Rise Like a Phoenix

Well now.

What do you do when you’re a conservative Christian, you’re as good as Austrian as to make no real difference, and this wins the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest?

Obviously Conchita Wurst divides opinion, but what she represents is more than just a bloke who forgot to shave dressed up as a woman. Conchita (the stage persona of Thomas Neuwirth, an Austrian cabaret /drag artist) is queer, and according to some queer is fine and we should all just accept diversity and move on. This of course is what some people simply don’t want to do and they can’t understand why anyone would want to defy gender norms in this way, let alone why others flock to support her and showcase her as an icon for “otherness”.

Queer isn’t a unified notion of course. Although it is a term that can be used of those who deviate from the heteronormative gender distinctions that have shaped Western society for the past few centuries, how and why some of us are “queer” is a matter of some debate (and indeed some teleological controversy for Christians). There are a huge number of assumptions and judgements present on all sides of the debate. Why is someone different from the norm? Is that reason why a good thing? Should the difference be encouraged / tolerated / discouraged in our society? Take for example the issue of homosexuality – even when (some) conservatives and revisionists can agree that homosexuality has some form of biological basis, we can still utterly disagree as to the source and “goodness” of the variety. For some who accept a biological basis, being gay is part of the divinely ordained variety of life, for others it is an example of how the Fall corrupts ideal humanity. Same biological acceptance, different teleology, all essentially assumptions dressed up as facts and used to batter one another in the debate.

Queer is also confused by bringing together the different forms of societal expectation non-conformity into one amorphous conglomeration of diversity. So far the best acronym I’ve found is LGBTTIQQ2SA (go and look it up) which starts to make a mockery of the different experiences of non-heteronormativity. For example, just the phrase LGBT captures two utterly different experiences (same-sex attraction and transgenderism) and combines them into an alliance that loses all the distinction between the differing situations. It’s perfectly possible to be a conservative Christian, come to an open and cautiously accepting position on transgender issues and yet be opposed to same-sex activity. And even then when you separate out LGB you run into problems – you can be quite affirming of LGB people (and work to make sure they are not discriminated against) and yet still not accept that sex outside of the marriage of a man and a woman is moral. Is this form of tolerance acceptable or is “tolerance” actually a demand for endorsement?

You see, diversity is also often a curiously self-contradictory thing. Those who clamour for it often become incredibly conservative when they don’t want to extend the same demand for tolerance (and endorsement) to other queer behaviours they don’t approve of. For example, if we were to extend LGBT to become LGBTN (N for consensual adult incest), what now do we think? Is one person’s rejection of heteronormativity simply unacceptable because we don’t approve of their choices (you do what with your brother)? If acceptance is all about diversity and freedom, why restrict freedom in this way? Let’s include polyamoury while we’re at it – why should I not be allowed to be married to the two people that I love? Often, rather than engaging with these philosophical concerns, advocates of diversity will simply batten down the hatches and accuse those questioning of trying to conflate and make equivalent two different things. Which is curious coming from those who insist on using an acronym like LGBT which does exactly that very same thing.

Back to Conchita. Her song is actually rather disturbing when you look at the lyrics. Have you actually read the chorus?

Rise like a phoenix
Out of the ashes
Seeking rather than vengeance
Retribution
You were warned
Once I’m transformed
Once I’m reborn
You know I will rise like a phoenix
But you’re my flame

You were warned…. warned about what? Do you understand what Conchita is saying to you? She will rise and you, you who have denied her the right to be exactly who she wants to be (which is not necessarily in any way connected with who she biologically is, simply what she chooses to be), you will be the flame. That is the retribution, that is the transformation. You who stood in the way of queer being what it wants to be regardless of societal expectations, norms, dare I even say needs, you will become ash.

You were warned.

