I’m browsing through a vast collection of contemporary art at artsy. It is truly impressive, but, and I think it would occur to anyone after 10 minutes of browsing, there is so much angst and fear and paranoid-schizophrenic fragmentation… This, of course, is as much about our epistemological predicament as it is about contemporary art, so, in a sense, all these paintings, lithographs and installations are certainly right to be angsty about the impossibility to appraise the world in its totality. But this is a fearsome situation by itself. If a hundred years ago an artist was still a hopeful figure capable to lead the way, the message today, it seems, is that all of us are pretty much in the same hopeless boat. Hence, perhaps, the oft repeated remark regarding contemporary art: “Anyone could have done that”. It is amusing, in this respect, to read about the reception history of Hirst’s shark in formaldehyde and his retort “But you didn’t, did you?” immediately followed by a story that, well, actually someone did, two years before. This, I believe, is very telling. Just like truth has become whatever we make it to be, so has the value of art. If back in the days the genius of a work of art seemed to be still independent of whether yours or mine puny mind was capable of appreciating it, today more than ever it demands a conscious decision, like the decision to consider the Emperor fully clothed. The notion of “masterpiece”, in this sense, has lost its meaning once and, perhaps, for all.
I often think about my intellectual development as occurring in four distinct stages, one at a time but with reversion as a permanent possibility.
1. All is genuinely covered up. (I am in earnest about my convictions which later I will be able to declare to have been my ‘false consciousness’).
2. The bog. (I adopt the ‘false consciousnesses’ of others in an attempt to overcome that which later I will be able to declare to have been my ‘false consciousness’).
3. The trickster. (I realize there is no difference between truthful narratives and consistent narratives).
4. The lapse. (It is work keeping the possibility of #3 in mind; I revert to #2; or even #1 taking it to still be #3).
This passage from Beyond Good and Evil (#31) immediately comes to mind, suggesting, perhaps, that it would be foolish (or at least careless) to curb this process by notions of finitude:
The wrathful and reverent attitudes characteristic of youth do not seem to permit themselves any rest until they have forged men and things in such a way that these attitudes may be vented on them — after all, youth in itself has something of forgery and deception. Later, when the young soul, tortured by all kinds of disappointments, finally turns suspiciously against itself, still hot and wild, even in its suspicion and pangs of conscience — how wroth it is with itself now! how it tears itself to pieces, impatiently! how it takes revenge for its long self-delusion, just as if it had been a deliberate blindness! In this transition one punishes oneself with mistrust against ones own feelings; one tortures one’s own enthusiasm with doubts; indeed, one experiences even a good conscience as a danger, as if it were a way of wrapping oneself in veils and the exhaustion of subtler honesty — and above all one takes sides, takes sides on principle, against “youth.” — Ten years later one comprehends that all this, too — was still youth.
And, at the end of his first meditation, Descartes muses about the challenge of holding fast to one’s skeptical doubts:
But to carry out this plan requires great effort, and there is a kind of indolence that drags me back to my customary way of life. Just as a prisoner, who was perhaps enjoying an imaginary freedom in his dreams, when he then begins to suspect that he is asleep is afraid of being woken up, and lets himself sink back into his soothing illusions; so I of my own accord slip back into my former opinions, and am scared to awake, for fear that tranquil sleep will give way to laborious hours of waking, which from now on I shall have to spend not in any kind of light, but in the unrelenting darkness of the difficulties just stirred up.
There is, finally, a testimony (the source eludes me) about Hume being an unusually jolly fellow, despite his grim philosophical conclusions.
In The Origins of Totalitarianism Hannah Arendt argues that one of the essential features of totalitarianism is its reliance on the mass man. Atomized and lonely, masses – unlike classes – have neither common goals nor shared interests: they are primed for a big totalitarian idea. The mass man was already there in the West – a result of the breakdown of the class system – ready for the Nazi movement. In the Soviet Russia, on the other hand, argues Arendt, the mass man had to actually be created. Which Stalin did, more often than not by means of murder, and without sparing anyone from elite to a peasant.
