Thursday, May 28, 2009
Photo via Movieset.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
If you have family or friends that live elsewhere in the state besides the greater Seattle region, please call them and tell them that you support the legalization of same-sex marriage. Tell them the reasons why they should too. We need all the support that we can get, and we need to garner that support before the anti-same-sex marriage advocacy groups can pollute their minds with extremely false and bigoted information on the matter. I'm sad to say that I unfortunately do not know anyone outside of the Seattle area. My family is a small one at that. But this is me calling on you, my hopefully loyal reader, to spread this information to as many people as you can, and soon.
Although there is no planned legislation for legalizing same-sex marriages any time soon, the sooner we get the support we need, the sooner it will become something more than a mere hopeful feeling. Let's get to work everyone!
Furthermore, if you are out and about, and someone asks you to sign a petition for a Referendum 71 to get on the ballot for this November's election, DO NOT SIGN IT. This referendum seeks to repeal the hardwork and dedication of Washington state lawmakers, as well as the further enhanced domestic partnership law that gives same-sex couples nearly every right and responsibility as those of heterosexual married couples. We CANNOT let this referendum of hate and bigotry get on the ballot. If there is any doubt, ask the person to explain to you what the referendum is for; read the actual text before you sign anything.
There is a Decline to Sign Referendum 71 Pledge form right here. I encourage you to sign it.
View Greenlake to First Hill Walk in a larger map
[Updated]: Now with pictures! I'm exhausted, and am in no mood to tell the entire story. I'll let the pictures do the talking. I'm only posting the few that I like. Also, I twittered the entire walk, but those 'tweets' are apparently not in existence on my page. WTF Twitter?
I found the character and scene developments to be intricate at first read, but after delving into the plot, they seemed rather drawn out. It took roughly 161 pages of the 276 page book to introduce all the characters and their intertwined relationships. Eccentrics, divorced women with children, insomniacs, troubled students, and lecherous college professors--those are just some of the characters filling out this decent, but not great, story. It had a good storyline, and a mysterious plot to keep you interested, but the ending was a little over-the-top for my liking.
Book cover from Macmillan.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
There will be a (now)-protest rally in Westlake Center at 5:30pm today. If you support the right for same-sex couples to marry, we hope to see you there.
"The court issued an order to show cause in Strauss, Tyler, and City and County of San Francisco directing the parties to brief and argue the following issues:Though make no mistake, we will win this one way or another. If we lose our rights today, we will not give up. All it takes is time. The older generation of closed-minded bigots is dying off, and our generation is becoming more and more a part of the bigger picture. Same-sex marriage will come to California, and America. If not today, then soon, and with greater support than ever thought possible. "Hope will never be silent" - Harvey Milk.
- Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutues a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution? (See Cal. Const., art. XVIII, §§ 1 -4.)
- Does Proposition 8 violate the separation of powers doctrine under the California Constitution?
- If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?
Monday, May 25, 2009
Then I continued up Denny Avenue to 5th Avenue, and then proceeded south. I came across the Wexley School for Girls, where a friend of mine recently interned. Quick note: it's not a school for girls, or a school at all, for that matter. It's an advertising agency. They're strange, but fun. I eventually made my way down to Olive, and could have gone home, but I was compelled to keep the night going. So I walked up Olive to Broadway, then up Broadway to Roy, and back down to Vivace for an iced latte. After that I walked down Broadway, and through Cal Anderson Park. I finally made it home, feeling pretty good, about three and half hours after I got off the bus from work. What a walk!
[Update]: I've added a customized map of my impromptu walk. It was my first time using Google Maps' customized mapping feature, so it's not perfect, but close enough. The total walk was around eight miles.
View Seattle Walk in a larger map
Thank you to my coworker for being a good sport and letting me take a photo of this atrocity. He is in the clear, seeing as how I had to have him hike up his jeans for me to prove my point. Regardless of that fact, these crimes of fashion must not stand. That is all.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Shut up already! You had your chance to mold the American government into the mess that it is, and you did an outstanding job! But you're finished now. It's over. Accept it. Stop going on television and radio shows and flapping your lips. If you thought--or still think for that matter--that you could do a better job at being the President of the United States, then you should have ran for the presidency; but you didn't. It's time for you to just disappear quietly back into the general American public, such as your former boss did.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
There is a new documentary being released by Magnolia Pictures called "Outrage". The film's official website provides the synopsis:
Academy Award nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick (This Film Is Not Yet Rated) delivers a searing indictment of the hypocrisy of closeted politicians who actively campaign against the LGBT community they covertly belong to. OUTRAGE boldly reveals the hidden lives of some of our nation’s most powerful policymakers, details the harm they've inflicted on millions of Americans, and examines the media's complicity in keeping their secrets.And after viewing this news interview, I started debating what my views were on the issue of 'outing'. I'll admit, there was a point in my life where I considered outing a former friend of mine to his parents. Did I ultimately decide against do so? Yes. I am personally opposed to outing anyone, because I think that that is a personal experience that the individual needs to make by his or her own choosing. However, a line can be drawn, I believe, where outing someone is absolutely necessary. This is the subject of the documentary.
