Hating the haters

Friday, 16 May 2008

gay wedding

My choice has been made – I will be voting in California in November.

I don’t know that I will cast a vote in the presidential election. If I do, it will be only because I despise John McCain and not because I believe in anyone else. Sad, but true. But the reason I will bother with the whole rigmarole of absentee voting is so that those bigoted homophobic motherfuckers won’t be able to pass their bigoted homophobic proposition to ban gay marriage in California’s constitution.

Just yesterday, the California Supreme Court struck down the state’s law against same-sex marriage and declared that registered partnerships are not good enough.

“In contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation,” Chief Justice Ronald George wrote for the majority in ringing language that delighted gay rights activists.

Massachusetts in 2004 became the first, and so far only, state to legalize gay marriage; more than 9,500 couples have taken advantage of the law. But the California ruling is considered monumental by virtue of the state’s size — 38 million out of a U.S. population of 302 million — and its historical role as the vanguard of many social and cultural changes that have swept the country since World War II.

California has an estimated 108,734 same-sex households, according to 2006 census figures.

yahoo/AP

One of the precedents cited was the California Supreme Court’s 1948 ruling that overturned the ban on interracial marriages.

The decision on same-sex marriage should be a happy ending and we should all rejoice that any couple who are lucky enough to find that kind of love can enshrine it in any way they want. We should all look forward to being invited to gay weddings where the décor and flowers, etc will all be in immaculate taste.

But instead, enter the small-minded, holier-than-thou, overly religious, freedom-loathing, malignant bigots that want us all to live based on their twisted code of intolerance and hatred. I really wish it were possible to convince them that they don’t have the right to tell other people how to live and that if there were a god, s/he would not be on their side.

Advertisements

Calling a spade a spade

Friday, 14 March 2008
geraldine ferraro vp pin

Okay, I suck. I have let my job totally get in the way and I haven’t managed to post all week. That in spite of some juicy things going on: Eliot Spitzer (prostitution), Geraldine Ferraro (accusations of racism), Mehdi Kazemi (sodomy), new marijuana laws in the Czech Republic… Luckily I am not going anywhere this weekend and I anticipate spending some quality time in front of my computer.

But for now, I would like to share excerpts from some emails that were exchanged yesterday between me and my friend Ricardo, who is a limey and also lives here in Prague. Ricardo is blue and I am violet.

Irrespective of whether Hillary or the Osama bloke (didn’t a paper get in trouble for that?) win, it is questionable if either will have enough support against the next gung ho tyrant-in-waiting of the United States of A. His arms look a bit too short.

Geraldine Ferraro (a former VP candidate) just got into trouble for pointing out that Obama is black.

I thought he was 50:50. Does that mean it’s wrong to say he’s black and equally that he’s white? Blimey.

He is 50:50, and I think you are allowed to say that he is white, but only because anyone can see that he is black. You are not, however, allowed to refer to him as African-American because although he is half African and half American, his ancestors were not slaves so therefore saying African-American would somehow be misleading.

Why is it that you’re allowed to say that Obama’s campaign is going well because he is young, because he is good-looking, or because he reminds people of John F Kennedy, but you can’t say that his race has been a factor? Especially when clearly it has. Just as some people are voting for Hillary Clinton just because she is a woman and some people will vote for McCain in November just because he is a white man, some people are obviously voting for Obama just because he is black. And so what? That’s just because lots and lots of people don’t vote on the issues.

Mrs Ferraro, your mistake was that you forgot to speak in a whisper when you said the word “black”.


Superhero Max

Monday, 11 February 2008
superhero boobs
My hair’s not blond, but the boobs are about right.

I got the call on Saturday night at 23.39. It was kd. “Can you come over to my house, please? You need to kick in the door. We’re locked inside the building and my key won’t work.”

I realise this raises questions of fire safety, amongst other things, but this is pretty standard in Prague. kd’s house has a main door onto the street and then another entrance that leads into the house itself. You always need a key to get in, and if the door has been locked, then you need a key to get out as well. kd and the others were locked inside the house because the lock was somehow broken and kd’s key wouldn’t turn. I was in our local pub one block away when I got the call.

“Should I pop home and get my keys?” (I have kd’s spares.)

“No, I don’t think so. The lock is fucked. Just come over quickly and kick the door in.”

I am not sure if they had tried themselves to kick the door open, but that kind of thing is apparently much harder if you are going against the door’s natural direction of movement.

I got to the outside door and found it was locked. I rang kd. “The bottom left window pane is broken. Reach your hand in and you should be able to turn the handle – unless someone has locked that door.” No one had locked the door and I let myself in.

And there they were – 4 people imprisoned in a corridor behind a solidly locked door. Which conveniently had a window so that we could see each other.