It is especially interesting, in the light of the above, to read Günther Anders’ essay ”The Phantom World of TV”. What took centuries in the West and what had to be artificially and violently precipitated in the Soviet Russia, a TV-set achieves in a nick of time. “The stage-managing of masses in the Hitler style has become superfluous: to transform a man into a nobody (and one who is proud of being a nobody) it is no longer necessary to drown him in the mass or to enlist him as an actual member of a mass organization.” The magic of a TV set is that it turns a person into a mass man from the comfort of his home. Moreover, it happens with our own consent. Without giving away too many details, I will just quote here a few of Anders’ conclusions. (This is a relatively short and very well written essay, which is somewhat difficult to find; it can be borrowed for free from the open library as a part of the anthology Mass culture: the popular arts in America, page 358).
1. When the world comes to us, instead of our going to it, we are no longer ”in the world,” but only listless, passive consumers of the world.
2. Since the world comes to us only as an image, it is half-present and half absent, in other words, phantom-like; and we too are like phantoms.
3. When the world speaks to us, without our being able to speak to it, we are deprived of speech, and hence condemned to be unfree.
4. When the world is perceivable, but no more than that, i.e., not subject to our action, we are transformed into eavesdroppers and Peeping Toms.
5. When an event that occurs at a definite place is broadcast, and when it can be made to appear at any other place as a “broadcast,” it becomes a movable, indeed, almost ubiquitous object, and has forfeited its spatial location, its principium individuationis.
6. When the event is no longer attached to a specific location and can be reproduced virtually any number of times, it acquires the characteristics of an assembly-line product; and when we pay for having it delivered to our homes, it is a commodity.
7. When the actual event is socially important only in its reproduced form, i.e., as a spectacle, the difference between being and appearance, between reality and image of reality, is abolished.
8. When the event in its reproduced form is socially more important than the original event, this original must be shaped with a view to being reproduced: in other words, the event becomes merely a master matrix, or a mold for casting its own reproductions.
9. When the dominant experience of the world thrives on such assembly line products, the concept “the world” is abolished in so far as it denotes that in which we live. The real world is forfeited; the broadcasts, in other words, further an idealistic orientation.
Grandma is baking a cake. She needs sugar. There is a jar of white crystalline substance on the shelf. She asks you to check whether it is sugar or salt. You take a pinch and put it in your mouth. By doing so you obviously consume it. But what is in the jar? Grandma is waiting. You take another pinch.
Reading thick volumes of philosophical pondering is certainly a fun and healthy activity. It is not always the case, however, that one has time for a hearty meal of metaphysical speculation or ethical deliberation. Luckily, for those in a rush there is a snackier solution to the thought nourishment: reading short philosophical essays. All the big names in philosophy are normally (and for a good reason) associated with their magna opera: Plato and The Republic, Nietzsche and Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Heidegger and Being & Time. However, all these people, including Plato, had written shorter and no less fascinating pieces that deserve the reader’s attention. They can be standalone expositions of interesting ideas or even summaries of the author’s own thought condensed into a digestible dozen-page format. In other words, nearly every philosopher had written a bunch of short essays during their career, and these essays can serve as both a great entry point into the heads of these philosophers and as a stimulating dose of new ideas that does not take years and an academic degree to study.
In this new rubric called “Snack for Thought” I will be introducing short philosophical essays that I find particularly interesting and stimulating. They will not be analysed in detail but rather presented in a rough outline: the impetus behind this rubric is that the readers are motivated to check the original article by themselves. For that reason, whenever possible (and legal) I will try to provide a link to the article in question. One last remark before we proceed. Calling an essay a “snack” is by no means intended to be demeaning. Rather, if we were to compare the size of the Critique of Pure Reason to a hearty meal, Kant’s short essay “What is Enlightenment?” would be a drop of Tic-Tac. Much fewer calories, but also much easier to swallow.
Foucault’s ”Of Other Spaces” is actually not an essay but a lecture delivered to the students of architecture in 1967. Nevertheless (or maybe precisely because of that), it is a fairly easy and stimulating read. The text, in fact, is 2-in-1. In the first part of the lecture Foucault briefly presents a rough “history of space” – how and why our notions of space have changed through time. In the second and bigger part of the talk Foucault introduces a term that has consequently become in vogue among all kinds of architects and urban planners: “heterotopia”.
Space, says Foucault, has a history. He divides this history in three parts. First, is the space of emplacement. In the Middle Ages space is hierarchical: there are sacred and profane, urban and rural places; in Aristotelean-Ptolemaic cosmology there is a separation between terrestrial, celestial and supercelestial spaces.