By all means celebrate diversity and tolerance. Certainly oppose discrimination and persecution. Definitely seek to understand and help. But stop and reflect for a moment as well. Are we truly creating a more open and accepting society, or are we replacing one normativity (a normativity that seeks to govern society by certain expectations and rules) with another? Is this new normativity of “inclusion” really any better than the paradigm it replaces? Is it in any way inclusive if it will not grant to other queer expressions (consensual incest, polyamoury) the same rights it fights for? Is it really diverse if it silences, nay threatens to burn, those who believe that an acceptance and legal empowering of all forms of behaviour is actually harmful for society?

If Conchita is signing about resurrection, what exactly are we bringing to rebirth?

Good song though. Great song. Next James Bond theme.

Posted in Austria, Diversity, Eurovision Song Contest, Queer
  • C. Quinn-Jones

    A great blog from beginning to end.

    The word ‘otherness’ (para 1) leaps out at me at the moment. I feel that a heterosexual relationship is actually all about ‘otherness’ – appreciation of, respect for and love for someone different… very different… indeed a member of ‘the opposite sex’, to use a phrase we used (without reproach ) when I was a girl.

    I look at the picture of Conchita and wonder where ‘otherness’ comes in to his/her ‘message’.
    Well a woman’s clothing and a man’s beard on the same person give me a picture of a person who wants the best of both worlds… wants to have his/her cake and eat it. Far from appreciating and respecting the ‘other’, he/she wants to grab some of the other for himself/herself. This grabbing is covetousness, not love.
    Christine
    I

    • Spot on.

    • Hamlet

      There are more ‘othernesses’ than male and female, which is what your comment implies. All I see him/her doing is playing with cultural gender stereotypes.

      • C. Quinn-Jones

        yes, every person we meet is an ‘other’

  • Jonathan Lancaster

    I hated the song- typical Eurovision drivel- dull, overwrought and derivative. I was cheering for the Netherlands.

  • karinrosner

    One of my work friends would either love or be jealous of Conchita. He’s a queer drag performer.I politely decline invitations to shows and didn’t go to his marriage ceremony. He knows my more conservative beliefs, but I think that knowing the differences in our worldviews makes our conversations more meaningful.

    Now, as for Mother Austria…. that beard looks painted on! Great song, I agree.

    Glad that I am Austrian-American…I think. Maybe.

    Europe can keep its song contest. I’ll just peek through the YouTube keyhole. ;)

  • This is Rabelais in grotesque androgyny.

    Wikipedia: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grotesque

    ‘Since at least the 18th century (in French and German as well as English), grotesque has come to be used as a general adjective for the strange, fantastic, ugly, incongruous, unpleasant, or disgusting, and thus is often used to describe weird shapes and distorted forms such as Halloween masks.’

    ‘In art, performance, and literature, grotesque, however, may also refer to something that simultaneously invokes in an audience a feeling of uncomfortable bizarreness as well as empathic pity.’

    ‘Rémi Astruc has argued that although there is an immense variety of motifs and figures, the three main tropes of the grotesque are doubleness, hybridity and metamorphosis.’

    So, can gender ‘doubleness, hybridity and metamorphosis’ expressed through art arouse a feeling of ‘uncomfortable bizarreness’ and ’empathetic pity’?

    Apparently, yes. While hermaphroditism is an acknowledged genetic medical condition, the intentional juxtaposition of secondary male and female features as an expression of identity is grotesque.

    ‘Moreover, Astruc identifies the grotesque as a crucial, and potentially universal, anthropological device that societies have used to conceptualize alterity and change.’

    That’s where the grotesque in art becomes a political device, hence the rainbow flags at a European musical celebration

    • Interesting.

    • Hamlet

      Sounds similar to Freud’s notion of the Uncanny. Interesting point.

  • “le grotesque est le lieu de l’impossibilite realisee, source d’un sentiment de malaise propice a une reflexion sur l’alterite” (the grotesque is the impossible brought to life, the embodiment of the discomfort that comes from reflecting on otherness).*

  • Guglielmo Marinaro

    What reason is there to get either excited or concerned about a drag queen, bearded or beardless? None whatever that I can see. It’s a mere piece of silliness.

