in which the naked chimp is unmasked, his machines debugged, and his bugbears debunked

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

GSA A-OK? (the titillating taboo of the illicit)

When considering coupling with another person, most people would tell you that it’s important to like one another. More than that, it’s even important to be like one another. Meet your friend for girly chats about new beau and hear her coo that ‘we’re so alike’, ‘we have so much in common’, ‘we really see eye to eye on most things’. Two months later, and if they’re starting to fall in love, then they’re probably going through that phase where they almost become one another, losing themselves in a kind of symbiotic swallowing that can seem… well, pretty gross, if you’re not a part of it.

But there’s such a thing as too similar, just as there’s such a thing as too different. I can say this with the compact directness of two words: incest, bestiality. Easier said than done, you say. Too right – just ask the copywriter who came up with the GSA (Genetic Sexual Attraction) Association of Tasmania’s latest rip-roaring slogan: ‘You’ve had the ‘cest, now try the best!’

Australians might snigger at Tasmanians for enjoying the kind of map of Tassie that’s just too close to home. Likewise, we might cock a snoot at certain New Zealanders who believe that the grass looks greener on the other side of the species divide. But whether it’s ‘cest’ or ‘best’, the issue is no laughing matter, especially when it involves kids of either kind.

But what about GSA, you say? No way? A-OK? GSA, ‘Genetic Sexual Attraction’, is the ‘friendly uncle’ of incest – its victimless, unwitting sister act. GSA has a venerable history: Oedipus Rex and Jocasta, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia… in fact, it usually involves royalty or Gods (and their wrath). But it has its banal practitioners too, and no doubt some of you will have been hearing a lot about GSA recently because of the 60 Minutes story on John and Jennifer Deaves (of Mount Gambier).

John and Jennifer live together, fuck each other, and have even had a child together. So what makes this nice, scientifically sound GSA and not nasty ol’ motherfucking incest? Well, the decisive fact is that they didn’t ‘know’ each other (in either sense) while Jennifer was growing up. This, apparently, makes all the difference. They ‘met’ as adults, and when they did, they ‘saw’ each other as a ‘man’ and a ‘woman’, not a father and daughter. As Jennifer said, “I was looking at him and going, ‘oh, he’s not too bad – like someone across a bar at a nightclub.”

So far, so good… but hang on – when they (nearly) kissed, Skywalker and Leia didn’t know they were siblings. And when Oedipus finds out he’s been doing his mum, he doesn’t high-five her or spark up a stogie… he cuts out his own eyes. The cultural impact of both these stories might say something about acceptable resolutions to the vicissitudes of GSA in each case: the ancient Greeks would dash out their eyes; Americans would palm the girl off onto Hans (Solo). But it’s the reaction, the progression – what John and Jennifer did after meeting each other ‘like someone across a bar at a nightclub’ so unwise. Or wrong?

In Leviticus, God (or his note-taker) talks about the abominations of incest (no GSA in those days, so no excuse). The King James edition of the Bible says that you shouldn’t commit incest, “for theirs is thine own nakedness.” It’s not too different from what the Old Testament has to say about bestiality: “Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.” It is. It really, really is – and if you’re a Jew or a Christian, the consequences are pretty bad: “And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.” But I’ll leave the right and wrong of it to believers and tut-tutters – what I’m interested in is the silliness, nay, the grand folly of their actions, in this order:

Folly #1: They boned, then they shacked up, then they kept boning (without wearing a rubber), and as a result

Folly #2: They had a child, after which

Folly #3: They took money from 60 Minutes (apparently) in order to tell the world about Follies One and Two.

Jennifer and John might think they’re involved in a normal relationship between consenting adults, one that’s harmless – an unoriginal sin, a victimless crime. But judging from the vandalism and abuse they’ve already suffered, a portion of the good people of Mount Gambier don’t share their views. And now their kids (who have to attend the local school) are the ones who are going end up with egg on their face. I’m sure the subtle fact that Jennifer’s school age children aren’t part of the union will probably be lost on the victimizers. And, indeed, the hate crimes have begun in earnest. But Jennifer’s still bubbly about it, even though the family are now contemplating moving after their car was vandalised. “People obviously know where we live and they could do this sort of thing again – hopefully not again, but you never know.” Well I dunno, Jennifer, I’ve got a pretty good idea you’re never gonna live this one down.

More than anything, what this whole shebang shows is a complete inability to think things through, to consider the consequences – but try telling this to someone who fucks their dad, then brags about it in primetime. Depending on your worldview, incest might be abominable. According to statistics, it might be more common than we’re comfortable admitting. But regardless of the facts of her figure, at the very least, if you discover that you shared a bit too much MDMA, GBH, S&M, and DNA with the hottie you scored at QBH – it might be wise to keep it on the QT, eh? For your own sake. GSA may well be the appealing new fragrance of the Olsen twins, but on national TV, the consequences for your family are abominable.

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