horror

Buglife

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 22 February 2016.To the one, jokes about the ravages of age, generally speaking, and the horror of middle age more particularly, are proverbial low-hanging fruit, and, sure you’re welcome to do a testicle joke, here.

Oh, right. Low-hanging fruit. Adam Huber. But, you know, no testicle joke.

Just, you know, a bug swallowing an ice tray.

Oh, wait. That’s not right. Besides, does anybody under forty know what an ice tray is?

Never mind. Something about a bag of party ice would be pushing it. But, yeah, there is this weird time in memory, between ice trays and ice makers, when everyone seemed to have a bag of ice in their freezer. Oh, right. And sixteen random cooler packs, none of which matched the cooler they actually hauled out when occasion demanded.

Because the one reliable thing about middle age is that it leaves you feeling like a ranting old fart.

Goddamn cooler pack landfill nightmares.

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Image note: Lordy, Lordy ― Detail of Bug Martini by Adam Huber, 22 February 2016.

The Depth of Sickness

Women and children from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, near the Iraqi-Syrian border crossing in Fishkhabour, Dohuk province, August 14, 2014. (Photo: Reuters/Youssef Boudlal)

That we do not dispute this or, really, any other aspect of David Frankfurter’s analysis only adds to our horror:

The social context may be just as important for understanding this new policy of sexual enslavement. One thing learned from the study of the small religious movements that have sprung up in the West over the past few centuries is the systematic restructuring of sexual relations that leaders have often demanded at an early point in the movement. This may involve group celibacy or polygamy, the exclusive sexual rights of the leader, or free sexual relations. It can often mean dissolution of prior marriages.

From the Jewish Frankists to the Mormons, the Shakers, the Branch Davidians and others, there is a pattern of inverting or eliminating prior sexual and emotional bonds to establish a new order, administered through the leader and his acolytes at the most intimate level.

This could easily apply to Islamic State’s sexual enslavement policies. The group is declaring its own institutional domination over both the bodies of women it has captured and the sexual gratification of its recruits — as an explicit feature of its new religious utopia.

This is why.

The thing is that this isn’t just Daa’ish or Boko Haram; they are just particularly ugly, heavily-armed manifestations of a terrifying proposition―deliberate conditioning of females for sexual abuse. I wonder if they would put down their rifles in exchange for a reality television show: 3,000 Slaves and Counting.

Unfortunately, that’s not simply a crass joke.

Neither is the common bond between Western purity cult and Daa’ish; assertions of moral and, in some aspects literal, ownership of females is not some random phenomenon that happened within the Daa’ish experience, but, rather, a driving purpose of patriarchal societies. In the end, it is very possibly the reason why.

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Image note: Women and children from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, near the Iraqi-Syrian border crossing in Fishkhabour, Dohuk province, August 14, 2014. (Photo: Reuters/Youssef Boudlal)

Frankfurter, David. “The true motives behind Islamic State’s use of sexual slavery”. Reuters. 8 September 2015.

Good Advice

Detail of 'xkcd #1459' by Randall Munroe.Most of us learn the hard way. Take it easy on yourself and heed the advice.

Oh, and, you know, one of these days, you’re going to need something out of your own damn Documents folder, so stop doing this to yourself, too.

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Munroe, Randall. “Documents”. xkcd #1459. 11 December 2014.