    So a bearded drag queen has won the Eurovision Song Contest with her (his?) song. Is this of earth-shattering importance? No, it isn’t even of minor importance. Personally, I think that she looks a total pillock, but that’s my own subjective judgment. It’s up to her how she looks, and there’s no reason why she should seek my opinion. And it’s not even a new phenomenon: at one time the Bearded Lady was a regular feature of circus sideshows. Exactly how we might get from there to the acceptance of either consensual incest or polyamoury is very far from clear.

    • “at one time the Bearded Lady was a regular feature of circus sideshows.”
      Yes, and the bearded lady was just that – a lady with a beard, not a man pretending to be a woman pretending to be a man.
      This performance piece is about the opposite of inclusivity and diversity, since it includes everything in one person. Ditto “otherness”. Where a man wishes to be both male and female, he wishes to be both the “other” (female) and himself (male). Thus the otherness is not “other” but within. The transformation is from relational being (defined in relation to an other), to self-defined individual (including the other within yourself).
      By promoting the belief that we can transform our self into the other, it is suggested that there is no other. The problem, then, is that there is no longer anything that we are not. In which case, how do we know what we are? This is the trade-off that Satan is sucking us into – you can be anything you want to be, but you can’t be what you are.

      • C. Quinn-Jones

        I think you have articulated this really well. I’m particularly struck by your three sentences beginning with this one: ‘The problem, then, is that there is no longer anything that we are not.’ Satan must be having a field day. prayer, prayer and more prayer.

      • Guglielmo Marinaro

        If any man seriously wishes to be both male and female – and I can’t figure out why – let him try. He won’t succeed, but that’s his problem, not mine. I have far more important matters to concern myself with.

        What we have here is a man pretending to be a woman, but making it absolutely clear that he isn’t a woman. But that’s the whole point of drag queens – the fact that we all know perfectly well that they aren’t women. The drag queen acting as DJ for the disco in my local gay pub, looking like the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Magic Flute and making alternately bitchy and crude remarks at the barmen and clients, wouldn’t be anything like as amusing if we she really was a woman, or if we thought that she was. (Not that I’m a particular fan of drag queens: I find that a little of them goes a long way, and if I never saw another I could endure the deprivation with fortitude.) This particular one is simply taking the entire silliness ad absurdum. Where Satan – if indeed any such entity exists – comes into it is a question that I’m happy to leave others to trouble their heads over.

        • Wolf Paul

          Guglielmo, the parenthesis in your last sentence is of course the key to why you don’t see the point of this whole discussion. One who is not sure that Satan exists is not likely to be concerned about whether or what he is getting up to …

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            I see no reason to suppose that Satan, assuming that he exists, has anything to do with this piece of foolishness. I haven’t much time or patience for the practice of rushing to attribute things that go wrong or of which we disapprove to the agency of Satan. We have often heard people deriding what they call “God of the gaps” arguments, and not always entirely without justification. I don’t think that Satan of the gaps is any more convincing.

        • Hamlet

          You raise an important and interesting point, that the entire drag-industry hinges upon the notion of a performative persona which everyone knows isn’t really “you”. Particularly in a society where male and female “types” are so differentiated.

      • bernard.randall

        I agree that any transformation away from relational being is worrying, but of course the “other” could be God (the one thing we are not). That doesn’t mean that Thomas Neuwirth is personally aware of God as the Other, but I don’t think this particular concern holds up as being the work of Satan.

    • James Byron

      Yup, this is over-analysis in perfection. :D

      • You’re kind of making my point for me. As soon as someone starts to explore some of the contradictions within the “diversity” movement, instead of actually engaging with the issues the conversation is shut down with insults or a refusal to debate.

        • James Byron

          Not the issues (which I’ve discussed here before) so much as using Eurovision as a vehicle!

          • I rest my case – you’re just not engaging with the underlying problems with the “inclusion” position.

