Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I had class from 1 to about 2:30, so the way I learned about a certain 6-1 state Supreme Court verdict was through a friend’s facebook status. He mentioned the bit in George Orwell’s classic Animal Farm when Donkey read off the updated list of Animal Commandments, specifically the part about “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”. According to my friend, apparently California remembers that part of the novel but didn’t quite get the point of it.
The anti-Proposition 8 people argued that November’s ballot initiative was tantamount to a constitutional revision, not just an amendment, and revisions as far as I know need to be performed legislatively and cannot happen by virtue of a ballot initiative. I don’t know enough legalese to say whether or not it amounted to a revision, but considering that the fundamental unconstitutionality of the text of the proposition was not the focal point of the plaintiffs’ case it is easier to understand why the justices upheld the ban (while conveniently protecting the validity of marriages performed from May to November. That’s a comfortable middle ground isn’t it?).
Even though the separate but equal argument is much, much stronger than that revisionist crap, the plaintiffs did not make that case in court. The proposition’s very passage in November proved that the voting population of California is mostly content with discriminating against gays and lesbians because they don’t groove on vag and cock like good Christians. I guess I can see why then the plaintiffs would be reluctant to bring a lawsuit challenging the legality of the text of the proposition. And on top of that hopelessness, legal analysts on TV kept/keep saying how reluctant the state’s Supreme Court would be to overturn the will of the people had the plaintiffs made that argument in court. Apparently nobody remembers Colorado Amendment 2 from way back in 1993. Don’t feel bad, I had to look for it.
Sure it was only one district judge as opposed to an entire supreme court, and no it wasn’t as transformative as legalizing same-sex marriage, but the people still voted to restrict gay rights and the judge still overturned the amendment on the grounds that it was unconstitutional. Just for shits and giggles, he didn’t even base his decision on the Colorado Constitution. Judge Bayless formed his ruling around the Equal Protection clause of the United States Constitution. So no, it’s not unheard of for a judge to overrule the people.
So really I can’t bring myself to be all that upset with the California Supreme Court. Within the parameters of the case the court’s ruling is quite understandable. Like in November, I find myself upset with the gay rights movement. Again something is within their grasp, and again they let it slip through their lubed up fingers. The passage of Proposition 8 showed that the people have temporarily closed themselves off to same-sex marriage, yes. However, not only is it easier to convince seven people of an argument than it is seven million, but as the (still repealed) Colorado Amendment 2 proves, the voter is not infallible. Same-sex marriage was, is, and always will be, right. It’s only a matter of when people realize this.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
One of the most satisfying feelings I know is catching someone in a lie. You know, when they make up this outlandish claim about something or another, and then someone else comes along and kindly reminds them of how things actually happened, often times in the process embarrassing the hell out of the liar. And then the liar tries to clean things up, change their story around to see if they can still escape the judgmental maw of society with their skin attached to their body. But the squirming just makes it worse.
As you can therefore imagine, I have enjoyed the past few days of the news cycle. At this point it is fairly obvious that Nancy Pelosi knew that some Guantanamo detainees were being waterboarded at a time when she claimed last week or so she was completely oblivious to. In the words of The Seattle Times, she’s either incompetent or she’s a liar. And really, considering the batch of fuckmouths that currently occupy Capitol Hill, neither adjective would be much of a surprise. Or even both for that matter.
Should Pelosi step down from the office? I really don’t see any outstanding reason why; sure she lied about what she did and did not know but that didn’t stop half of the Bush administration. And that right wing talking point about ‘slandering the intelligence community during a time of war’ being tantamount to high treason is stunningly ludicrous. I’m positive she meant no ill will towards the CIA, she was just trying to cover her ass and in the process made an even bigger one of herself. The other day at a press conference, Nancy offered a nicely packaged statement on the whole mess and then refused to take any more questions on the matter. Apparently she’s learned that the squrming just makes it worse.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Does anyone watch beauty pageants anymore? I know I’ve never seen one live. In fact, usually the only way I know one happened is that a local TV news affiliate will have a ten minute interview with the winner the following morning. And it’s usually at the end of the broadcast, too. My childhood idols were people I could see either in person or on TV on a regular basis, not someone who once won a contest for looking pretty and you never hear from them again unless they get arrested for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
Case in point, yesterday I heard Donald Trump defending his Miss USA pageant as one of the more prominent beauty pageants, ‘not stuck on some small local affiliate’ like the Miss Universe pageant. Does anyone remember Miss USA from two years ago? Last year? Hell, who won it this year? In fact, before this Carrie Prejan mess the only memory I have of the Miss USA pageant involves a contestant boldly defending the children of South Africa and The Iraq in regards to American mapping deficiencies.
