Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What's Wrong With Everyone Else

You can call it tribal loyalty, authoritarianism, insecurity, political expediency or personal enrichment, but in the end it's just another round of Megan McArdle's favorite parlor game, What's Wrong With Everyone Else.

Why Gay Marriage Will Win, and Sexual Freedom Will Lose

In the future, gay marriage will not only be legal, but practically mandatory.
You know what's wrong with liberals? They think they are so tolerant with their gay marriage and right to privacy but they'll be sorry because they are wrong, wrong wrong.
[...]In some sense, the sexual revolution is over . . . and the forces of bourgeois repression have won.
That's right, I said it: this is a landmark victory for the forces of staid, bourgeois sexual morality. Once gays can marry, they'll be expected to marry. And to buy sensible, boring cars that are good for car seats. I believe we're witnessing the high water mark for "People should be able to do whatever they want, and it's none of my business." You thought the fifties were conformist? Wait until all those fabulous "confirmed bachelors" and maiden schoolteachers are expected to ditch their cute little one-bedrooms and join the rest of America in whining about crab grass, HOA restrictions, and the outrageous fees that schools want to charge for overnight soccer trips.

You know what's wrong with gays? They want to have what Megan McArdle has, when they are not Megan McArdle. They keep butting into Megan McArdle's group demanding to join in with her inner circle of specialness without sucking up properly first. They won't tell her she is always right and is smarter than anyone else, or help her career by supporting conservatives, or vote for lower taxes, or anything. They don't deserve to be in her group.

Not that all married people are special, mind you. Those suburban schlubs certainly aren't special, they're whiny and boring.  They have expensive children and crabgrass and rules and regulations to follow. Not like McArdle, who lives in a charming Victorian rowhouse in a nearly desirable neighborhood in an exciting, vibrant city. Her imported car is cute and hip, not boxy and boring.

You know what else is wrong with liberals? They think they'll get to have a life of "permanent infatuation" and continue their 'licentious, "anything goes"' immoral ways. But they won't, because there are pendulums and circles and ovals that are actually tracks that go around and around. Victorian morality will return and the liberals will be left behind. Already the elite, whom are all Republicans, are staying with their wives more and more!

But even though the liberal elite are wrong, so are the non-elite, who are not getting married, evidently because "progressive academics of the 1970s" told them not to. It seems poor women have children because they are post-modernists who have moved beyond bourgeoisie morality in favor of serial partners and indiscriminate parenthood, not because they have difficult, chaotic lives. After all, one of the other things wrong with the poor is that they just make bad decisions. It's not that the difficult life led to the bad decisions, because as Mr. Matthew Yglesias would tell us, we are all equal on the playing fields of the Lord.

McArdle, who blogs about economics, does not mention the money factor in all of their moral calculations. Poor women can't afford to marry. Middle class women can't afford to divorce.

She does, however, note that it's a shame that people no longer shame unwed mothers, but she is very hopeful that this will change in the future, as the track is rounded or pendulum is swung or whatever. Because another thing that is wrong with liberals is their desire for "carefree sex," and if everyone can marry "they," whoever "they" are, will stop defending sex and children outside of marriage and there goes that pendulum again. So when gays can marry, heterosexual elites will no longer defend sex outside of marriage and gays will be forced to live lives of suburban quiet desperation, when they are not repressing public morality to ensure they are not left for a younger man.

Finally, there's something wrong with the kids out there today who are putting off marriage. McArdle put off marriage but she is discussing what is wrong with everyone else, not what is wrong with Megan McArdle, which is nothing, so there.

If I had to guess, I'd also put late marriage on the endangered list. I married at 37 myself, so I'm not judging, here. But if we want childbearing to take place inside marriage (and I think we do), then the average age of first marriage can't get higher; it probably shouldn't even stay so high. As that average age rises, you get two unwanted phenomenon on the tails of the distribution: babies born to unmarried parents at the low end, and couples who want children but can't have them on the high side. So the current upper-middle-class tendency to push marriage later and later while people finish their educations and get settled doesn't seem very stable to me--even before we consider the difficulty of finding a mate to match your settled life, which Keith Humphreys has dubbed The Problem of Grandma's Lamp.

Of course, predictions are hard, especially about the the future. Nonetheless, here is mine: whatever the Supreme Court decides, gay marriage will soon be legal throughout the land. But this will not mean that we drive ever onwards towards greater sexual freedom--rather, it will mean quite the reverse. The sexual revolution is over. And the revolutionaries lost.
It's very sad that Megan McArdle has led such an unstable life, with her premarital fornication and living in sin with various and assorted men who came and went or came and stayed and her putting off marriage until late in life when she is much less likely to reproduce.

If it were anyone else, it would be downright wrong.


aimai said...

So very Yay to see you are back, Susan! You have been sorely missed.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

You've got to hand it to her, she keeps on finding ways to top her previous stupidity.

Take that, Tommy Friedman!

Susan of Texas said...

Thanks, aimai!

McArdle is the gift that keeps on giving.

Anonymous said...

So glad to have you back, Susan

Lurking Canadian said...

I'm Megan McArdle. I am SO SMART that, simply by gazing out my kitchen window, I can deduce the social trends of decades. I need not do research. I need not cite sources. I need not even think very hard. The answers just come to me because I am JUST THAT SMART.

Mandos said...

Also, she's not judging, here.

Anonymous said...

Susan, I absolutely adore your deadpan wit. I haven't the patience to actually read McArdle, so if it weren't for your heart-warming analyses (or should I say "post-mortems"), I would simply miss out on so much fun.

Susan of Texas said...

I think of them as autopsies too.

And thanks!

Batocchio said...

One of the most obnoxious things she's ever written, and boy, that's saying something. (We had great fun with this one over at Roy's place, but I like your take, too, of course.)