            • Guglielmo Marinaro

              Your argument, reduced to its simplest terms, seems to be that if a society starts to adopt a more liberal and accepting attitude towards any behaviour that it had previously stigmatized, there is no place at which a line can justifiably be drawn. Not an argument that holds water.

              • No, my argument is that if you apply THE SAME criteria that have been used to legally privilege certain relationships to other relationships which have not, you reach the same conclusion with those other relationships.

                It’s not slippery slope, it’s legal niceties.

                • James Byron

                  When I engaged these points before, I noted that the criteria aren’t identical (incest isn’t an orientation; I guess polyamory may be, but then, it’s thoroughly biblical, so no big from your POV).

                  But Eurovision, for warbling out loud! The high altar of camp, the contest that brought us Lordi and a singing turkey. If anything’s disturbing about it, it’s the triumph of realpolitik in the voting, or it would be if it wasn’t so entertaining.

                  • carl jacobs

                    James Byron

                    Why is orientation a meaningful criterion for discrimination? The presence of an orientation says absolutely nothing about the licitness of any behavior that derives from the orientation. Desire is not self-justifying. If tomorrow pedophilia was declared an orientation, it would not change the moral nature of the act one jot or tittle. Men have all sorts of desires that originate from many sources. Men are still required to rise above their desires and act morally.

                    It is common to hear people say that orientation justifies homosexual behavior, but in fact the behavior has already been vetted by a prior criterion. And that criterion is consent. Because the behavior has been judged licit according to the standard of consent, therefore the orientation may be considered natural. As such, the orientation itself can be used to demolish the structural.boundaries that formerly restricted the behavior. Even so, this argument from nature rests unambiguously upon a foundation of consensual choice.

                    The modern world has spent 60 years establishing consent as the basis of sexual morality. You can’t at this late date say “Well, we still want to keep some structural boundaries” and leave it there. You are going to have to explain why consent does not overcome those boundaries. You must explain and establish the new vetting criteria and explain why that criteria doesn’t apply to homosexuality. And the arguments you will make will sound suspiciously like the arguments we make about homosexuality. They will be viewed with just as jaundiced an eye by your intellectual progeny – those who have internalized the primacy of consent.

                    In the end, you are trusting to the inviolability of your own “ick factor.” You are really trusting that people won’t change their minds on things like incest and polyamory. Because if they do, all the logic is already in place to justify whatever they want. It wasn’t too long ago that people couldn’t conceive of a cultural shift on homosexuality. Look where we are now. Future changes will come faster, because the foundation is already laid. The hard work has already been done.

                    I note in passing that laws against incest are already beginning to crumble.

                    • Guglielmo Marinaro

                      What I think that you really need to do is it to decide, quite irrespective of any questions about homosexuality or sexual orientation, what your moral objections are to, for example, incestuous or paedophilic sexual behaviour. When you have explained and established what they are, you can then ask, how precisely do those moral objections apply to that vast majority of homosexual relationships which, like the vast majority of heterosexual relationships, are non-incestuous and non-paedophilic? I think you’ll find that they don’t.

                    • James Byron

                      As Guglielmo Marinaro says below, conservatives seem to dismiss the possibility that adult incest and polyamory are different in kind to homosexuality.

                      Is this raised for any reason other than emotional ammo? If a supporter of equal marriage says, “OK, there may be grounds to affirm consensual incest between adults,” will they be applauded for their consistency, or promptly denounced?

                      Call be a big ol’ cynic, but most times, I go for option two.

                    • Thus far, the grounds upon which SSM proponents have promoted the removal of gender prohibitions from matrimonial law were that the only criteria for marriage should be genuine adult consent and the acknowledged potential for at least of some of those relationships to be permanent, faithful and stable. The potential for incongruence with other kinship relations was never considered.

                      It really doesn’t matter that adult incest and polyamory are different in kind to homosexuality. In respect of a consistent arguments against marriage prohibitions, the issue is whether either could ever involve genuine adult consent and form the basis for PFS relationships.

