In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision of Obergefell v. Hodges, the celebration of same sex marriage across the United States through social media went in full swing. For fans of the cartoon, The Legend of Korra, it was a time to remind people of that final scene in the series. There, a budding romance was revealed between the Avatar and her close lady friend and confidante, holding hands, looking longingly at each other as they went off into a great unknown. To some people, the idea of Korrasami is a defining moment that helped to solidify the fact that #LoveWins.
This is strange. By and large, if the people who celebrated Obergefell were living in the world of the Avatar, I would imagine they’d more likely try to kill her than celebrate her newfound relationship with another woman. Assumes too much, I know, however I cannot help to when the crux of the Avatar’s nature is not ‘equality’, but ‘balance’. I mean even the intro to The Legend of Korra agrees with me.
Camille Paglia wrote of how groups like gay and feminist movements are obligated to put something better in place if they confront organized religion. Unfortunately, I’m very hard-pressed to find it when I come across ‘gems’ like these tweets:
Hell. Just go here.
Allies (a term I distinguish by and large as the new ‘comrade’) will balk at such reactions and say they’re merely anecdotes that do not represent the entirety of the LGBT community and its allies as whole. I’m duly inclined to say that’s kindof a crock when I can easily imagine these same people smearing an entire geographic region (and a flag) because one 19-year-old racist murdered nine churchgoers. I’m even more inclined to believe that when it just makes friends even more insufferable in their stance. Hell, one on Facebook put up a status on his bonafides as a good person (the usual rigmarole of stating allegiance as an ‘ally’), and then invited people to unfriend him then punch himself/herself in the face after.
If this is equality, it means plowing over the bodies of the living in the hopes they succumb to being buried alive. It is the flippant dismissal of that remaining 41 or so percent of Americans who could’ve changed their hearts and minds over it. Such attitudes do not really stop homophobia; it merely retards it, and lets it calcify. It does more to promote such than any Westboro Baptist protest. Justice Scalia, a figure who became the butt of everybody’s joke as they screamed he was irrelevant, held by and large a great admiration for the same sex marriage debate.
“Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best. Individuals on both sides of the issue passionately, but respectfully, attempted to persuade their fellow citizens to accept their views. Americans considered the arguments and put the question to a vote. The electorates of 11 States, either directly or through their representatives, chose to expand the traditional definition of marriage. Many more decided not to.1 Win or lose, advocates for both sides continued pressing their cases, secure in the knowledge that an electoral loss can be negated by a later electoral win. That is exactly how our system of government is supposed to work.”
But for all that the #LoveWins crowd is the product of a cynical age. Love must happen now, love happen no matter what, love must conquer anything that stands in their way even if the odds are currently in their favour and all they needed to do was win hearts and minds. These individuals, so literate in their Bible readings of Leviticus and Deuteronomy seem to be wholly illiterate in the readings of say… St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians about what is love:
“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
However, aside from the hope and perseverance, I see none of the others in the #LoveWins crowd. They do not look to be satisfied until the writhing bodies they’ve sown under their fields stop moving.
“Oh!” but they protest. “Our apologies!” They would say after a long line of contemptuous prose. “We’re flawed too and our emotions get the best of us. We’re just trying to be better persons! We come from a good place!” Well shit, so did Amon and Kuvira. Like the benders the former takes their power away from and the latter who conquers her foes in the name of her own kith and kin, now there are those who think churches should get their tax-exempt status revoked if they do not give their stamp of approval. Of course given the very peculiar nature of churches and non-profits, especially their focus on specific issues, any attempt of a holistic approach to assuage the fear that churches will only be targeted may not be the case. Couple that with podunk pizza places getting threatened out of business (do you REALLY want to destroy jobs in this economy?), florists and bakers getting up to $150k charged, and news outlets not only limiting any opposing views on Same Sex marriage, but also saying that there are no two sides about it (then goes about not even saying shariah law is evil).
Again shit man. The Avatar’s priority (if he or she didn’t have to stop an overwhelming force from conquest) was to be in tune with any and all perspectives. It wasn’t just the four elements/nations that had to be listened to, but every man, woman, and child within the world, not to mention the expansive Spirit world. Like it or not, like in the world of Avatar, the religious we will always have with us. Thus I find it weird to see bills about religious freedom to some people were an archaic idea. Who knew a concept that’s only about 300+ years old is considered that these days when the whole of human history is strewn with the bodies of billions because they were not allowed their own beliefs. Avatar’s world is filled with the constant attempts to reconcile between past, present, and future whether it was Tenzin maintaining the old ways of the Air Nomads while guaranteeing their legacy, the role of women in the Water Tribe, Aang’s anguish on whether or not to kill the Fire Lord, and so on. You cannot dismiss things outright like Suyin Beifong did with the (quite contemptible) Queen of Ba Sing Se, then opt not to put something better in its place or allay uncertainty (for the record Korra fans, I think Su was also culpable in creating the events of Book 4, but that’s for another time).
Then there’s the subsequent condescension that civilization hasn’t ended because same sex marriage is now the norm. Heavens do they think those critics are myopic, they’re concerned not about tomorrow but ten, twenty, thirty years from now about their religious faith, the fate of their country’s principles, whether it leads to polygamy and incestuous marriages and so on. And when representatives of the victors call Supreme Court justices “clowns in blackface” and ask for straight people to stop using rainbow profile pics on Facebook? They will concern themselves about the future even more. Like the Avatar, they have to think of all three spaces in time, and how they will be able to reconcile such with so many variables at play.
In essence, it’s baffling The Legend of Korra is used without irony in the celebration for same sex marriage, as the Avatar is everything the same sex marriage advocates hate: A quasi-religious figure, a mediator, a listener, and a caretaker whose ongoing duty is to remind the world where it came from, and to always be vigilant about where it is going. He/She is the reconciler of the living, the dead, and the eternal, in the hopes balance is always maintained. Not anarchy (Zaheer), not theocracy (Unalaq), not equality (Amon, Kuvira), but Balance. It’s been roughly a week since Love Won, and I’m hard pressed to see any love or attempt put everything in proper order for the many divergent paths.
If there are those people truly out there let me know, or you can just keep finding ways to kill the Avatar while only worshipping the recent one’s final moments as a totem of your good personhood.