Let's look at it this way: a politician actively and aggressively pursues legislation that would discriminate against homosexuals. This can include any and every thing. Whilst at the same time, he is choosing to engage in homosexual acts. Should this politician still retain the right to privacy? In my own view, I think not. Your thoughts?
Friday, May 22, 2009
"What's a 'Rusty Trombone'?"I feel like a parent whose child just came home from school and wants to know what the other kids were talking about all day long. If you don't know what a 'Rusty Trombone' is, well then I suggest you click here for the answer. I will not stoop so low as to announce it here. Good day.
Oh, and apparently that now makes me an expert witness in an HR sexual harassment case. Details pending.
"Taking shots at Mark was a waste of time. It was like firing a rifle at a slow-moving cloud. So easy to hit, yet it made no difference. It still floated away, right over the horizon."
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Furthermore, let me ask everyone what they would have done in that situation. That is, you've been ordered to fire nuclear missiles at Russia. Then you get attacked by a Russian submarine, but before your radio gets severed, you get a message regarding your orders; but you don't know what the message is, because it got cut off during the attack. Do you try and re-establish communications and find out what the message says, or do you go ahead with launching your nuclear missiles relying on your last confirmed orders?
[Suggestion: just picture some half-nude gay boys dancing around to this song at the clubs...amazing].
Part two deals with Gary faking his death, by throwing his wallet into a burning train that he was on, and heading for the hills--he takes up the new identity of August Valentine. Eventually he lands himself in a relationship with a man in a manner consistent with how many gay men do--at a night club. They live a relatively happy life together, but it eventually fails on all accounts; especially when Gary's (August never had a wife) wife finds out that he is alive and well in another state. Thus begins part three, which happens to include the saddest moment of the story.
Gary promises to get "better" and so attends a pray-away-the-gay camp where hugs are held to a strict time-limit, and it is sanctioned to rat out anyone who shows signs of the dreadful homosexual lifestyle. This is just a thought, but perhaps placing "formerly gay" men into a group and telling them to stop being gay isn't going to help. It is only going to exacerbate the situation; such as Gary observing the physique of his new roommate, and ultimately making a move on the guy. The downside? This guy does not want to be "fixed". He leaves, and the people in charge order everyone to disown him and never think about him again. Well, that ultimately leads to the most depressing part of the story. Does Gary change his ways? Even I don't know.
As a gay man, I can appreciate this story in all its glory. Hannaham has painted a vivid picture of how miserable and frustrating being gay, and coming to terms with it, really is. But he also gives hope and promise. It all comes down to the individual and coming to terms with who he or she truly is, and living that life to its fullest.
Photo via McSweeney's.
There is some relief every now and then to remind that reader that these people are not completely heartless. A woman--they seem to be the most victimized in the jewelry trade--comes in and wants to sell an old ring handed down from her grandmother. She has her child with her, and she desperately needs at least a thousand dollars. Jim, Bobby's older brother, tells Bobby to offer her only $500 and that her grandmother must have lied to her about its worth. In actuality, it was worth upward of a couple thousand. Bobby could have listened to his brother, but instead he whispered to the woman to leave immediately and go to a different jeweler who would pay actual value for the ring. I felt a moment of relief at that point in the story; there weren't many.
Martin has an interesting background, nonetheless, for this kind of subject matter. Most of what he has written, he claims, is true. The kind of deception and criminality in the jewelry business is extremely prevalent. But he maintains that he is not Bobby Clark--the story's protagonist. An expose on Martin is available here, and it is quite an intriquing read. Here's an example:
In January, his wife found him in the closet with a bed sheet. He was trying to hang himself.
She saved him, quite literally, at which point he admitted to her — and to himself — that he had been secretly drinking and lying about it for three years.
He had become an alcoholic. Suicidal thoughts had been with him for years. He immediately vowed to stop drinking, and with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous has been clean for more than four months.
Some other information about Martin is that he is an associate professor of Philosophy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City; he first tried LSD in the fourth grade; he's currently working on a translation of Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil. It's a very good read, and I would think twice about walking into a jewelry store from now on if I were you.
Photo via Macmillan.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
The issue is addressed in a new report from The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights group, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. The groups have created a Healthcare Equality Index for hospitals that focuses on five key areas: patient rights, visitation, decision-making, cultural competency training and employment policies and benefits.While civil rights groups have made huge strides in the past few years--months, even--I am still utterly conflicted about what the article suggests for same-sex couples that want to not risk forfeiting certain hospital rights:
For couples who don’t have documentation or are worried that their relationship might not be recognized during a medical emergency, the solution often is to pretend to be a sibling in order to ensure access to a partner.
“If you’re on the road and have a crisis, the word on the street is just say, ‘This is my sister,’ or ‘This is my brother,’ ” Ms. Kahn said. “Most people won’t raise an eyebrow about it unless you look very different. It’s sad that we have to think about that. Am I going to be better off saying this is my sister or this is my life partner?”
