Monday, November 02, 2009

Pomo Tragedy

Iago hates Othello for falling in love with Desdemona. "I hate the Moor," he cries. Iago is betrayed by a comrade. Looking at Jeff Wall's photo of dead Russian soldiers revived and examining their lives as corpses is interesting in a way. Some think they're funny; one is horrified by his wounds. It's a good-looking picture, in all. Iago, Othello, even Desdemona would likely have seen it and instantly cut off Wall's head for making it, had they been able. It betrays the whole of the life of professional combat soldiers and those who live in a real world of war and sex. They probably would have found Wall's vision contemptible, and they would likely have killed Wall like a bug, not thinking much about it, just momentarily disgusted. We live in a different time. Some say it's better. I think Desdemona would have appreciated Iago's villainy in comparison to Wall art.

A transgendered woman, who lost a job offer because of her sexual status, has won a potentially groundbreaking federal sex discrimination lawsuit.

A federal district court judge in Washington, D.C., ruled today that the Library of Congress discriminated against Diane Schroer when it offered her a job and then rescinded it after learning she was transgendered.

For more than 25 years, David Schroer was a star in the U.S. Army, rising through the ranks to become a Special Forces commander while leading a classified anti-terrorism unit involved in covert operations.

"It is tremendously gratifying to have your faith in this country, and what is fundamentally right and fair, be reaffirmed," Schroer said. "I very much hope that this ruling will help to eliminate the all-too-pervasive discrimination against sexually nonconforming people in all areas."

It might make sense to have Schroer on the job if some people were speaking loudly in the Library of Congress or were habitually over-due with manuscript returns. Send the Special Forces librarian after them. I get that part. I get the part where Xenophon and his mercenaries are marching to the sea, where they stop at a village and massacre nearly everyone, where one of Xenophon's commanding officers tells a young boy to either become his sex slave or die like the kid's parents. What I don't get is "fundamental right and fair." Iago's tormenting of Othello and the murder of Desdemona is not good, but it is fundamentally real and true. Maybe a bit of open mockery would have saved Othello from murdering his wife, if someone had said, "Hey, your buddy is sure jealous of your new wife. If he'd had a sex-change operation, you two might still be together." Othello would have laughed, Desdemona would have blushed, and Iago would have felt like a fool. End of tragedy. In our case, with Wall and Schroer, the mockery is continuous, a tragedy of a whole other snort.

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