By David Tulis
The city’s vote in August over domestic partner benefits is as much about taxpayer funding for live-in love-in sexuality as it is about the power of thinking clearly. To prevent Chattanoogans from finding their electoral bearings, Act Up and Human Rights Campaign lobbyists will descend on the River City, either in person or via your TV screen or Facebook feed.
Voters will hear a line of argument that will appeal to fair play, equality and decency. But the closer their chatter gets to the actual sexual relationships they are defending (those of domestic partners of city employees, who are seeking taxpayer benefits), the more their arguments will be cloaked in jargon.
According to “Q,” practitioners of jargon are “douce [sober, gentle] respectable persons,” like the bureaucrat or politician.
Caution is his father: the instinct to save everything and especially trouble: its mother, Indolence. It looks precise, but is not. It is, in these times, safe: a thousand men have said it before and not one to your knowledge has been prosecuted for it. And so, like respectability in Chicago, Jargon stalks unchecked in our midst.
The gay lobbyist, asked if he has an intimate pal, might say, crestfallen, “The answer to the question is in the negative.” No is the answer, but the practitioner of jargon is not interested in accuracy, “its method being to walk circumspectly around its target; and its faith, that having done so it has either hit the bull’s eye or at least achieved something equivalent, and safer.”
Jargon converts vivid particularities into smooth generalities. Pedophilia, that scrofulous cousin of homosexuality, is not to be presented in his true state. He hides behind the garlands decorating the float in the gay parade. His world of adult-child sex is peopled with minor-attracted persons. Pedophiles enjoy intergenerational sex.
Jargon uses circumlocution rather than “short straight speech.” A second vice, Q says, is that “it habitually chooses vague woolly abstract nouns rather than concrete ones. Jargon makes the listener or the reader shuffle about “in the fog and cotton-wool of abstract terms.” To borrow from Q, verbiage from Gay U such as heteronormativity or transgenderism beat the air. They are not manly usages. They are not heroic. They are not local economy.
Heteronormative culture “privileges heterosexuality as normal and natural and fosters a climate where LGBTQ are discriminated against in marriage, tax codes, and employment,” Wikipedia explains. Heteronormativity is a word critics of biblical morality and marriage use to describe a faithful Christian’s “ideological” projection upon the world hostile to the queer world. People in my simplicity I call lugbutts are LGBT. But the jargon implied in special usages has expanded. LGBTQQIAAP is the word salad for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Allies, and Pansexual, notes Matt Barber at wnd.com.
Jargon tries to cover all bases, to offend no one. It is obscurantist — even laughable. Richard Nixon’s press secretary Ron Ziegler in 1973 said one president statement is operative, but the others are inoperative. The word recession for 40 years is professorial jargon for depression, a term unutterable in the U.S. political establishment. Old people are gold-plated into senior citizens. Situation is “an omnibus term, equally suitable or filling verbal vacuums when the mind itself as gone blank or, more seriously, for scaling down the dimensions of catastrophe and crisis.” The NSA techies and spooks involved in black bag jobs (break-ins) are part of the intelligence community, which means establishment. Der Spiegel reporter Jacob Applebaum, revealer of Yankee secrets, fears assassination, jargon for a murder or upper-class hit.
The scope of homosexual jargon is wide. As a married man, I am considered cisgendered or cissexual. The opposite: A man dissatisfied with his sex and sexual identity — trans. I live a life of cisnormativity or heteronormativity. Got that?
Gay jargon’s simple secret
The jargon flattens out human identity. It takes the vast field of men in Chattanooga, stuffs them into a category. That category is mated to its opposite, transsexual, comprising less than 2 percent of men. They are rendered neutral, amoral and equivalent. And all under a veneer of scientific abstraction. The goal of jargon is to level the playing field, to identify the norm in terms of deviancy, and create sociological and equivalent sets. Joe is a transsexual, you are a non-transsexual, or cissexual. He is same-sex oriented. You are other-sex. Your sexuality is shoved toward being arbitrary or capricious, not creational or part of God’s design.
“So long as you prefer abstract words, which express other men’s summarized concepts of things, to concrete ones which lie as near as can be reached to things themselves and are the first-hand material for your thoughts, you will remain, at the best, writers at second hand,” Q lectures. And here he comes to a point about the poofy coxcombs Chattanooga will face in August:
If your language be Jargon, your intellect, if not your whole character, will almost certainly correspond. Where your mind should go straight, it will dodge: the difficulties it should approach with a fair front and grip with a firm hand it will be seeking to evade or circumvent. For the Style is the Man, and where a man’s treasure is there his heart, and his brain, and his writing, will be also.
Sources: Q is Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, On the Art of Writing (Liverpool: Guild Books, 1946, 1916). See pp. 62-75.
Hugh Rawson, A Dictionary of Euphemisms & Other Doubletalk (Being a Compilation of Linguistic Fig Leaves and Verbal Flourishes for Artful Users of the English Language (New York: Crown Publishers Inc., 1981), 312 pp.
Matt Barber, “A politically incorrect guide to ‘sexual orientation,’” wnd.com, Dec. 28, 2012
Eric Partridge in Usage and Abusage, 1973, 1942, is much more generous than Q. “Jargon *** has been loosely employed for cant, slang, pidgin English, gibberish; it should be reserved for the technicalities of science, the professions, the Services, trades, crafts, sports and games, art and Arts. A synonym is shop or shop talk” (p. 160).