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Postings are in chronological order, with the most recent entry at the top.

June 2003


Sodomy laws? Gone-zo!

Michigan University admission policies to ensure racial diversity? Upheld!

Again, I say, "Huzzah!" What a session for the Supreme Court! I was certain they'd uphold the Texas sodomy law. I near cried when I heard they'd struck it down (I was driving so I had to maintain a modicum of emotional equilibrium). Not only was it struck down, but the majority (6-3) said that Bowers v. Hardwick, the sodomy law ruling in 1986 that so impressed itself upon my then teenaged mind's eye, was crap law! Okay, Justice Kennedy didn't say "crap law", but he may as well have (that ruling was overturned, a rare event, in a separate descision by 5-4). This means that the remaining states' sodomy laws are gone as well - all 13, nullified! The best part is, Texas tried to use the family values/morality/my bible is thicker than yours/if you let 'em do this they'll be raping their pets next argument and got nowhere.

You can't see it, but I'm still doin' a happy dance.

Congrats and thanks go out to the Lambda folks who argued the case: click here for an article on their site

Here's an article that explains why these laws are... no, excuse me... were so damaging, not just arcane blue law leftovers (used as they were in civil cases and other contexts to criminalize homosexual acts, thus depriving us of custody of children, employment, etc.): click here

Or if you're feelin' primary source oriented, you can download the ruling from the Supreme Court's site: click here and scroll down to Lawrence v. Texas, it's a .pdf document

Interesting conversation with Marijane Meaker, who wrote Highsmith: A Romance of the 1950's (she writes under a bunch of psydonyms, M. E. Kerr among them) - touches on lesbian culture and writers in the 1950's Village scene (Terry Gross, RealOne Player, 06.19.03): click here

Great conversation about exile - as in separation, difference and what you can learn from it - using Vladimir Nabokov and Zora Neal Hurston novels as talking points - Exile and Literature on The Connection with the author, Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran) 06.16.03: click here

If you'd like more info on Azar Nafisi, here's a link to a good interview about her experiences as a literature professor during the Iranian Revolution - good stuff (Terry Gross, RealOne Player, 04.04.03): click here

Conversation with Clare Short (former British Labor MP) on her testimony about a secret deal made between the US and Britain to go to war as early as Sept. 2002 (regardless of weapons inspections) on a predetermined date in the spring: click here


Second weekend in June? Pride Day in Boston! Yee haw!

Click here to see a few Prideful photos.

I arrived late to the Pride March/Parade this year - dagnabbit! I scooted into the crowd just in time to see some cheerful Transgendered folk pass by.

"I'm not taking pictures of those transgendered freaks," said a nasty female specimen standing next to me.

It's sad, but true - one hears these remarks even on Pride Day. And I used to be the kind of person who you didn't want to be standing next to if you made a remark like that. I nearly got in a fight one-year with a guy who made a rather unimaginative, not to say rude, remark about a parade float going by with some very political and vocal lesbians on board. I indicated that his remark lacked a certain sensitivity. He indicated that I should get a sense of humor - snap, snap. I indicated that he was a thuggish bore. His friends jumped in and indicated that they'd rather watch the parade than us being opinionated at one another. Ume agreed as she dragged me away. "Let's just watch the parade, Brulee."

"But I could kick his ass."

"I'm sure you could have. But did you happen to look at his friends asses?" she asked.

"I'm not generally interested in men's asses, even sculpted gym-rat asses like theirs."

"They could have kicked your ass, easily."

"But they agreed with me! They thought their friend was an idiot." I was sure of it.

"No, they didn't feel like watching a cat fight at Pride. Neither did I."

"Oh please, he was a queen, they love a good story. He could have told his little queenlettes all about it one day."

"What's he going to say? 'I got attacked by some crazy dyke at pride one year, who looked like she'd been dragged backward out of the clearance section of an L.L. Bean catalog.'"

"It's a story," I grumbled.

"Not a very good one. Here comes the Brazilian dance float, that's your favorite."

"Ooh, sparkly!"

These days, I'd rather watch the parade and leave the fights up to the more energetic or the borderline stable folk.
I was enlightened to the probable cause of the crass specimen's bigoted remark a moment later when she and the woman she was with started taking photos of the men on a dance club float. "Oh my God, did you see his body? He was so hot." They were tourists. I walked on and watched from another vantage point between two excited groups of men and women having a super time. They cheered at everything, even each other - a jolly lot they were.