Second, this space of emplacement was “infinitized” by Galileo in the 17th century: “For the real scandal of Galileo’s work lay not so much in his discovery, or rediscovery, that the earth revolved around the sun, but in his constitution of an infinite, and infinitely open space. In such a space the place of the Middle Ages turned out to be dissolved.” Place, in other words, has become relativized: “a thing’s place was no longer anything but a point in its movement”.
Third and finally, today, the emphasis has shifted from the extension to the relations of proximity between the elements: “formally, we can describe these relations as series, trees, or grids.” To sum up, in the Middle Ages a thing had its natural place (and would move toward it), with Gallileo things had lost their natural places and became moving points, and, finally, today, the relationship between these moving points has become of importance. “Our epoch is one in which space takes for us the form of relations among sites.” Foucault gives examples of demography and traffic grid, and, surely, if he lived in the era of the Internet the worldwide web would figure as an example. Both the physical infrastructure of the Internet ans well as its contents present a complex network of interrelated “places”.
In the second part of the lecture Foucault introduces the term “heterotopia”. Literally, “a different place”, heterotopias are the opposite of utopias. A utopia does not exist in reality but is directly related, by mirroring or subverting, the present state of society. Heterotopias, on the other hand, do exist, they “are something like counter-sites, a kind of effectively enacted utopia in which the real sites, all the other real sites that can be found within the culture, are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted.” Heterotopias are closely related to the notion of liminality: they are places different, possibly opposite, from what is “normal” and yet they are always related to that “normal”. Cemeteries, theaters, and brothels are all examples of heterotopias. As well as the boat: “a floating piece of space, a place without a place, that exists by itself, that is closed in on itself and at the same time is given over to the infinity of the sea”.
(Foucault dedicated a good portion of his Madness and Civilization to the nautical thematic. During the Renaissance, he writes, the imagery of a ship was in vogue: the ship of princes, virtuous ladies, even the ship of health would often find their place in the popular literature of the time. Set apart from the above is the ship of fools, the Narrenschiff - a vessel both metaphorical and real. Foucault writes in the Madness and Civilization: “of all these romantic or satiric vessels, the Narrenschiff is the only one that had a real existence – for they did exist, these boats that conveyed their insane cargo from town to town”. The heterotopic meaning of the ship of fools is very vivid. Not only it is a boat and, as such, has no place where it belongs (and yet it is a place in itself), but further it is full of the “madmen” – people who are the opposite of the “normal” people on the dry land: “these ships of fools, which haunted the imagination of the entire early Renaissance, were pilgrimage boats, highly symbolic cargoes of madmen is search of their reason”.)
Foucault closes his lecture with a line that since has become famous: “The ship is the heterotopia par excellence. In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates”.
I hear people speak of “mathematical laws of the universe”. This might be a very awkward formulation but the idea behind it has been prevalent for quite a while, especially in physics. The backbone of this idea is one or another kind of scientific realism: a belief that there is the world out there, independently of what you or I might happen to think it of it. The world has its own laws, waiting to be “discovered”, and the most potent tool one thinks of is mathematics. Hence the “mathematical laws” and hence the doomed quest for the “formula of everything”. One does not have to be a physicist or a mathematician to see the intuitive appeal of such belief. But here is what I think is ultimately misguided about it.
The belief in the world out there, a world which is regardless of what we actually perceive, has a very long tradition which begins with Plato and probably much earlier. This is so because this is the most intuitive kind of worldview, something we might just be born with. Not surprisingly, and Latour makes note of it in his Laboratory Life, physical sciences are plagued with the adepts of this worldview. There is nothing inherently wrong with it – in fact, the belief in the objective world out there might be the healthiest of beliefs – but the scientific claim that comes out of it is not right. By placing the emphasis on the incorrigible objective world beyond our sensory experience physical sciences put the human out of the equation. And the problem is that equations had been invented by humans.
There is much speculation about the origins of mathematics, and there are even those that believe that numbers, like the objective world itself, too exist out there, independently of us mortals. This is as silly as insisting on the world which exists independently of human experience. Mathematics is a convention as much as language and no one has yet been able to produce convincing evidence to it being otherwise. My personal grudge with the physical sciences then is this. How can you take a human tool and proclaim its universal viability beyond human?
