Sodomy = "Vile and Despicable"?

In (today’s column), a reprint from 1974, Cecil traced the origin of the word “boogie” through several eras, passing at one point through:

Surely, even in the less enlightened period of the mid-1970s, he would have preferred to be on record as saying …

… or something similar that puts a little distance between 16th century attitudes on sex and those of our era.

Here I offer him the opportunity to tidy up what comes across – unintentionally, I’m sure – as homophobia.

Oh please, must everything be written for an audience of children and semiliterates?

However, as it happens, the original Bogomil sect (though it was historically Bulgarian, any resemblance to the word “Bulgaria” is accidental) seems to have been accused in its own time of fostering homosexual practices, with what justification I know not, so the point is somewhat moot.

(At first sight, the notion that the Bogomils would engage in homosexuality seems odd, for they were of the “The world and everything in it was created by the Devil, and Jesus came to save our souls from our bodily prisons” family of semi-Christian heresies. However, there is some history of such sects reasoning, “Sex is evil, so let’s engage in the most filthy, disgusting, degraded kind, just to show how much we despise it.”)

I feel the need to thank you, John, for the short course of sects education.:smiley:

So Joe … they don’t go in for sarcasm in your culture?

Alas, it was overdone. That column was doomed from the getgo.

In Windows 7-1/2, which we’re now beta-testing, there’s a joke detection algorithm, which is adjustable depending on the user’s degree of sarcasm impairment. On low the ironic part is underlined, on medium a siren goes off, and on high a brass band plays in front of your house. It will eliminate tragic misunderstandings such as we see here.

I wasn’t aware that brass bands were so common in the US, so as to be neighbourhood fixtures. How much brass do you need for a band?

Cecil has often described himself as liberal, and I’m pretty sure that even if the foul heretics who believe Cecil isn’t a real person are correct, even the 1974 Cecil wasn’t any sort of homophobe. It reads to me like Cecil was writing that sarcastically. If he was writing that column as a blog post today, to avoid confusion, he might do something like this:

Well, if you’re modest about it no one can hear you. :slight_smile:

For my section it’s about 35 pounds each but we’re into heavy metal.
Stop me, please. This is obviously a cry for help.

Other bits of reasoning included “Spirit is pure. Matter is evil. Therefore, nothing we do in the flesh can really damage our spirit… so PAAAARTYYYY!!!” and “Since matter is evil and spirit is pure, procreative sex traps pure spirits in evil matter so the worst thing you can do is have children. Better to fulfill your sex drive in ways that won’t result in kids.”

I think the Bogomils were also accused of mandatory abortions IIRC.

Oh, very nice. {small applause}

Apropos of nothing, am I reading this wrong or did Cecil accidentally part of his column?

Looks like he doesn’t afraid of anything, not something editors are supposed to let the public see.

Fixed, thanks. We mystified why happen.

I read it as sarcasm, nothing more.

Ed -

To circle back to the original column, I had been told that “Boogie” was related to the Bantu ‘Mbuki mvuki - to shed ones clothing and dance’.

Somehow this makes more sense to me.

Mbuki mvuki

An interesting hypothesis. But is there any evidence that anyone in America used this “Bantu” expression between the time of the Slave Trade and the Jazz Age? (I put “Bantu” in quotes because Bantu is not a language, but a large family of languages about 4000 years old.)

Well, if there is any evidence it is beyond my powers to provide. I had read this originally in a book of strange word origins long since lost. I can only suggest that ‘Mbuki mvuki’ easily transforms into ‘Boogie woogie’ which in turn gives us ‘Boogie’.

This is a good illustration of why the original columns should not be edited, IMO. Add an update if there is new research, bit otherwise leave them be.

What is, the fact that someone missed an old joke or the fact that there was a recently fixed typo? I’m afraid that I don’t see your point, either way.

I don’t even see this as sarcastic. In the sixteenth century, sodomy was a “vile and despicable act”, at least according to the Church; Cecil is just going along with the sixteenth-century aesthetic, instead of putting distance between their attitudes on sex and ours.

And Joe, really, how can you presume to know what Cecil would have preferred to be on record as saying? Cecil obviously has a much lower offense threshold than you do.

Also, “enlightenment” does not, or should not, though in our society it often does, mean “political correctness”.

Thank you, John W. Kennedy and anson2995. We don’t need to be fed our information (or entertainment, if you will) with a spoon. Nor do we need the Ministry of Truth to sanitize it retroactively–or “tidy up”-- for us. If we did, we probably wouldn’t read The Straight Dope.