Arnold 04.06.15 at 2:23 pm

No gay people were hurt in your fantasy! Well, c’mon, look… This whole Indiana thing is dick-blown out of proportion. Imagine, aery-faery, that there is some poor Indianan pizzahouse employee who is a closeted gay teenager, not only closeted but in self-denial, living in self-denial and fear because his own family and his boss believe the misdirections in an ancient, time-addled tome about the otherwise perfectly-valid ontological event of higher consciousness, (an event which millions of LBG’s from Plato through Ram Dass have experienced well enough, although the poor gay employee cannot even access the knowledge that it exists only sans written religion, due to the aforementioned idiocy which is prevalent in his shit-hole surroundings), and, to continue the hypothesis, this poor kid is then ordered, by capitalist demand upon his enforced parable of the cave, to deliver a pizza — straight into a gay wedding! — whereupon he sees the titulars holding hands and smoochy-smooching, and then the poor employee, after frightened observance thereof, drops the pizza on the lawn and vomits all over it, thus at once engendering a large deal of ill-will for his employer the aforementioned pizzeria (as well as engendering action upon the money-back guarantee!). Now, I ask you, you glob-forsickened libruls and cornservatives assembled here : supposing that YOU were the owner of this aforementioned pisseria, drunk on easter wine and ALREADY in arrears in your oblongations to the Church of the Immaculate Reconception, or whatever: doesn’t this make tickles, in your dick, a littles? I mean, don’t I have a god-driven right to vote for ANY older, self-denying closeted gay to get into Indiana state government (just look at any photo of those douche-bags, don’t tell ME I’m really a bigot: they’re obvious fat closet queens, and I voted for those assholes!), just so they can prove to the world their own queerish misdeliverances, prove their faith by legislating for my own vision of my twisted religious rights? I mean Jesus Christ, how much money am I supposed to lose on vomited pizza? I’m not against all taxes: let’s put more money into “reparative therapy” for god sake! I mean how the hell are we going to drum up a stupid and self-defeating war with Iran, if we don’t get this cannon-fodder into “sexual orientation change efforts”, toot sweet?


AcademicLurker 04.06.15 at 2:30 pm


Not-serving-pizza-at-gay-weddings porn is a small niche, but underserved.


mattski 04.06.15 at 2:42 pm

suffering criticism and having to be mean to someone because of God

If it was up to ME I’d be nice to everyone.


blastaar 04.06.15 at 2:51 pm

I object to the misleading rearrangement of these panels from Hit Comics #1 (July 1940, Quality). By omitting the establishing shot of the first panel of the second tier (dialogue: “What the’-?? The RED BEE!!!”) and realigning the panels, Mr. Holbo has fraudulently introduced an element of incoherence into a story that was doing very well at being incoherent on its own, thank you very much. Thug #1 (brownish suit, not the guy in red or the one in green plaid) is standing in front of the desk of Boss Storm (blue suit, professorial) when the Red Bee enters (fabulous striped tights there, RB, but I’d consider something less BROWN brown for the sleeves, and perhaps black boots to match the belt) just prior to the commencement of the stinging/punching. This textual mistreatment suppresses the REAL question: how does Thug #1 transform from being blonde in tier 1, panel 3 to a brunette in the being-punched sequence? (He stays airborne for another full punching panel, by the way.) The story’s author, B.H. Apiary, must be rolling over in his grave.


parse 04.06.15 at 3:56 pm

Indiana’s RFRA is not a “minor injury” sadly. It is codifying discrimination into law.

Not all forms of discrimination inflict more than minor injury. I note that Miami has a law forbidding dry cleaners to charge more for women’s clothes than for men’s. You can agree with the principal without believing anyone was suffering majorly before the government stepped in.

And some forms of discrimination don’t seem to me to inflict any injury at all. The court decisions that allowed members of particular groups to use psychedelic drugs that remained generally illegal codified discrimination in favor of certain groups into law, but I don’t think they did any harm. In fact, while general legalization of psychedelics would strike me as a better solution, I think the legal discrimination that allowed some licit use of them to be a net gain.


William Berry 04.06.15 at 4:42 pm

Rich @36:

Maybe the wedding party are the masochists so both sides are getting off in a “the masochict begged the sadist to hit him and the sadist wouldn’t do it” kind of way.


marcel 04.06.15 at 4:45 pm


Thank you, Ms. Belle.
That was one hella smackdown.

Mission Accomplished!
(You were the one who first mentioned s*x in this thread, so, don’t blame moi).


Main Street Muse 04.06.15 at 5:50 pm

To Parse @ 41 “I note that Miami has a law forbidding dry cleaners to charge more for women’s clothes than for men’s”

Actually, charging more for women’s clothes was discrimination… now prevented by the Miami law.

Indiana’s new law codifies the right of a person to discriminate against another person. Feel free to celebrate…


parse 04.06.15 at 6:12 pm

Main Street Muse, I agree that charging more for women’s clothes was discrimination. But I think that, prior to the law against it, such discrimination might accurately be described as a minor injury.

