Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society.

I wrote this for my Philosophy 2 class. Dash suggested that I post it. . .please feedback.

In South Park, Episode 610: “Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society,” the writers address the subject of men and their subconscious subjection to the biological effect of breasts. The issue demonstrated is whether or not women may be treated equally in society despite their biological advantage over men and if the current societal outlook is justified. The writers take the stand that: From a biological perspective men view women only as sets of breasts, and that privately (as demonstrated in the parents having the sex talk with Stan, one of the Boys), this is acceptable. However, in the workplace or school, the effect of breasts is the same, though women in this case expect equal opportunity to compete for the same roles as men. The argument that follows is that: In order for a society that values sexual equality to function, its participants must have perfect information regarding the predispositions of the opposite sex. The argument is deductive in nature and functions on a hierarchical structure of smaller deductive arguments that are reinforced by analogies and counterexamples. The stand is absolutely about biology superseding societal constructs, and the morality put forth is consequentially oriented. The episode argues that special training and awareness is required to elevate the social contract of sexual equality past the constraints of biology.

In the first argument, it is claimed: If men act differently (competitively or territorially) inside of the presence of breasts, then breasts have power over men. For the second premise, the main characters ( that I will go on to refer to as “the Boys”) take a great interest in Bebe (the antagonist, owner of “the Breasts”) after a lengthy break from school; after which she is purported to “be wearing a really awesome shirt! [They] don't know why, but suddenly Bebe is really cool, and [we] should totally hang out with her.” The Boys incorporate Bebe into their normal social routine, throwing rocks at cars, and proceed to teach Bebe how to hit a car with a rock. In the process, we witness a devolution of the Boys into Neanderthals that proceed to fight over Bebe's attention. A counterexample to this is offered late in the episode in which Bebe wears a cardboard box over her torso and the Boys act normally, lending truth to the claim that: In the presence of breasts, men act differently. We may therefore ascertain that breasts have power over men; and that the argument is deductively valid by modus ponens.

In the second argument, Bebe, seeing the infernal power of her breasts over men, attempts to equalize her place in society by removing her breasts. In an exchange with a plastic surgeon, she is afraid that she may be treated differently for having large breasts and grow up receiving everything that she wants from men. If she is not forced to earn for herself, she concludes that she will grow up to be a ”lame person.” The first premise of this argument is that all males that dominate society (in this case, represented by a plastic surgeon that offers to augment her breasts, but not reduce them) work to reduce the power of breasts by creating a social contract that is unwittingly entered into by attractive females, since they would benefit (in one sense) from it. If the biological power of the breast is reduced, then men will continue to dominate the social power structure. Therefore, by hypothetical syllogism, If all men work to reduce the power of breasts, then breasts will not have power over men and men will continue to rule society.

Using the conclusions of the above arguments, with respect to sexual equality, the argument looks something like:

1.If all men work to reduce the power of breasts, then breasts will not have power over men and men will continue to rule society.
2.It is not the case that breasts do not have power over men and men continue to rule society.
3.Therefore, it is not the case that men should work to reduce the power of breasts.

To further reinforce this conclusion, the episode goes on to involve the intellectual female (Wendy) having a similar plastic surgery consultation to augment her breasts, to gain power over other females and thusly, the Boys. She receives an augmentation and, after Bebe's experiment with the cardboard box torso obstructer shows the Boys the nature of their actions, and how to make them socially acceptable, Wendy is fiercely ridiculed for her obvious power play. The “should” in the conclusion of the above modus tollens suggests that, in the moral dimension, if society demands equality then biological power structures such as breast size, must remain unaltered, that the playing field remains equal and people of both sexes may regard each other without the complications of what amounts to be biological warfare.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bike Out of the City Blog.

Unlike the last, this will not be considered as a new heading for my blog.

Lengthy hillclimbs, too much caffeine, and gobs and gobs of philosophy; welcome to my days, and I couldn't be happier. Everyone is driving themselves crazy over this recession, and for what? Maybe, just maybe this will be the event that shakes people from their thoughtless, dreamless slumber-state of existence.

Not to travel down that path, but a different one. Highway 1 in Marin is an incredible place to ride. Imagine, if you will, you are at the crest of a mountain road, looking down thousands of feet to where the road terminates into the rocky cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Then you plummet. Approaching speeds of 40 miles per hour, less than a vertical meter from the road's surface, and stretching out your body to its lateral limits to adjust your center of gravity and keep your only connection to the Earth from careening from the precipice.

Your thumbs contain muscles enough to pivot the bike up to 50 degrees in either direction, and you do it so many times that you begin to exhaust your mind, the consequences of failure are unthinkable. Hairpin after hairpin turn, breaking the posted speed limit without the use of an engine, only you and the bicycle. The wind noise is incredible, and the adrenaline slows down how you perceive time itself, calculation after calculation. The word for this is: Descent.