                      If any such relationships could be PFS (and there’s evidence to support this), I can’t see how they could fall foul of the two criteria that liberals apply in respect of marriage prohibitions.

                      What is the difference in kind that justifies maintaining a blanket prohibition on recognising any instance of adult incest or polyamory as marriage? What’s the additional criteria for continued blanket prohibition?

                    • James Byron

                      If reformers have trouble, so do conservatives: the Bible nowhere condemns polygamy, and to add to the woe, SFAIK, the NT doesn’t explicitly condemn consensual adult incest.

                      Liberals could at least offer reasons (power-imbalance, exploitation, etc), but conservatives are stuck. The Bible says it, I believe it. If the Bible doesn’t say it, then what?

                    • The problem is that those ‘reasons’ do not hold up as the basis for blanket prohibition.

                      As far as the State is concerned, history shows why marriage registration was instigated. While the maternal parenthood was rarely in doubt, marriage law sought to fix paternal responsibility through the conjugal identity, but without a wholesale overriding of biological paternity, if discovered.

                      Consistently, marriage has prohibited categories of sexual relationships that might be incongruous with the primacy of preserving existing kinship responsibilities. So, incest undermines the platonic accord within existing close family kinship responsibilities. It’s incongruous with the primacy of preserving those arrangements.

                      To promote same-sex relationships to a genuinely equal status of marriage would involve applying a legal fiction to invest a spouse without any possibility of a biological connection to the child with primary parental status. It thereby permits the primacy of an existing unsurrendered paternal kinship to be undermined by marriage status. There plenty of case law to prove this already happens.

                      Concerning explicit NT pronouncements, you will note that Christ’s reference to Genesis was deductive, reasoning from the archetype to respond to a specific issue regarding the permanence of marriage. To look for explicit instances to formulate a general law is inductive and contrary to Christ’s own method. What other principles can be deductively applied from the Genesis archetype?

                    • James Byron

                      So the NT only applies when we can do a Sherlock?

                      Well, it’s a hermeneutic …

                    • Come on JB, Sherlock’s reasoning was inductive, not deductive. Reasn from particulars to establish factual principles, not the other way around..

                      That’s elementary!

                      Look at Jesus’ hermeneutic of Psalm 110. The Pharisees were incapable of deducing his unrivalled divine authority from the evidence implied by beneficent signs and wonders, he challenges them to deduce Christ’s heritage.

                      While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”
                      “The son of David,” they replied.
                      He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.” ’If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?”

                      Contrary to norms of ancestral respect, if Israel’s greatest king could express complete deference to this anointed physical descendant, does that imply the Messiah’s spiritual authority? Whose son is He really?

                      It didn’t prompt them to make an inference in support of Christ’s own claim (considered by the Pharisees as blasphemy) that: ‘Before Abraham was born, I am’ (John 8:58) because they considered His evidence circumstantial, for some of them, only making his claims probable, but not incontrovertible.

                      They wanted stronger immediate evidence from which they reason through their doubts inductively: ‘So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ (John 6:30)
                      Yes, an incontrovertible sign from above, not a sign from among.
                      He didn’t provide it because they had to see things differently, to realize that the Kingdom of God is no longer revealed through portents from a distant deity. The Kingdom of God is at hand: miraculous divine intervention breaking in to transform ordinary mixed up ‘down-here’ lives, like yours and mine.
                      I reckon we can all learn a lot from deduction.

                    • Guglielmo Marinaro

                      And I’m sure that you’re absolutely right.

                    • carl jacobs

                      It’s not conservatives that you need to worry about. We have been told “Your moral objections to homosexuality have no public standing. If you think gay sex is immoral, then don’t have gay sex. Otherwise, keep your nose out of my f__ing bedroom, and out of my f__ing life.” So if you are going to try to distinguish between homosexual relationships and incestuous relationships, then you become the new conservatives.