What is a hammer to a bee? What is mathematics to the works of the universe? Surely, I like to go further and say that there is no objective world out there, only our own constructed reality. But even if we accept for a minute a world governed by a certain set of laws, whether we know them or not, where is the guarantee that we have access to it. Furthermore, where is the guarantee that the access to it is gained through mathematics? Isn’t it a bit rash to accept our own reality to be the reality? This is what happens with physical sciences. They take a man-made tool and use it to “discover” an inhuman universe. At best, they will learn more about that which is human, but beyond that lies mere speculation.
Drawing a theoretical line between humans and other animals has been the favorite pastime of philosophers and laymen alike for at least two millennia. When Aristotle famously wrote that man is a rational animal he set a precedent for describing the human being as an animal plus something else. This “plus something else” has been (and still is) a matter of great debate, with contenders ranging from the ability to reason and use language to the capacity for cooking oneself a hot meal. On this view, generally, animals are taken as mechanisms that can potentially be boiled down to and explained away by physics and chemistry, whereas man is all that plus mind, soul or what will you. The opposing view, which rejects the “plus something else” and which has been gaining the upper hand since the Enlightenment, erases the divide between man and animal in favor of looking at all living organisms as if they were physio-chemical mechanisms. In modern terms the two opposing views would probably roughly fall under vitalism and Darwinism. Whit this in mind I now want to turn to a very interesting middle ground advocated by Jacob von Uexküll at the beginning of the 20th century.
Uexküll’s major work, Theoretical Biology, was first published in 1920 and is still quite a thriller. In the book Uexküll openly endorses Kant’s arguments in the Critique of Pure Reason and sets out to expand them to the field of what he wants to be biology. Briefly, Kant’s position is the following. Kant is sometimes said to have reconciles two opposing views: rationalism and empiricism. The former holds that our access to knowledge lies mainly through our innate mental capacities; the latter – that all that we can ever hope to know comes from our sense-experience. Kant’s self-proclaimed second Copernican revolution was to realize that there is some truth in both, that “all we cognize a priori about things is what we ourselves put into them”. He believed that all people share certain basic categories, such as the perception of space and time, that shape our experience and, consequently, shape what we can know. This idea has a vast number of important repercussions, one of them being a central issue in Uexküll’s work: that there is no object without a subject.
Whereas Kant spoke only of people, Uexküll’s fruitful innovation was to extend the idea to all living organisms. Moreover, for Uexküll man held no privileged position as compared to other animals. Rather, he wrote, the difference between organisms lies in the fact that each of them inhabits their own subjective world. And, if so, one cannot learn anything about the world as such – there is no objective world in abstraction from the subjects inhabiting it. An organism (subject) and its environment (object) form an inseparable unity, what Uexküll called an Umwelt. It will become clearer with an example.
Uexküll’s most vivid description of an Umwelt is that of a tick. (Agamben, in his book The Open, somewhat surprisingly calls it “a high point of modern antihumanism” and suggests placing it alongside Jarry’s Ubu roi and Valéry’s Monsieur teste). From Uexküll’s Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans:
This eyeless animal finds the way to her watchpost with the help of only her skin’s general sensitivity to light. The approach of her prey becomes apparent to this blind and deaf bandit only through her sense of smell. The odor of butyric acid, which emanates from the sebaceous follicles of all mammals, works on the tick as a signal that causes her to abandon her post and fall blindly downward toward her prey. If she is fortunate enough to fall on something warm (which she perceives by means of an organ sensible to a precise temperature) then she has attained her prey, the warm-blooded animal, and thereafter needs only the help of her sense of touch to find the least hairy spot possible and embed herself up to her head in the cutaneous tissue of her prey. She can now slowly suck up a stream of warm blood.
As the passage indicates, there are just three meaningful cues constituting the tick’s environment: 1) the sense of “up” suggested by the tick’s photosensitive skin, 2) the smell of butyric acid (sweat) emanated by the mammal, and 3) the warmth of the mammal’s skin. The stars, the wind, birds, noises, shadows – they have no meaning for the tick and in this sense do not exist for it.
