Monday, April 14, 2003

Psychotic Psychologizing

Stuart K. Hayashi

Lance Collins, the Opinions editor of the University of Hawaii's student newspaper Ka Leo O Hawai'i, recently psychologized about people who say they "opposed the war but support the troops" -- in the most highfalutin terms, of course:

"For those that support war, there is the closet. People who engage in the most basic (and debased) forms of nationalism cannot bare [sic] the responsibilities that go with this fanatical form of nationalism. So, instead of saying, 'I support the war my country is aggressing,' these nationalists go to the closet and say, 'I support the troops, I am neutral on the war.' . . .

"But, there is a type of social schizophrenia that is exposed by the way that these metaphors are reinscribed. 'I'm not pro-war, I support the troops ... ' like 'I'm not sexually attracted to men, I'm married with children.' . . .

"Similarly, pro-war advocates who choose the closet, feel a way to escape the stigma open society assigns to such speakers. Stigma operates from visibility and the closet functions as both an apparatus of oppression and an apparatus of production.

"In the pro-war stance, the productive aspects of the closet become evident. It is in this direction that some of the most outspoken homosexual activists have argued that those in power should be ousted — because of the closet's axis of production.

"There is a bit of fantastic pleasure I get out of some of the most hardline 'pro-troop' advocates — warmongers as closet queens."

I find the use of the word production a tad curious. Production of what?

Saying one supports the troops is an act of "closet warmongering"? Maybe people who say they "oppose the war but support the troops" mean that they disagree with the Iraqi invasion and would prefer the troops to not die. It can mean that if the soldiers were in trouble and they were brought home, that would be putting an end to the war (in a way) and it would not be intended as punishment for the military. Some may consider that support for the troops.

Whoa. Dude. That didn't even require a lot of big words or fancy psychologizing to say.

And, no, my "nationalism" is not repressed. I'm very open about it and I therefore do "bare" it.