                      You are going to have to tell people who consistently follow the logic of consent why they cannot consent to having sex with a sibling. You privatized sexual behavior in order to justify homosexuality. Now you want to un-privatize it in order to maintain restrictions on incest. The arguments you will make will be moral arguments and will rest upon the assumption that there are some things a man cannot morally consent to do. But this is the very premise that you demolished in the campaign to normalize homosexuality.

                      You will be told exactly what we were told: “Your moral objections to incest have no public standing. If you think incest is immoral, then don’t have sex with your sister. Otherwise, keep your nose out of my f__ing bedroom, and out of my f__ing life.” And if you have no better response than the stammering and equivocation demonstrated on this thread, you will have lost the argument before you even started. You might even find yourself being persuaded that you are wrong, because your argument is so clearly inconsistent with your prior position.

                    • Guglielmo Marinaro

                      I’m not sure that I get this bit about “You privatized sexual behavior in order to justify homosexuality”. Are you saying that HETEROSEXUAL behaviour was formerly NON-privatized? If so, I have to confess that I was previously unaware of it, so thank you for apprising me.

                      No sane and responsible person has, to the best of my knowledge, ever disputed that there are some things that a man cannot morally consent to do. The acceptance of homosexual behaviour (with the same provisos as for heterosexual behaviour) does not deny the assumption that there are some things that a man (or woman) cannot morally consent to do; it merely denies the assumption that homosexual behaviour per se is one of them.

                      When you have specified your moral objections to incestuous sexual relationships, which I am sure you will have no difficulty in doing, perhaps you will kindly explain to us how they also apply to gay relationships.

                    • James Byron

                      I don’t believe the criminal law should cover (genuinely) consensual adult incest, as it doesn’t in many jurisdictions. Those fantastically-rare estranged brother/sister couples who meet in adulthood, beloved of conservatives and the tabloids, should be allowed to rest easy.

                      As for marriage, well, reformers and conservatives would seem to be in the same boat for once. If you want to argue for a narrow exception to the ban, I’m all ears.

                • Guglielmo Marinaro

                  “…if you apply THE SAME criteria that have been used to legally privilege certain relationships to other relationships which have not, you reach the same conclusion with those other relationships.”

                  You seem to be ignoring the possibility that, irrespective of those same criteria, there may be objections which are applicable to the latter type of relationships but not to the former.

                  • Then spell them out. For example, let’s start with adult consensual incest. What are the objections?

                    • Guglielmo Marinaro

                      Peter, to be honest, I have never given the matter of adult consensual incest (or any other kind of incest) much thought. It simply isn’t something that has ever loomed large in my consciousness. If I try to make a case against it off the cuff, it will most likely be one in which you can pick holes.

                      I don’t see that that really matters, however. I’m not aware of knowing any ordinary (non-incestuous) straight couple who think that moral legitimacy needs to be conferred on their own sexual relationship by making a cast-iron case against adult consensual incest (even if such a case can be made). There is no justification for imposing that chore on a gay couple.

                      Perhaps you can state your own case for us against adult consensual incest and then tell us how you think that it applies to non-incestuous adult homosexual relationships.

                    • Once again you demonstrate the exact equivocation on the issue that I argued in my blog post.

                    • Guglielmo Marinaro

                      So if a gay person can’t provide an immediate and cogent case against adult consensual incest, they are equivocating? I don’t quite see that. I regard gay relationships, in themselves, as good. I shall continue to regard them as good, just as nearly everyone regards heterosexual relationships, in themselves, as good, no matter what the objections to adult consensual incest may be. I have invited you to demonstrate how a convincing case against adult consensual incest applies equally to adult consensual gay relationships. I repeat the invitation.

                    • Give me one good reason why a consenting mature permanent stable faithful adult incestuous couple shouldn’t have their love legally recognised and have the equal right to marriage as a non related couple?

                    • James Byron

                      What’s your case against heterosexual incest between consenting adults?

                    • Once again, you demonstrate my point for me.