As the parade, with all of it's colorful banners and floats proclaiming everything from "Proud parents of lesbians with children" to "Jagermeister" (the companies who advertise to gays are getting more and more diverse by the moment, no?) had all passed by, the crowd began to follow along to the fields of the Boston Commons where the festivities continue on for the rest of the day. In that vast crowd, someone started shouting, "We are the random gay people!" And I spied a young woman with a homemade sign (displaying a marvelous post-modern sensibility, I thought) that said, "Random Gay People". In the context of the march with all of it's proclaiming signs and people, it was nice to be celebrated as well.

I love the parade... march, whichever. It's fabulous!

Walking through the Boston Gardens toward the Commons at the end of the parade route - I reveled in our numbers. There's something marvelous about being in the midst of a pile of gay folk having a good time, it's way jubilant.

Hurrah and whatnot! Tra-la! Happy Pride people - yer beautiful!

Note: The cool rainbow animation came from RainbowSource.com.

I wish I could remember where the dancing lady came from... If you know, let me know, and I'll attribute it.

Had P.T. Barnum been born in the latter half of the twentieth century, me thinks he'd be the director of the Guggenheim Museum. "Why speak you thus, Brulee?" I'm thusly speaking because I recently entertained the bit of my brain that, try as I might, I cannot repress. It's a small area, spongy in texture and prone to make wet sucking noises when ignored for extended periods of time. The sucking noise had reached a vexatious pitch and, masochist that I am, I gave into it's sopping demand - I attended the screening of... (dare I say it?) an art film. I generally put art films in the same category (fairly or no) that I put short films and short student films in particular, which is the "déjà vu'd one, déjà vu'd 'em all and why oh why are you dragging me back to another one you sucking nuisance in the back of my head?"

Which isn't to say that I'm not in awe of les artistes du cinema or anyone else who's able to produce an original creation. It's just to say that when I'm looking at something, a screen, say, for an extended period of time, and I find myself looking for the subtitles and there aren't any and I have to remind myself that it's much like the rest of my life where I often find myself looking for subtitles and there aren't any and for some reason which is beyond me - when I sat down and started looking at the screen I'd suffered under the apprehension that perhaps... the screen might act as the subtitle for some aspect of my experience, but it turns out to be the subtitle for someone else's experience and they forgot to tell me before the lights went down.

And so the lights come back up and I wander back to where I came from, hoping all the while that maybe if I squint some more I'll be able to make out the subtitles and of course, I can't, but at least the sucking noise in the back of my head has quieted down... for a while.

You too can take a look at several stills from this filum artistique, it's a series of five - aw c'mon, just look for the hell of it - the photos are well done. The series was part of an extravaganza turbo-artsy on show at the Gugenheim in NYC: click here

This is one of the popular images from the series - evocative, true, but so are the shapes that clouds make, no?: click here

The show was explored in an NPR piece: Matthew Barney's Guggenheim Show Ignites Controversy - click here

Ooh, lookie - Planet Out has a Dan Savage column! I bet the second letter is going to generate some e-mail... click here

Time for play! I enjoyed these games on funky man Maeda's site: Game 2 and 4 were my favorites: click here for 2 and here for 4 and enjoy exploring the rest of his site! He's well known for his java calendars: click here and be sure to click and play with them - interaction makes 'em go - there is beauty in simplicity, no?

I spotted a pack of playing cards on a friend's desk the other day. The packaging had a camouflage pattern... "Let me guess which deck of cards you've got there," I said. It was the military's deck of most wanted Iraqis - he bought them on the internet. Nothing like a little war profiteering, eh? Which is why I find the deck of cards over at WarProfiteers.com so much more enlightening - not to mention downright awesome: click here

For anyone who doesn't remember George Schultz (the King of diamonds in the WarProfiteers deck) from his stellar moments in the Reagan administration, you can catch up on his and Bechtel's exploits by reading this sweet little article (don't read this on a full stomach): click here

The enlightening war profiteer deck was produced by The Ruckus Society - they appear to be an anarchist outfit. The only anarchist I ever met (and knew about...) was a fellow college student back in the eightees. We went head to head in a couple of debates in class and I couldn't understand what informed his point of view. It seemed frivilous, peevish even (I have no idea if this is common to the animal or specific to him). And besides that, I didn't think anarchists were supposed to announce themselves willy-nilly (I'd just read some Zola and that was the impression he left me with). One day after class I saw this student get into his car and I thought - ah, perhaps here is a clue - it was a sparkly Mercedes - a 19 year old driving a Mercedes... "They don't do too poorly for themselves, these anarchists, pehaps I ought to rethink my philosophy," said me: click here to explore the Ruckus Society

And while I'm on the topic of beastly irritants to the powers that be... here's a link from the queer camp: strap-on.org

And then, of course, there's sex advice for insects from Dr. Tatiana... No, really! click here

And if you're feeling especially frisky, you can dig into this fascinating policy article by George Soros, America's Global Role: Why the fight for a worldwide open society begins at home: click here

Hurrah! And whatnot.

