First the nice stuff:
He was erudite and frighteningly smart. He said what he thought, not what was expedient. He was generous to friends and family. He loved his clerks and helped them get dream jobs.
Then the bad stuff: Scalia’s written decisions were in fact Weapons of Mass Destruction:
What I took for the pursuit of reason in those chambers was in fact the manufacture of verbal munitions, to be deployed against civilian populations. From the comfort of our leather chairs, we never saw the victims.
Among Scalia’s victims was a Harvard physicist:
I am close to one of the victims of his operation, a transgender woman named Mischa Haider… She’s an extraordinary polymath — gifted violinist, writer and novelist; fluent speaker of a half-dozen languages; math genius. And physicist. Her intellect would have made our brilliant Justice want to hide his head in a bag, to borrow his charming words from last year’s marriage equality ruling.
As a transgender person Haider faces a slew of problems which Bruce Hay describes as a drumbeat of organized hatred, calling to mind yellow stars and separate drinking fountains and worse.
Wow, that’s bad!
The drumbeats of hate forced Haider to leave academia to dedicate himself to activism to combat the Bigotry and ignorance inflamed by demagogues like Antonin Scalia, whose toxic rhetoric has done so much to incite and legitimate fear of gender nonconformity and elevate it to the level of constitutional principle.
And the coup de gras:
Scalia passed away in his sleep at a luxurious hunting lodge. He died as he lived, gun at hand, dreaming of killing helpless prey from a position of safety and comfort.
LOL. I understand getting passionate about some issue and then writing about it; I too have fallen into overwrought rhetoric against my perceived enemies, but I don’t think I’ve written anything quite that silly.
The life and times of Bruce Hay would make a great movie, except it is a movie that cannot be made today, not being PC enough. The story is complicated so here is the simplified version:
- Bruce Hay was living with his ex-wife as roommates for the sake of the children. The ex-wife spends a lot of time in Europe. She has long since stopped having sex with him, but if he breaks their non-existent marriage vows by “cheating” with other women she will end the roommate agreement.
- Bruce Hay attempts to cheat anyway with a nice looking woman in her early 30s, claiming to be Maria-Pia Shuman, the french daughter of an American songwriter. He spends two nights with her and both times fails to either sustain an erection or ejaculate. Despite this non-performance she claims to be pregnant with his child, which is theoretically possible, but only remotely.
- Shuman also claims to be a lesbian. Her significant other is a transgendered “woman” who is none other than the Mischa Haider referenced above. Bruce Hay is smitten with Haider and her struggle against the Scalias of this world. They develop a warm friendship. Hay and Haider co-write an article in the Guardian condemning Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch.
- Haider and Shuman increasingly pressure Hay to leave his non-marriage to his ex-wife as a condition of having a relationship with his supposed child. Haider claims that caring for the child has forced him to delay his gender surgery which makes him suicidal, for as we all know, failing to humor a transsexual moves him irresistibly to suicide. Hay is unwilling to end his non-marriage and spends hours sobbing on the phone with Haider and Shuman.
- Hay’s non-wife finds out about the non-affair and threatens to blow up the non-marriage. She also points out that if he failed to ejaculate, the odds of him being the father are minuscule. Hay refuses to demand a paternity test, because he felt it would have been insulting for a heterosexual cisgender man to question a professed lesbian as to whether she’d had sex with other men in spite of the fact that she has two other children.
- Haider and Shuman convince Hay to let them use his house while he and his non-wife are vacationing in Europe. When the non-couple returns home, they find all their furniture has been sold off and the Haider-Shuman family happily settled in. Using forged documents they claim to be leasing the house from him. It takes two months for Hay to get them evicted during which time he and his family are homeless. Hay finally decides to ask for a paternity test, and his request is denied.
- Meanwhile, Haider makes a Title IX complaint to Harvard University asserting that Hay had harassed and abused her. Harvard has barred him from teaching until they complete the investigation which has been ongoing since May of 2018.
The last text message he received from his tormentors said: “Find a way to connect if you want a chance to take the last exit before HELL … Take my word, you ain’t seen nothing yet. I promise. Oh and as to your quest for motives? Don’t bother. I just really hate the patriarchy, that’s it.”
Ah, the final insult: Haider and Shuman watch the hapless, sexless, henpecked Bruce Hay fall all over himself to white knight for lesbians and transsexuals and then accuse him of representing the Patriarchy.
What is a life better lived, that of an impotent man who has a pathological need to be used and abused by the female and female-adjacent figures in his life while taking shrill swipes at real men on the pages of Salon.com, or Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court Justice with a famous knack for friendship, who was married for 46 years, who fathered 9 children, and who slipped peacefully into eternity while taking a nap on a quail hunt?