                    • Guglielmo Marinaro

                      Peter, whether or not you think that I should have done, I have never in my life asked such questions as “If consensual gay relationships are morally permissible, why aren’t consensual incestuous ones?” or “If a committed gay relationship can be given legal recognition, why can’t a committed incestuous one?”. They have always been asked by other people, and you are one of them.

                      The questions are, of course, loaded ones: they are clearly meant to imply, “If you regard gay relationships (with the qualifications “adult”, “consensual” etc. which I won’t bother to keep on repeating) as morally acceptable, then you have no grounds for treating incestuous relationships (with the same qualifications) differently. If you dispute that, the onus is on you to demonstrate otherwise.” That is what I reject. The comparison of gay relationships to incestuous ones has been made by you, not by me, so the onus is not on me to show exactly how incestuous relationships are a different kettle of fish.

                      Since, however, this is by no means the first time that you have made this comparison and asked these or similar questions, no-one should have got up so well as you the reasons why you consider incestuous relationships to be morally wrong. So I respectfully ask YOU, with the benefit of your presumably extensive study, reasoning and reflection on the subject, to give ME any good reason why a consenting etc. etc. incestuous couple shouldn’t have their love legally recognized, which ALSO constitutes a good reason why a consenting etc. etc. gay couple shouldn’t have their love legally recognized. (I leave aside the question of “marriage”, since I don’t wish to rehearse yet again my reasons for thinking that the terminology long attached to straight relationships doesn’t need to be attached to gay ones.)

                    • James Byron

                      Yes, as I asked Peter above, what are the biblical arguments against polygamy (regulated in the law of Moses, practiced by the heroes of Israel without censure) and consensual adult incest (not, if I recall right, condemned by Paul)?

                      The best I’ve ever seen is “Well, Adam and Eve is obviously the ideal,” which does nothing to explain away the other biblical material. If anyone should run into trouble with the “what about …?” questions, its those who’d use the Bible as a how-to.

    • No, a bearded lady winning matters little, but the overwhelming support for her (and the reasons for that support) matters a great deal.

      If they didn’t, no-one would have waved a single rainbow flag last night.

      • It’s not taken seriously because compared to an artist like Marilyn Manson (the Grotesk Burlesk tour), Eurovision lacks high-brow artistic pretensions.

        As you rightly indicate, it’s the overwhelming support that shows that

    • SeekTruthFromFacts

      “there’s no reason why she should seek my opinion”

      Two days ago, she wanted your vote….

      • Guglielmo Marinaro

        Well, what of it? There would have been no chance of her getting either.

  • Wolf Paul

    What strikes me about this situation is that here we have a performer who dresses and names* herself to shock and provoke, and then her supporters get upset because people are shocked and feel provoked …

    * my Spanish-speaking friends tell me “conchita” is a vulgar term for the vagina, and German-speakers might recognize that Wurst (sausage) is a vulgar term for the penis. How seriously can one expect to be taken with a self-inflicted name like “C*nt Pr*ck”?

    • Guglielmo Marinaro

      Thank you for that information, Wolf Paul. The only other Conchita whom I’d previously heard of was Conchita Supervia, a phenomenal Spanish mezzo-soprano popular in the first half of the last century. (Some of her recordings are to be found on YourTube, and they’re well worth listening to, if you like that kind of thing, as I do.)

      Your last sentence is, of course, the key to why I don’t see a great deal of point in this discussion. I wouldn’t take her seriously even without a self-inflicted name like “C*nt Pr*ck”, and that’s why, not being one of her supporters, I don’t get upset because some people are shocked and feel provoked. I don’t see any reason to take them any more seriously than I take her.

  • gerv

    Bit late now, but: are you sure you’ve interpreted the lyrics correctly? Clearly for modern pop music this is a bit of an exercise in guesswork, but could it be that “you’re my flame” is not a threat, but a “you’ll be the one who supports me” or “my source and inspiration”? That’s how I originally interpreted it…

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