You know how everybody wants to know where the weapons of mass destruction are hiding out? Well, I want to know too - so, here's an idea: why don't they ask Saddam? I bet he knows. Oh, right! They can't find him either!

Hurry up on the peace effort in the Middle East Monsieur Bush - that's your best chance of making this little problem go away... or at least cause people to do that ends justifying the means math and decide it's not worth the trouble of picking at the wmd scab. I wouldn't be displeased if M. Bush accomplished something positive in the peace effort - that would be a good thing indeed.

In the meantime... is it possible that people are on the verge of realising that our country has been hijacked by a bunch of extremists who've manipulated the palpable fear of terrorism into an unprovoked war and severe restrictions on civil liberties? I'm not holding my breath in that expectation, but I'm following the discussion with interest.

Here's a fascinating conversation called "Where are the Weapons?" from NewsHour. You get to watch the ever hawkish neocon Richard Perle get articulately rebuffed - you GO David Albright and Judith Yaphe! We've got cracks here people, wee little cracks...

But Mr. ex-CIA man, James Schlesinger, says,

I think that Secretary Wolfowitz had it right. There were bureaucratic reasons that they centered down on weapons of mass destruction as the only common reason for going ahead. But there were more powerful reasons to go ahead. If one thinks back to 9/11 and thinks in what shape the United States was at that time, we have repaired our relations with Russia and China, and we have scored two decisive victories in the Middle East that have made a major impression in the region. Those are powerful reasons to go ahead, and one should not focus exclusively on weapons of mass destruction.

They call it focusing on WMD, but it sounds curiously like something my parents used to call lying. Lies of ommission being kind of, well, not especially nice. But hell, all's fair in love and war and well, if you know there's no way in hell you're going to get your populace to back a war by being honest, you may as well lie, right? And now they're as much as admitting it in that supra-pragmatic, "We all really knew this was the case all along." kind of way. And attempting to make their case ass-backwards.

It's true though, some of us did know. And objected to their capitalizing on the fear of terrorism to achieve their goal. Because some of us don't think that remaking the Middle East in our own image, through occupation no less, is a good idea. But what the hell do I know? I'm not running one of the most oil-dependent countries in the world. Maybe I'd behave differently if I were. Maybe I'd behave differently if I was, like, green with yellow spots too. Dunno.

The point is, or at least it is in my mind, that we live in something that once resembled (and is still referred to upon occassion as) a democracy. I know it's a big word and may challenge certain minds among us and it's no less complicated by the fact that our democracy is tangled up with this pesky document called a constitution (something neocons have never grasped especially well, indeed, they go so far out of their way to avoid the concept that they sometimes subvert it, but I'm sure that's purely by accident - not because they think they're answering directly to god and laws don't apply to them or anything like that). And so people are supposed to act accordingly (ha!). And maybe they did (ha!) and buttloads of weapons of md that are ready and capable of being launched by "drones" on a moment's notice will turn up. And it's not out of the scope of reality that something may turn up - but whatever it is wasn't at the ready around Bagdad and it's not in as much evidence as all of those chemical weapons suits they were finding during the war - we'll just have to wait and see.

You can listen to the discussion on NewsHour or you can even watch it or read the transcript. But if you watch it you get to see Richard Perle twitch (these are the depths to which they have brought me): click here

I enjoyed this article as well, Credibility Gap, Anyone? by Jim Lobe: click here

Here's another good article, Bomb and Switch by Maureen Dowd: click here

Shock! Surprise! The industry-owned officials of the FCC panel voted to deregulate the media ownership rules some more. We lose! But it ain't over yet! This is an issue that may grow legs - if people keep interested and active. Avast ye!

I've just got to get a sword and a patch for my eye, so that when I act like a pirate, people will take me seriously.

In the meantime - you can surf up a nifty little report on the topic - surf to the page and scroll down to "Media Lobbyists Turn Efforts to Congress" (06.06.03 RealOne player): click here

If you're up late and want to scare yourself but good, you can click on this raising the hairs at the back of your neck big brother kinda tech-software in development story - LifeLog - muy creepy! click here

2003 Déjà vu - June - May- April - March - Feb. - Jan.

2002 Déjà vu - Dec. - Nov.- Oct. - Sept. - August - July - June - May - April - March - Feb. - Jan.

2001 Déjà vu - Dec. - Nov. - Oct. - Sept. - August - July - June - Misadventures- April

Compassion Fatigue Entries - 2001

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