Uexküll compares an Umwelt to a soap bubble. It surrounds an animal and what is inside constitutes the animal’s meaningful environment, whereas what lies behind it is “hidden in infinity”. But just as the tick cannot penetrate the bubble of what is meaningful to it neither can the human. Two important features of Uexküll’s theory must be mentioned at this point.
First, unlike Kant, Uexküll believed that there as many Umwelten, subjective worlds, as there are subjects. In other words, inasmuch as we are talking about meaning and inasmuch as every organism holds fast their individual network of meaning which constitutes its world, we cannot speak of an absolute reality inhabited by all different organisms together. This point can be illustrated by taking, for instance, a religious and a non-religious person: clearly same phenomena can mean very different things to the two. But the distinction can go far beyond such radical examples: depending on my upbringing I can be a much more fearful person than my neighbor and where I see danger he would not. Same works with dogs. Uexküll criticized vehemently that much of science believes in the absolute reality shared by all organisms. He thought that what it took for the absolute reality was actually our own Umwelt. By doing so we throw all other animals into our own world and disregard that they have their own, which at least is an impediment to good biology (today: biosemiotics). To say nothing of our own doomed attempts to locate the objective world which exists independently of our own subject.
Second, in the spirit of the Kantian project of defining the limits of what is knowable, Uexküll insisted that we cannot truly know the Umwelt of the other. He made a distinction between the appearance-world and the surrounding-world of an organism. The two coincide only for me. What I can learn about another organism is its surrounding-world, i.e. that part of another organism’s Umwelt which is similar to my own. Simply put: one cannot look at the world through the eyes of the other. In this sense, the description of the tick’s environment above is by no means the description of its Umwelt, but only of a part of it which is comprehensible to me. In a certain sense, then, we cannot but anthropomorphise the nature. But at least we can do it consciously and carefully.
I wrote in the beginning that Uexküll’s position is a middle ground between turning all organisms into automatons and endowing some of them with something in addition to their mere physio-chemical function. The latter, hopefully, is clear by now. Uexküll did not believe that humans are much different from other animals because both inhabit their own meaningful worlds. The former, however, should be clarified. Uexküll was not thrilled by Darwinism because he saw it as too chaotic. He thought that the idea that organisms’ properties emerge randomly disregarded the role of the environment too much. For Uexküll, the organism’s interaction with its environment is not merely instinctual. Rather, he compared it with a musical harmony where not only individual organisms oscillate in the unison with their environment, but even with environments of other organisms. He takes Goethe’s “If the eye were not sun-like, It could never behold the sun” and adds: “If the sun were not eye-like, It could not shine in any sky”. A spider, apparently, weaves his web in such a way that a fly’s visual system cannot take account of it. It flies right into it. In this sense, although the spider’s and the fly’s Umwelten seem to be completely foreign to each other they perfectly fit. The spider in this scenario is not merely a spider but he is fly-like, he anticipates the fly with his whole being.
In the second half of the 19th century Jevons, Menger, and Walras were independently championing mathematics as the right way of going about economics. Why, Walras would write in his Elements, explain things “in the most cumbrous and incorrect way, as Ricardo has often done and as John Stuart Mill does repeatedly … when these same things can be stated far more succinctly, precisely, and clearly in the language of mathematics?” What ensued is the so called “avalanche of numbers” – economics, from a political (and moral!) discipline was turning into something more akin to natural sciences.
Walras’ appeal may seem very reasonable today, but Mill knew exactly what he was doing. The shift to econometrics obfuscated a whole lot of issues with a more human face: the talk of classes, oppressors and the oppressed, a whole range of moral questions in short, had been replaced by yields and averages. How does one say anything meaningful about the forces governing social relations if all these forces are jumbled into a bunch of faceless numbers? It makes it whole lot easier to assess such data and even label it with pseudo-moral binary oppositions such as “growth – good” and “stagnation – bad”. Meanwhile, the old questions such as “what is good for society?” do not just become hidden behind averages, but have a tendency to be forgotten and replaced by them. And it would probably be all right if mathematics were an honest translation of social realities into the language of numbers. But instead the latter dominate the former and create a whole different kind of discourse. Growth has become the de facto Good. It has a magical power of solving everything. “Such and such industry has lost 800,000 jobs over the last decade”. Uh, oh, that’s not good. “DJI is up 100 points” – and we are suddenly full of hope and believe in tomorrow again. Ask an average person why economic growth is good and they would indulge you with a piece of marvelous circular reasoning about stronger economy and more jobs.
