Wednesday, May 15, 2013
It’s been a happy week in Minnesota, at least for most of us. After narrowly defeating an amendment to the state constitution that would restrict the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman, and taking control of the legislature away from the Republicans who proposed it, the state took a 180-degree turn. Yesterday, Gov. Mark Dayton (no relation to my roommate) signed a law making same-sex marriage legal in Minnesota, ending a struggle that began in 1970 when local activist Jack Baker, pretty much the father of the gay rights movement in Minnesota, unsuccessfully sued the state for refusing to grant him and his same-sex marriage license.
Of course, there’s a whole lot of butt-hurt going on, mostly from the right-wingers who have fought so hard to impress their values on all of society, but it is drowned out by the cheers of elation that rose from Ecolab Plaza in St. Paul last night as thousands gathered to celebrate this historic day. Local band The Suburbs, who were in their heyday when I first moved here in 1981, performed their 1984 song “Love Is The Law” which became an anthem of the Freedom to Marry movement in Minnesota. TCGMC had a presence there too, of course, singing “Marry Us” from Naked Man, which we have been performing quite a bit during the struggle not only to defeat last year’s amendment but to get this law on the books, and the disco version of our signature song, “Walk Hand In Hand” which I foresee singing at a lot of weddings in the future.
Of course there will be more butt-hurt next year when the legislature comes up for re-election. Republicans will run on a platform promising to repeal the law, which won’t happen. Minnesota is a very progressive state, a deep blue state that hasn’t voted Republican in a presidential election since 1972. Sure, there’s that ignorant wench the Sixth District keeps electing to congress, but I’m starting to think they only keep her around for laughs.
The best burn of the day was when by brother in law asked if he can marry a tree now. I told him that the text of the law (and I have read it) states defines marriage as being between “two consenting adults.” If he can find a tree that can not only sign a marriage license but also say I do, then hell, I’ll be his best man!
Friday, April 26, 2013
Finally, I’ve joined the twenty-first century. I’ve traded up from my simple Motorola flip-phone to an Android smart phone, lured toward the technology by the Android functionality of my camera. They both have Bluetooth and wi-fi, though I haven’t gotten them to do anything together yet. Now I can update Facebook, Twitter and GooglePlus from it, without having to be near a wi-fi hot spot. Excuse me, I’m about to have a nerdgasm.
It also means a new phone number. That’s okay; too many people have my old one anyway. Actually, I still have about 300 minutes left on my old Tracfone, so I’ll probably burn those up on business calls to people I don’t want to hear back from. It’s a good number to give the spammers.
I realized an interesting transition on television last week. While drama has been replaced by reality television, reality on television (i.e. the news) has become more dramatic. Last week’s spectacular events in Boston, from the horrific tragedy at the finish line of the Boston Marathon to the carnival atmosphere in the streets as the good guys drove off into the sunset after catching and/or killing the bad guys. This was the kind of story that’s gonna make a great movie someday, probably someday soon, and it’s probably gonna get a nod at the Oscars™. While only three people were killed, plus one a few days later, this still hit the nation with all the force of a September 11th. We all thought and stood as one for a few days. It’s always a good thing when that happens. Pity it takes a bad thing to make it happen.
And yeah, it’s already been pointed out that Djokar Tsarnaev is kinda cute. Jim thinks his big brother Tamerlan was cuter, but we won’t debate that ’cause they’re both evil. It doesn’t sound to me like this was any kind of covert operation planned by a larger cell; rather, these two Chechnyan brothers were just a couple of isolated wing-nuts who flashed off on their own one day and burned out quickly, like a spark ejected from a roaring fire. But we need to make an example of them, hopefully to dissuade the next lone wolf who tries to write his name into history like this.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
I suppose that, as a ’blogger, it’s my duty to make some commentary on the horrific tragedy in Boston on Monday. I’m probably late to the party, as it’s been almost 48 hours since explosions ripped through the crowd of spectators at the finish line. But what can I say? The words just escape me. I feel numb, just like I did on 9/11. The media saturation hasn’t helped matters any, and it often infuriates me that the media tends to wallow in the carnage at times like this. The same video clip of the explosions played over and over again is like a traumatic flashback. One of my favorite TV shows (Revolution) got pre-empted last night because NBC decided it apparently wasn’t enough that MSNBC was carpet-bombing us with nonstop coverage when there was really nothing new to say. (That didn’t stop them from airing garbage like The Voice, though!) Tragic victims are paraded on the news like some kind of ratings grab. Maybe the media needs to shoulder some of the blame for these atrocities. We didn’t have this many atrocities before the advent of the twenty-four hour news cycle. In dwelling on tragedies like this, the news networks give these terrorists is exactly what they want.
And as with any tragedy, the rumor-mongers and conspiracy theorists go into overdrive the moment the news breaks. While it is my personal belief that this was an act of domestic terrorism, I’m not going to point any fingers of blame until the dust settles and the forensic investigators have a chance to do their job. Nobody is helping matters any by muddying the water with pictures of a mystery man on top of one building or a badly doctored clip from Family Guy claiming to be a prophecy of the attack. Even Seth McFarlane wouldn’t stoop that low!
My heart goes out to all the people of Boston, and all of the runners whose hard work and dedication have been overshadowed by this tragedy. One of the runners in the marathon was my roommate’s brother (thankfully, he and his girlfriend are both okay). Meanwhile, the perpetrators of this crime are watching the wall-to-wall news coverage and probably gloating inwardly that they have managed to get the world’s attention. NBC is giving them exactly what they want. They have won already, or they think so. Maybe if the media didn’t pay so much attention to them, they’d stop. Ignore them and they’ll go away.