There are things in the world which are neither gross injuries, nor reasons to celebrate. I’m willing to agree with you right now that the Indiana law is not one of the latter. I think there’s a non-trivial chance that the real-life accomplishments in the law would be more in the line of interfering with completely hypothetical gay wedding pizzas that major injuries to any real person.

That may not be the case, but it still wouldn’t prove your claim that any act of discrimination is by definition a more-than-minor injury. And I note that you haven’t challenged my belief that there are some instances of discrimination which are actually not injuries at all, but instead positive development in the law.


Anonymous 04.06.15 at 8:02 pm

Re; Belle at 28: Did Douthat really no kidding claim ( in print of course) (not that it matters really) that knowledge of a potential partner’s use of birth control effectively de-bonered him?

De-bone Douthat. Has a nice ring.


ben w 04.06.15 at 8:48 pm

No one’s answered brandon’s question, I see.


Main Street Muse 04.06.15 at 8:52 pm

Parse.. “And I note that you haven’t challenged my belief that there are some instances of discrimination which are actually not injuries at all, but instead positive development in the law.”

I am not speaking of all sorts of different discriminatory laws. I’m speaking of this particular new law in Indiana, which is not at all a positive development in the law. You may feel legal discrimination is a “minor” issue. I do not.


Matt 04.07.15 at 3:13 am

That bee really gets around.

“Oh no, it’s a bee!” he said, laughing, then quickly tried to reassure the kids. “That’s OK guys, bees are good. They won’t land on you. They won’t sting you.”

This is just lulling the children into a false sense of security.


mattski 04.07.15 at 3:28 am

@ 50

It’s not a bee. It’s a nano-drone. The proof is out there.


bad Jim 04.07.15 at 5:23 am

Anonymous, just google “chunkier Reese Witherspoon”: it’s notorious.

…whatever residual enthusiasm I felt for the venture dissipated, with shocking speed, as she nibbled at my ear and whispered — “You know, I’m on the pill…”


Belle Waring 04.07.15 at 6:14 am

Philo Vahinger: it is supposed to be “wildly foreseeable.” Did you actually read a post by such a finicky person and think he hadn’t intended it? You didn’t get the joke about how getting stung by a bee while facing down the Red Bee is a “wildly foreseeable” injury? Didn’t slow you down for a moment?

Stephenson-quoter-kun: this is unquestionably but one among the many activities you engage in that make people super-happy.


mattski 04.07.15 at 2:33 pm

bad Jim,

Holy crap. I was not aware of that.

I blame Catholicism. Or something similar.


Marshall 04.07.15 at 4:06 pm

#4: A “Lost Cause”, as it were…

I was going to say likewise, it’s the Lost Cause That Keeps On Losing. I don’t know why people universally assume that the South, as a social movement, lost the Civil War, aka the War of Northern Aggression. I think it’s really really sad that the history of local control vs. federalism has got caught up with the issue of slavery*. I mean, locally Seattle can have a $15 wage and Massachusetts can do something towards universal health care. From here it looks tough on the people of Kansas, but important to recall that most folks there like it that way and those that don’t might fit in here in Oregon, maybe. Federalism might be a nifty idea on paper, but apparently it has no defense against creeping reactionism, which de natura has no brief at all for progress.

Maybe a more proper role for the federality (vs. enforcing uniform good manners everywhere) would be to enable Voting By Feet, on the assumption that people who like it where they are will do the best and most creative job of taking care of the place. Even in re coal, there’s something to it that it’s outside agitators (the money folks from NYC and Chi) who are causing the problems. Note that the new world order, which is federalized reactionism on the largest scale, has a strong vested interest in keeping people contained within arbitrary “states”.

* … pointing out that the Dutch managed to dismantle their slave empire without wrecking the country.


parse 04.07.15 at 4:52 pm

You may feel legal discrimination is a “minor” issue. I do not.

Well that must keep you up at night, since many, many types of discrimination are completely legal. It’s legal, for example, to refuse to hire someone based on their zodiac sign.

That isn’t because it’s fair to discriminate against Virgos, but because there is no history that such discrimination has caused significant harm to that class of applicants.

It might be the case that the Indiana law actually would have resulted in real-life injury to gay and lesbian citizens of the state, but I doubt that. I think the reason that bigots are willing to put up $1 million to support the hypothetical refusal to serve gay-wedding pizzas is that they realize they have lost the real-life battle. I don’t think gay and lesbian couples, in Indiana or anywhere else in the country, would have much difficulty finding a ready, willing and able caterer for their reception.


John Holbo 04.08.15 at 8:33 am

Any Red Bee-related confusions can be cleared up by starting here:


I am very sorry that Philo Vaihinger is unable to understand what ‘wildly foreseeable’ means in this context, but there will always be mysteries.


anonymoustoallbutthensa 04.09.15 at 1:12 am

Big Jim: Thanks for the link. Loved this sentence right before the money quote:

“My throat was dry from too much vodka, and her breasts, spilling out of pink pajamas, threatened my ability to. ”

to what? write? think? Betcha can still cash those paychecks though.

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