"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction." -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)
Still marathoning West Wing. Still the best. Show. Ever.
What did liberals do that was so offensive to the
Republican Party? I’ll tell you what they did. Liberals got women the
right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote.
Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people
out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil
Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals
passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act. What did Conservatives
do? They opposed them on every one of those things, every one. So when
you try to hurl that label at my feet, ‘Liberal,’ as if it were
something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away
from, it won’t work, because I will pick up that label and I will wear
it as a badge of honor.
"We have a choice. We can fully, completely, and without reservation embrace No Kill as our future. Or we can continue to legitimize the two-pronged strategy of failure: adopt a few and kill the rest. It is a choice which history has thrown upon us. We are the generation that questioned the killing. We are the generation that has discovered how to stop it. Will we be the generation that does?” -Nathan Winograd
"If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence." -- Bertrand Russell
Straight Americans need... an education of the heart and soul. They
must understand - to begin with - how it can feel to spend years
denying your own deepest truths, to sit silently through classes,
meals, and church services while people you love toss off remarks that
brutalize your soul. ~Bruce Bawer
My friend Gina over on Dogma advised me to blame Typepad for the fact that I haven't blogged in a week and a half, but alas, I didn't even realize Typepad had gone down for a few days.
It's not that I had nothing to say. It's not even that I've been Christmas shopping... excuse me, HOLIDAY shopping, I forgot that as a liberal I can't use the word "Christmas." I suppose most of the reasons I haven't been blogging are way too journally to go into here.
But I will mention that, thanks to a free one-month trial of Netflix, I recently saw the five-year-old made-for-cable-TV series "Queer as Folk" for the first time. I was talking about it to my friend Travis, getting a little worked up over something in the first episode I saw, and after listening for a while he gently said, "You do realize this is a five year old conversation, don't you?" I guess the entire gay universe and much of the straight universe already had the debate over that particular controversial element of the series while I was stuck out here in the country without premium cable channels and totally cut off from most of the major cultural debates of the era.
So, this is not exactly news from the cutting edge, but last night I watched the final episode of the first season of the show, in which Brian, the narcissistic, rejecting older boyfriend of 18-year-old high school senior Justin, shows up at his prom and dances just once with him, to the strains of "Save the Last Dance for Me." There is no question this scene should have been embarrassing as hell. Anything that happens at a prom is almost guaranteed to be embarrassing, after all, and the picked-upon (but cute) blond gay teen dancing with his boyfriend doubly so. But somehow, it wasn't. It was, frankly, the sweetest, most romantic piece of television I've ever watched. I actually got tears in my eyes.
And then immediately afterward, in the parking lot, Justin gets his head bashed in with a baseball bat by one of his classmates.
So, there I was, sitting in the dark caught on the edge between the dance and the baseball bat to the head. I was thinking about a time I was standing in line at an ATM in San Francisco, near Kaiser Medical Center, with my friend Yvette, who had spiky hair and a leather jacket. A guy walked up who was of the opinion that lesbians shouldn't be allowed to access their bank accounts in public places, and smashed my head into the windshield of a parked car while kicking Yvette in the ribs and calling us dykes. It wasn't the first time something like that happened, starting with the word "Fag" being spray painted on my locker door at my all-girl's Catholic high school (I'm guessing there was a bit of an illiteracy problem there, but whatever), to various kicks, shoves, pinches, punches, broken car windows, slashed tires, and hateful words of varying degrees of threat being showered on me from the day I entered high school until I was in my 30s.
So, is this politics or is this journaling? I ask because as long as I'm talking about marriage equality or some other tangible, legal aspect of being gay in America, it's clearly politics. But I don't know what it is, when you're forty-six years old watching a trashy television show and start to cry because a boy is dancing with his boyfriend at his prom, and then someone tries to kill him for it, and then you remember what it feels like to have your head slammed into a windshield by a guy calling you a dyke. I just know if politics can't encompass that particular kind of broken heart, then politics is crap.
Another example of a core Democratic principle -- equality under the
law. And from that principle stem civil rights, gender equity, and gay
rights. It's not that those individual issues aren't important, of
course they are. It's just that they are just that -- individual
issues. A party has to stand for something bigger than the sum of its
parts. -Markos Moulitsas Zúniga
Chris Bowers quoted this gem from Kos that I'd missed earlier (obviously I'm not following the Boy Blogs quite as religiously as I should) in a much larger context.
But taken entirely out of the context of either article (though both are good and worth reading), this little piece of it seems to me to strike just the right note: It's taking the issues that matter to me completely seriously and elevating them to the "top of the pile" by identifying their underlying importance, rather than by getting bogged down in identity politics.
My rights are important because equal rights are important.
"The aim of science is not to open the door to everlasting truth, but to set a limit on everlasting error." -Berthold Brecht
I don't believe that science, research, and medicine have all the answers. I don't believe that all vets and doctors know what they're doing. I'm not even going to PRETEND the world of medical research isn't hopelessly corrupt.
But I honestly get SO FED UP at the willingness of so many of my fellow dog-lovers to just throw all common sense and rational thought out the window when confronted with someone with a really slick sales spiel for their snake oil.
I wish I could link to the comment that has me steamed, but it was made on a private email list. Just had to rant a bit regardless. Plus it was an excuse for sharing one of my favorite quotes.