So really I see Prejan as just another woman. I don’t particularly care that she doesn’t believe in same-sex marriage. Sure she’s on the wrong side of history but a lot of people are right now. And because nobody cares about beauty pageants in the 21st century, I don’t see how even if she wanted to be an advocate for the ‘defense’ of marriage she would be in any real position to do so. She’s had her fifteen minutes. Unless someone posts a sex tape online, by this time next week you’ll probably begin to forget all about this.
And since Prejan is in no position of power to publicly defend marriage (which, again, she said she doesn’t even want to do) I really see no reason to dump on her the way a lot of people have. Perez Hilton has carved a living out of being a catty gay man, I expect this from him. The internet (read: 4chan) will dump on anything and anyone, I expect this from them too. But everyone else? Come on people, she doesn’t really deserve this treatment. Again, she is wrong on the issue, but odds are someone else you know is too. Do you call them a cunt? Spread around nude photos of them? Try to ruin their accomplishments? I didn’t think so.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Every spring the students at Ohio University enjoy the fruits of fest season, a series of weekend-long street festivals in and around Athens that more often than not feature a lot of music, a lot of drugs, and a lot of alcohol. They’re all supposedly a lot of fun, but by far the biggest of them all is Palmerfest. A crowd of thousands descends on the nub of a street as the people living on said streets open their houses up to all their friends who came around to forget they ever came (and, by a certain point in the night whoever happens to wander into your house).
The four of us got to Palmer Street around 9:30 PM. I know you think you know where this is going, and I can’t tell you how much it pleases me to say that you are wrong. Because the person whose house party we were going to be attending was already passed out in her room, we left no less than 15 minutes after getting there. It also didn’t help that the street resembled the penultimate circle of Hell, literally reeking of alcohol and vomit, with just a tinge of urine to add that extra special something to the odor. Even if I were drunk I could have told you something bad was going to happen there.
As we got back to East Green, we heard the police sirens off in the distance and thought, “there they go!” Another night in Athens, right? Only the morning after did we find out about the burning furniture and riot police–not exactly just another Athenian evening. Some drunken revelers started a few small fires that were quickly extinguished, but shortly thereafter they had started a huge one in the middle of the street and kept authorities at bay by hurling bricks, cans, and beer bottles at them and their horses (seriously). Needless to say, OUPD and APD got decked out in batons and riot shields to literally push people out of the street and behind houses to put out the fire before it spread to the street’s wooden houses.
All in all, about 20 people were arrested for alcohol charges and disorderly conduct and those charged with the latter are facing expulsion according to the dean of students. The five injured horses (no people were seriously hurt) are probably going to be fine, those of us who had no part in the clusterfuck are ashamed of our fellow students, and my mother was very pleased to hear that my Mother’s Day present to her was not getting arrested with a bunch of crazy ass drunk white people for doing crazy ass drunk white people shit.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Saturday night I found myself leaving a theater party because Nick and I didn’t really know anybody there, and because I decided to give Charles in Charge (a friend from Habitat) a call and as it turns out he was having a get-together at his place. We shuffle our way over there; I catch up with some people, Nick makes some friends, we both get sticky notes with our names and descriptions on them from Jose, it’s a good time.
By this point in the night he and I had consumed quite a bit and we collectively decided to slow it down a bit. We’re sitting there on Chuck’s couch talking, occasionally leaning on each other (again, we’d had a lot) when Nick heads upstairs to the bathroom. Around the same time, these two people whom nobody recognizes walk into the apartment and head straight upstairs. Partygoers are confused, and four of us decide to head upstairs to see what’s what.
Since inebriation has this tendency to make people lose focus on what they’re doing, right in front of the stairs a barely-standing Jose pulls me aside and lets stumble out something along the lines of, “so this Nick guy…are you guys like going out or something?” He insisted someone else asked him to ask me, and given that right after I told him that Nick and I weren’t an item he leaned over and whispered something to someone else, I believed him. Two days after the fact I’m not sure what to make of that odd question. The person who asked him to ask doesn’t drink so we can’t blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol, either. I didn’t even know they knew. Maybe they’re just lost in confusion? Crazy ass white people.
Sunday, May 3, 2009