“Kick it in! Kick it in!” they yelled. Rather excited at the prospect of freedom. And perhaps even more excited at the prospect of violence.

I’ve watched Bruce Lee. DD once made me study the cave scene in Enter the Dragon. I put my weight onto my right foot and carefully folded my left leg in close to my body. I leaned my body to the right and sharply lashed my leg out to the left into the door. The door shook, but nothing more. The prisoners’ faces dropped.

“That’s all right,” I said, “I’m just getting a feel for it.”

On my next go, Big Sky tried to help the door follow through from the kick, but that didn’t work at all. I confidently told them it would be better if they all stood back.

The door moved substantially more on kick number 3 and I could feel that it was almost there. Just one more kick…

I focused. I envisaged Bruce Lee. I brought my leg in towards my body and felt the energy in it coiled and ready to spring. With a quick and powerful thrust my leg smashed into the door. There was a splintering of wood and a crash of metal and the door slammed open. I’d done it, I had freed my friends.

And we went to find C who was waiting back at the pub.



Max is not away

Friday, 17 August 2007

amsterdam gracht

 

I should have been on a flight to Amsterdam at 6.40 this morning. This weekend was supposed to have been Juicy’s hen party, but she dumped the guy so it became just a generic girls’ weekend instead. I haven’t been to Amsterdam since 1993, so I was kind of excited about going. And about seeing my friends.

Max plays tennis

But on Tuesday night on a clay tennis court at Cibulka, a bug bit me on the side of my foot. I felt it and it hurt. I had a feeling right away that it was going to be trouble, and I was right. It started swelling up and itching almost immediately, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. By Wednesday morning it had got worse so I bought some topical antihistamine. By Wednesday evening I was having trouble walking and my lower leg had started to resemble the leg of a small elephant. I had trouble sleeping Wednesday night because of the itching and the internal discomfort. It felt like there was poison slowly spreading up my leg. On Thursday morning, the skin around the bite had blistered, my whole lower leg hurt and I could barely walk.

I went to the doctor. He gave me a shot in my arse to stop the allergic reaction, some more topical antihistamine, and penicillin tablets. He told me to rest and keep my foot elevated and to walk as little as possible. Which is why I am not currently in Amsterdam.

Max watches tv

I don’t generally watch tv, my adult attention deficit disorder won’t allow it. And I usually ignore people when they tell me how great certain tv shows are and offer to lend me their dvds. But AG brought a boxed set of every single episode of West Wing ever aired back with her from The Amerika, and I was finally talked into taking season one home with me. I’ve watched about 14 episodes so far and it’s very good.

The last episode I watched touched on hate crimes and gay rights, the latter being an issue very important to me. Not that hate crimes are insignificant, it’s just that I tend to lean towards the side that says alike crimes should be treated alike, and not distinguished because of what the perpetrators were thinking. Shooting me in the face to steal my wallet, for example, should be no different from shooting me in the face because I’m a Jew.

So in this West Wing episode, a gay teenager had been tortured and beaten to death by other children. His parents went to the White House for the signing of some hate crimes legislation. Because the father seemed reticent, they questioned him as to whether he was embarrassed that his son had been gay. And then he let them have it. He was not embarrassed that his son had been gay. But he was angry that his son had been murdered and he was angry that the government had not been doing nearly enough for gay rights. He mentioned marriage, he mentioned the military, and he mentioned adoption, among other things.

I appreciated that the show had taken that slant, and it made me wonder what the demographics of West Wing watchers had been.


Hypocrites without balls

Friday, 10 August 2007

gay marriage

 

…or 3 degrees of marriage

As you might already know from my previous post, I am reading Michelle Goldberg’s Kingdom Coming and it’s scaring the shit out of me.

This morning on BBC I heard a news story about the Democratic candidates’ LGBT Hollywood campaign forum and it made me angry. Not that it’s hard for politicians to make me angry or anything. But how do people who are for equality and civil rights – who have a woman and a black man as the leading candidates in their party, for fuck’s sake – come out against the rights of gays to marry?

I am sure Hillary Clinton knows the history of women’s suffrage in the United States and how women had to fight just to be able to vote. I am sure she is aware that there are still countries where women don’t have the vote and are treated as chattel. Yet she, a woman, is able to run for president of what may or may not still be the greatest country in the world.

Just as I am certain that Barack Obama knows that blacks in The Amerika used to be slaves and that people like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King made great personal sacrifices to win equality for those who came after them. Yet he, a black man, can run for president.

How dare they – Clinton and Obama – try to draw boundaries around other people’s rights.