I really hope that one day, and soon, that I will have all the same legal rights that my heterosexual friends, family, and coworkers already enjoy.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Well, as I was walking through the parking lot today I saw yet another symbol of the typical American idiocy: a black Chevrolet Suburban with much-larger-than-standard tires. I'm presuming that it was the dad sticking out of the rear passenger door attempting to fix--or whatever--the built-in LCD screen for his strapped in infant. I watched, with spite, as this guy pulled out of the parking lot in his nothing-short-of-ridiculous Army tank of a vehicle.
I'm sure you're wondering what the point of all of this ranting is, and that's good. I'm concerned about the state of American greed. How much is too much? What's the point of it all? Questions like these are ones that encourage me to engage in lively debates with other people. Well, shall we debate this issue?
If you've read this far, I'd like to hear your thoughts, big or small, on how American greed is out of control. I will post more of my thoughts later, when I am at an actual computer and not spitting this all out from my phone.
Friday, May 8, 2009
At times absurd and mysterious, Lowboy is a novel about human relationships and how a mental disorder can make, break, and distort those very relationships. While considered literary fiction, the book has tendencies to make you think that you are reading a science fiction novel. That is part of its thrill. The reader is given many clues as to what is actually going on, but there are several things that remain unanswered at its end, including the end itself. What happened in Richard's basement (exactly)? How is it that it ended that way? Was Lowboy right all along and we were the crazy ones? Well, I guess those are answers that can be left up to the imagination of all those who partake in Lowboy and his quest for global salvation. Here is a promotional video of John Wray reading the first page or so on the L train:
Photo from http://us.macmillan.com/lowboy.
The car (center) had most of its front end smashed in, and the other car (center-left) appeared to have plowed into the telephone poles on the southeast corner. I really cannot envision how this accident played out. Everyone appeared to be in stable condition. I noticed an officer wrapping a brace around a woman's neck. This was the exciting news story of my night.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
This song (not the video) reminds me of all the coffee and cigarettes I had during those warm summer nights last year. Also, the band makes a cameo at 1:12.
[Updated Thoughts]: I watched the video again, and I must say that although it is depressing, it is a very beautiful video (especially at 3:29). It made me think about how life is so fragile. We think we have everything, and in the blink of an eye it can all be taken away from us. If you only had a matter of minutes to take what you wanted from your home before it all burned, what would you take? What matters the most in our lives when we are hard-pressed? We really do not know until that time comes; I think we are content to not know, if that means that we can avoid tragedies and disasters.
First Row: "Watchmen" by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, "2666" by Roberto Bolaño, "Tree of Smoke" by Denis Johnson, "Beautiful Children" by Charles Bock, "Sea of Poppies" by Amitav Ghosh, "Plato Collected Dialogues" (edited) by Edith Hamilton, "Glamorama" by Bret Easton Ellis, "Underworld" by Don DeLillo, "Against the Day" by Thomas Pynchon, "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand, "How It Ended" by Jay McInerney, "Lowboy" by John Wray, "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco, "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoevsky, "The Boat" by Nam Le, "Philosophical Investigations" by Ludwig Wittgenstein.I can only hope I continue to find some worth-owning harcovers. Book Karma, keep them coming!
Second Row: "The Pets" by Bragi Ólafsson, "Snuff" by Chuck Palahniuk, "How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone" by Saša Stanišic, "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller, "Animal Farm" & "1984" by George Orwell, "The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway, "A Farewell To Arms" by Ernest Hemingway, "For Whom The Bell Tolls" by Ernest Hemingway, "The English Philosophers: From Bacon to Mill" (edited) by Edwin A. Burtt, "Shadow Country" by Peter Matthiessen, "The Boat" (signed and personalized galley copy) by Nam Le, "Gravity's Rainbow" by Thomas Pynchon, "The City and the Pillar" by Gore Vidal, "Then We Came To The End" (signed and personalized galley copy) by Joshua Ferris, "The Savage Detectives" by Roberto Bolaño, "2666" (still bound three-paperbacks in a slipcase) by Roberto Bolaño, "The Rebel" by Albert Camus, "For Whom The Bell Tolls" (personally annotated paperback) by Ernest Hemingway, "The Correction" by Thomas Bernhard.
Third Row: "Plato's Sophist" by Martin Heidegger, "Anarchy, State, and Utopia" by Robert Nozick, "The Wittgenstein Reader" (edited) by Anthony Kenny, "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller, "Less Than Zero" by Bret Easton Ellis, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey, "The New York Trilogy" by Paul Auster, "Metamorphosis and other stories" by Franz Kafka, "Silas Marner" by George Eliot, "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA" by Tim Weiner, "Invisible Monsters" by Chuck Palahniuk, "The Stranger" by Albert Camus, "A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962" by Alistair Horne, "Out of my Skin" by John Haskell, "The Gay Science" by Friedrich Nietzsche. [Free Galley Copies: "The Lie" by Chad Kultgen, "In-N-Out Burger" by Stacy Perman, "Cutting For Stone" by Abraham Verghese, "Stone's Fall" by Iain Pears].
Four Row: [Books On Loan From Work: "Going To Extremes: How Like Minds United and Divide" by Cass R. Sunstein, "God Says No" by James Hannaham, "Yoga for Everyone" by Judy Smith, et al..