Tuesday, February 16, 2016

More on the Creepy Apple Analogy

from Addicting Info.org

 Over the weekend, I received an email from Vyckie Garrison of No Longer Quivering. She asked Suzanne “Calulu” Titkemeyer and me to each take a look at a meme published on a patriarchal website as she prepared to write a short article about it. 

Raw Story published it yesterday while many other sites took note of it as well. Some of the funnier elements, the ironic apple parallels to the Quiverfull belief system, and what almost qualifies as arranged marriage didn't make the final cut, so I thought I'd include them here.

The Sociopathic Farmer/Father

To be faithful to Scripture, it’s God’s sovereign work to care for all of the cast and the players in this poor excuse for a vignette. The words belie the writer, for they demonstrate the grandiosity of the patriarch who is cast as the farmer as well as the theme of the eldest head of household in this national folk religion. Everyone and everything derives its existence from the patriarchal, head-of-household farmer who seems to be entirely responsible and omnipotent over flora, fauna, and other adult men, too.

Objectified Sons and Daughters Subject to Bounded Choice

A good father loves and cares for his daughters and sees these apples of his eye as beloved people, not objects. This meme reduces girls (who are assumed to be daughters if not all women) become products for consumption and men the devourers. But even the suitors who desire them (because of nature, not the farmer’s nurture) are subject to bounded choice. It appears that young men procure apples to devour, but they are also subjects of the farmer. It’s amazing to me just how many dynamics of thought reform and spiritual abuse that this home grown meme illustrates in just a short narrative.

I have to add that being devoured is never cast as a good thing in the Bible, save for the analogy to Christ's sacrifice in the Eucharist. He endured death so that we would not be swallowed by death and destruction. Luke 20:47's reference to those men who devour widows houses face severe punishment for doing so. So that analogy doesn't work very well, either.

Bad Grammar!

Groucho would have a hay day with the two grammatical errors. The author meant to say that the apples on a tree don't have any choice in where they end up growing, but that's not what's written. It actually suggests that thieves or perhaps the farmers had no choice in where they sat in the tree, sparking the idea that a hungry farmer might like to partake of a juicy apple himself. Many of the comments on the Raw Story article also noted this suggestion of covert incest (poor interpersonal boundaries compounded with the use of daughters as a source of inappropriate gratification for fathers).

There’s a second amphiboly, too. It reads as though it’s the duty of the farmer to provide boys with the desire for apples. The boys aren't referenced by analogy but are hungry boys who are either given or buy the apples from the farmer who apparently scrutinizes their worthiness. I grew up in an area that was originally settled by Austrians and Germans, and I dangle participles like this all the time – but for the writer of the meme, it sparks some unpleasant ideas.

What Does He Know from Apples?

http://bestapples.com/trade-and-export-marketing/grades-sizing/Another humorous point that I can’t escape, having grown up so close to farming communities, is the gross ignorance about how apples are harvested. The only apples that a farmer picks personally are those prize ones that their wife tells him to pick for a pie. If industrial equipment is not used to shake apples from the trees, most farmers hire migrant workers to pick apples. 

It’s not really fair to the intent that I infer from the meme, but in reality, the analogy advocates the fondling of daughters by migrant workers – a job previously reserved for slaves. (This was my first thought and the cause for much laughter with my husband as we pondered the bizarre weirdness.) This is even more poignant considering the history of prejudice and anti-miscegenation (race mixing) in the agrarian/Southern arm of Theonomy (brand of Christianity followed by Rushdoony, Doug Phillips of Vision Forum, Doug Wilson, Kevin Swanson, etc.).

Calulu at Every Breaking Wave used some colorful references to describe this process. Here are my favorite quips:
  • Feeling all those apples for ripeness with their dirty dirty not-the-farmer hands.”
  • That's a lot of different strange men touching all those innocent apples. Sort of a apple hand gang bang...”
I even made a graphic for her to use in a new post about Ten and Twenty Daughters Baked in a Pie. As she aptly noted, the jokes just write themselves.

Apple Girl Caste System

Apples are sorted and graded, and this brings another ironic element to light about the whole of the Quiverfull Movement. Only the perfect and healthy need apply. I think that it echoes the caste system within Patriarchy. Those who are highly desirable sell for much more than do the ones who are marred – becoming second, third and fourth rate. What does one do with the Industrial Use Grade of apple? (Please take note of the graphics.)

Isn't every apple important? What about the "checks" (the apples that fall to the ground and lay there before they can be plucked from the tree)? Are they of less worth to the farmer? My mother and I often bought the apples from the ground because they are more affordable and are usually just as good as the Fancy Grade bushels at the Farmer's Market.

I think of all of the references in the Bible to how God seeks out the lost and the broken and the damaged. Jesus came to pick up the checks from the ground. Patriarchy only values the pristine and perfect. Image consciousness/appearances and making a show of how special their “lovely families” mean more than substance in cultic religious groups. But man looks to the outward things while God looks to the intent of the heart. These are core values of Christianity that patriarchy completely misses.

Young Turks and Other Humor

By the end of the day, word of the meme made it's way on to YouTube by way of The Young Turks daily broadcast. They describe their YouTube site as the “Largest Online News Show in the World,” featuring Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian.  (Language warning if you choose to watch the video.)

And I especially enjoyed the comments on a site called “Wonkville.” As my husband says, sometimes the subjects and the ideas just “beg for abuse.” The two of us do so by way of satire – as it sure beats crying and provides emotional release necessitated by the sad nature of what so many suffer within this belief system. Laughter makes for good medicine for us.

Addicting Info and Left Wing Nation picked it up, too. :) The titles are a scream!