I know how they would answer that – that they cannot afford to alienate the majority of voters who are against gay marriage. Yet Clinton described herself last night as “pro civil unions”. And Obama declared that civil unions “wouldn’t be a lesser thing”.

Before I reach my crescendo of anger and disappointment, I feel I should include the information that two candidates, Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich, neither of whom have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the Democratic candidacy, do support gay marriage.

Here’s the thing. There is marriage, then there is covenant marriage, which is a little more something, and then there is civil union, which is a little less something. It’s all fucking marriage though, isn’t it? There shouldn’t be different degrees of it – it’s not murder or burns. Politicians – supposed progressive politicians – are taking a question of equal civil rights and turning it into a disgusting little game of semantics. Clinton and Obama are leaders of a gang of no-ball hypocrites.

The Democratic candidates are worried about alienating voters. I guess it doesn’t matter. The people that actively oppose gay marriage probably wouldn’t vote for a woman or a black man anyway.


Turning the tables

Monday, 28 May 2007

ledger gyllenhaal brokeback

 

A tribunal in Melbourne has decided that a local gay pub has the right to ban heterosexuals from its premises.

I initially heard the story on BBC this morning, and I did have to stop and think about it in order to decide whether or not I agreed with the tribunal’s decision. And in the end, I did agree. The factor that makes this situation different from the pre civil rights American south, or Nazi Germany, is that groups of heterosexuals had been going into the pub to ridicule and bully the gays. For any of you that have witnessed large stag groups and hen parties in Prague, you can imagine how offensive and frightening that could have been.

Later in the morning, I got an email from Opie, in which he asked me for my thoughts on the matter and on the fact that Australian civil libertarians were supporting the decision. He added:

I am pretty tolerant towards everyone, but this just strikes me as contradictory. (Can I now start a white lapsed Catholic, heterosexuals only club there? Feel free to start one for whatever group you so desire.)

I emailed him back:

I also heard the story this morning. As a libertarian and anarcho-capitalist, I am in favour of a private business being able to decide its policies for itself. And if hen parties and stag groups had been going into the bar to ridicule the gays, they deserve to be banned. Here in Prague, bars post signs saying “No stag parties”. We don’t have a problem with that.

The rest of the conversation went like this…

Opie:

So if private businesses bar blacks, gypsies, others, etc that’s OK?

My thoughts are that stag/hen parties should be incentivized to go elsewhere. Perhaps put a limit on the number of people allowed in and at the 1st sign of trouble, throw ’em the fuck out.

This just strikes me as a slippery slope and a bad precedent.

Max:

A private business should be able to bar whomever they want. But would you go into a bar that had a sign on the door saying “no blacks allowed”? I would not. Especially if the sign was instead “Juden verboten”.

The real answer is that groups of hetero women or men should not use the gays as a source of amusement. Gays are not monkeys in the zoo, after all. My feeling is that the bar owner should be able to decide whom he lets in, and it’s up to him how he does it. And all heteros would not be barred; the idea is to keep out groups that make trouble. And remember, barring the dominant social group in order to protect a persecuted minority group is different from barring that same minority group just because you don’t like them.


Why do they hate us?

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

atheist cartoon

 

The results are in and the godless atheists have done even worse than promiscuous mayors, old age pensioners and the gay homosexualists.

Gallup pollsters spent three days earlier this month surveying citizens of The New Amerika to see if we are ready for a non-traditional type of president. They asked people if they would be willing to vote for a “generally well-qualified” candidate who was __________.

Here are the different terms that filled in the blank with the percentage of people who gave a positive response to each.

…black 94%

…Jewish 92%

…a woman 88%

…Hispanic 87%

…Mormon 72%

…married for the third time 67%

…72 years of age 57%

…a homosexual 55%

…an atheist 45%

And here is my reaction: the results of this poll illustrate that we are an intolerant and hateful society.

If you would object by saying that Blacks and Jews did well – fuck that. 92% is not good. What 92% says to me is that 8% of Americans wouldn’t accept a Jew in the White House.

Let’s take someone who fits more than one of those labels – me. I am a Jew and a woman and an atheist. How have I fared in the poll?

0.92 x 0.88 x 0.45 = 0.36 or 36%

And I haven’t even thrown my gay best friend into the formula.

What I actually want to express is that I am stunned. This poll is just generally offensive, but I was really surprised to learn that atheists are such a downtrodden minority in The Amerika. I had no idea. Ach jo, something else to get worked up over.

An Atheist loves himself and his fellow man instead of a god. An Atheist accepts that heaven is something for which we should work now – here on earth – for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist accepts that he can get no help through prayer, but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it and to enjoy it. An Atheist accepts that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment.

– from Murray v Curlett petition 1959

American Atheists