Tuesday, May 6, 2008

WWWtW-Watch #13: An Immodest Proposal


Dedicated to the proposition that it can happen here.

One can often not be entirely certain that "Zippy Catholic" (my own personal Bill Richardson) is being completely serious in the stuff he posts for public consumption. My guess is that most people find much of Zippy’s output to be patently tongue-in-cheek. I’m here to say it’s not.

Zippy’s latest proposal is that divorced individuals should be required to pay a surtax since, by dint of having divorced, they constitute a pollutant of “the commons.” Zippy peers into the plate, gets the sign, goes into his windup—there’s the signature high leg kick!—and casts the first stone.

Ball one.

In reiterating my belief that Zippy is dead serious here, I also want to point out that, like a dog returning to its vomit, Zippy’s superficially amusing metaphorical theme of divorce as pollution turns back upon itself rhetorically to identify with its eagerly probing snout the true agenda embedded in this steaming pool of nonsense:

Environmental regulations can of course be a subterfuge, a political tool used on false pretenses to sieze [sic] power for other purposes.

When you’ve stopped chuckling, then, it might be prudent to consider just exactly what are Zippy’s “other purposes”…?

7 comments:

Tom said...

I get that you're correcting anyone who might read Zippy's post and say, "Oh, what a card that Zippy is! Ha ha ha!"

But I think all you've done is correct it to, "Oh, how serious Zippy is! Ha ha ha!"

What in particular to you find so risible in his suggestion?

Rodak said...

The idea that a tax could be levied against people penalizing them for doing that which it is their legal right to do, is, uh, peculiar; but it's not funny ha-ha.
Physical polluting of the "commons" is not legal, and any resulting fines are appropriate as a means of raising revenues to clean up the mess.
I question what it is that the collected revenues Zippy proposes would be expended upon, and how anything would be corrected by levying such a tax.

Tom said...

Doesn't the marriage tax penalty penalize people for doing that which is their legal right to do?

For that matter, there are all sorts of taxes that could be said to penalize people for doing that which is their legal right to do (e.g., inherit, buy a yacht, smoke). And whatever the given rationale -- generally, it seems, "so the government can raise revenue, silly" -- a lot of people formally cooperate with levying such taxes for moral reasons (e.g., the rich are too rich, the smokers are too sick).

You can question what it is that the collected revenues Zippy proposes would be expended upon on Zippy's blog, where he's crossposted his proposal.

If his answer is, "I dunno, maybe roads," then he should call it a fee rather than a tax.

Rodak said...

In that case, Zippy didn't need the "pollution of the commons" metaphor, did he? It is that metaphor, in part, that makes his proposal objectionable. There is no moral judgement involved in the inheritance tax, the sales tax, the so-called marriage penalty...

Rodak said...

If my estimation, divorce, like gay marriage, does nothing to "pollute" the either the institution of marriage (unless the married man sees the divorcee, or the gay individual and secretly wants what he has), or society-at-large. Moreover, most Protestant denominations do not view divorce as critically as does the Catholic Church. And, of course, secularists are not bothered by religious considerations concerning divorce in any way.
That said, neither the Catholic Church, nor any other, owns "the commons" or has the right to patrol them. This is precisely what my on-going, now one-sided, issue with WWWtW is all about. We are privately guided by our beliefs; but we are publicly constrained and protected by secular, statute law.

An Interested Party said...

Going off on a slight tangent...I've always wondered what kind of perverse logic would lead a person to conclude that gay marriage is a "threat" to the institution of marriage itself...heterosexuals have done a quite fine job of deteriorating the institution of marriage without any help from homosexuals whatsoever...

Rodak said...

Exactly. If anything, the simple fact that homosexuals would want to marry is a promotion of the concept of an eternal union. That individuals find themselve not to be capable of fulfilling their promises has nothing to do with sexual orientation.