It is not surprising that the talk of “biopolitics” comes into bloom when the reign of numbers is already in full sway. When the state has already become a blind self-perpetuating machine that has assumed full control of its citizens’ lives qua their lives. Instead of a subject there is an abstract entity, and the total of these abstract entities is an abstract average to be manipulated – to be grown or to be reduced. A biological unit that had once been an individual has more than ever grown to resemble a pig next to its trough.
No system can know itself. A brick, a palm tree or a poem cannot know themselves for obvious reasons. The only system of which it is at all meaningful to speak it terms of active knowledge is, of course, we ourselves.
First, I cannot fully know myself on simple empirical grounds. I can learn several general facts of various complexity about myself via observation: I have five fingers, I get cranky when I’m hungry, I like Western music. If I wish to learn more about the way my internal organs work – that would be trouble. Were I even to conduct a misguided attempt at auto-vivisection, as soon as I begin slashing my brain into pieces to see what it’s made of I would already begin defying the purpose – by destroying the only thing in me that can perform the “knowing”. Albeit this is a rather silly example I want to immediately address two objections: one, I cannot learn about myself by dissecting other people – that could maybe be a way to learn generalities about human bodies, not myself; and two, what I actually learn by using tools, such as x-ray machined and fMRIs is a big question in itself and I will address it below.
Second, I cannot know myself simply because of the physiological properties of myself. Knowing where the light switch in my bathroom is, to say nothing of actually operating it, involves an enormous amount of other context-dependent information about spatial relations, visual representations and so forth. In other words, it takes a vastly complex neural network in my brain to know even a simplest thing. Were I to go really micro and try to gain knowledge of the structure of my brain, even if the technology were available, In no way could I do that. To have a representation of a single neuron in my brain would take more than one neuron because, well, neurons don’t work alone, and even if they were, say, simple transistors with just two binary states, all such a neuron could possibly contain by itself is just a 1 or a 0, and nothing about its own structure. In short, to know of every neuron of my brain would simply take more than one brain. And one, of course, need not stop on neurons as a basic unit of what there is to know and can go smaller and smaller.
A brain, for this reason I think, but maybe for some other reasons too, is essentially a machine of approximation and generalization. One can know a certain pattern of one’s own behavior or that of nature, one can even fine-tune it rather substantially, but there is just no way to reach that ultimate level of representation where the correspondence between the phenomenon and the representation is 1 to 1. And if a system cannot know itself it can obviously not know the system it is a part of – the world.
There are many ways of externalizing knowledge: books, fMRI pictures – all kinds of ways of encoding and storing vast amounts of information. But that doesn’t solve the problem – just pushes it to another level. All these tools can do is give more ways of approximation in the best case, and more ways to distort data in the worst case. Approximations are fine, but this means that there is no access to the “real” world out there that scientific realists, for example, want to believe in. And it at least puts a limit on the kinds of things we can know – certain “laws” of interactions between objects, maybe, but certainly not things in themselves.
I know very little about feminist movements, but today I have stumbled upon a sort of broad summary where the author claimed that programmatically feminism is often about demanding equal access to the positions of power for women. I’ve always had a feeling feminist movements do more harm than good to an average woman, but on this interpretation it seems that feminism is an outright male chauvinism with a woman’s face. Doesn’t one who demands better access to the positions of power have to think like a male in the first place? Well, at least that’s what the male dominated field of sociobilogy makes me think. Males want more power to have access to better females. Does it work the other way around? I thought it didn’t. If males seek power for the sake of procreation, feminism in the above mentioned sense must be seeking it for a completely different reason – economic equality most likely. And this is an end in itself, I suppose. There are may ways to go about it. In terms of policy-making, for example, I wouldn’t want a male lobby tell me what’s good for my body and turn it into a law. And the other way around. On the other hand, if you accept the premise that male “will to power” is nothing but the struggle for a female, then at least you can be sure that men have a more naive and simple motive to excel. What is the end of feminism in the West is my question then.
The second contemplatism is very short. Around the end of Franzen’s Corrections Enid says something like this: If you say that being gay is a choice, and keeping in mind all the crazy Christians who hate homosexuals so much, who would ever chose it? Right on.