Thursday, November 30, 2006
I'd Probably Swear on The Illuminatus! Trilogy, Just To Confuse Everyone
Article VI of the US Constitution:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust in the United States. (emphasis mine)
The latest column of Dennis Prager, who is, as I'm supposed to believe, a person who knows his shit:
Forgive me, but America should not give a hoot what Keith Ellison's favorite book is. Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress. In your personal life, we will fight for your right to prefer any other book. We will even fight for your right to publish cartoons mocking our Bible. But, Mr. Ellison, America, not you, decides on what book its public servants take their oath. (emphasis not mine, can't be fixed, damn Blogger Beta to the deepest pit of Hell)
So, despite the fact that our founding fathers clearly told us that we could swear on Action Comics #1 if we wanted to, every incoming Congressman should swear on the Bible, or they're not a Congressman. And it is for bullshit-- I mean, "well-reasoned opinions" like this that Prager earns the big bucks and, more importantly, an audience and credibility.
Between this and the children's book on Mexican stomping, I'm really starting to wonder about the state of America.
The Golden Book Of Race Hatred
NEW YORK - Unhappy with the children’s books on the market, a Brooklyn criminal court judge has written a picture book that uses a horticultural metaphor to deplore the perils of unchecked immigration.
"See that, Timmy? God punishes the filthy brown people! Can you say 'fatherland'?"
And, to the surprise of absolutely no one, the Minutemen love it:
But Tim Bueler, a spokesman for the Minuteman Project, said the book “gives a great insight to children and families on the issue of illegal immigration.”
What? That Mexicans are weeds? That there's some selfish force controlling all Mexicans and sending people into America in a deliberate attempt to take over? That it's righteous to crush those who do not yield? Is that the message you want to get across?
Bigotry should not be a family activity.
Y'know, I Never Really Got Into Ender's Game, Either
Wow. So much bile. It produces a nice warming sensation.
Anyway, when the article first hit the web, the conclusion of many people was, "Yes, it sucks, yes, he's a freaking bigot, but I like his stuff, so I'll read it as long as his whack-ass politics stay far, far away." Yeah, well, that time is now.
When the president and vice-president are killed by domestic terrorists (of unknown political identity), a radical leftist army calling itself the Progressive Restoration takes over New York City and declares itself the rightful government of the United States. Other blue states officially recognize the legitimacy of the group, thus starting a second civil war. Card's heroic red-state protagonists, Maj. Reuben "Rube" Malek and Capt. Bartholomew "Cole" Coleman, draw on their Special Ops training to take down the extremist leftists and restore peace to the nation...
Also available are five sample chapters, including insults against the French, the implication that those snooty Europeans are just rooting for this shit, and the wife of one of the main characters, who's a liberal but, y'know, a '50s liberal, so she bakes cookies and shit and isn't at all threatening to Card's world view!
If he defends this as "a Handmaid's Tale for the right", I am going to kill something.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
We Were There First
Hi. We don't talk much, seeing as you view me as a big old sinner and, given some of your rhetoric, a threat to Western Civilization. Still, I thought you'd like to know that Mitt Romney, the man who is kowtowing to you like a Japanese diplomat, used to love us, too:
When he ran against Ted Kennedy for the Senate in 1994, Romney wrote a letter to the Massachusetts Log Cabin Club, pledging that as "we seek to establish full equality for American gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent." During that same campaign, Romney was accused of once describing gay people as "perverse." In response, Romney's campaign vehemently denied that he used the word "perverse" and said that he respected "all people regardless of their race, creed, or sexual orientation."
While running for governor in 2002, Romney and his running mate, Kerry Healey, distributed pink fliers at a Gay Pride parade, declaring "Mitt and Kerry wish you a great Pride weekend." He backed domestic partner benefits for public employees, winning the endorsement of the national Log Cabin Republicans. In his inaugural speech, he promised to defend civil rights "regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or race."
As governor, he appointed openly gay and lesbian people to high-profile administration positions. He doubled the budget line item for the Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, until he tried to disband it last May -- more political theater for the Republican right.
So, next time he kisses you right on the lips, just remember where those lips were first.
Monday, November 27, 2006
So, Quesada has finally been interviewed by the Gay League about the treatment of gay and lesbian characters in Marvel Comics. Let's see what he has to say for himself:
AE: Is Rawhide Kid in or out?
AE: Do you think the Kid's Marvel Handbook entry could have been written differently to reconcile both pre and post-homosexual "Slap Leather" aspects of his history?
JQ: Check out my weekly Joe Fridays column as I went into detail about this.
All right. So far, so good. Quesada realizes that he screwed up, and admits that he's setting things straight. I've still got complaints about how the original Rawhide Kid mini was handled ("Oh, he's fashionable! That's how you know he's gay!"), but that's another thing for another day.
AE: Some gay fans, bloggers, and commentators are expressing concern over the treatment (ie: torture, death, and maiming) of some of Marvel's LGBT characters. (The list of characters includes Northstar, Freedom Ring, Jarvis from the Ultimates, Wiccan, Hulkling, Xavin, and Karolina Dean). Can you understand how these events taken together can be interpreted negatively?
JQ: Freedom Ring is Robert Kirkman's creation and he had the story arc planned from the very beginning. When Robert told us he was creating a gay lead for Marvel Team-Up all we said was, "sounds like it'll make for a good story, have fun." When he then told us that unfortunately part of Freedom Ring's story arc was that he was going to die in the end, all we said was, "sounds like it'll make for a good story, have fun."
And this is where things start to fall apart. Quesada basically just admitted that he pays absolutely no attention to what his writers are doing (which would go to explain Civil War... but many other comics bloggers have bitched about that better than I have*). It's also extremely suspect, seeing as Quesada knew Freedom Ring would be gay, knew Freedom Ring was going to die, and still showed him off as an example of exclusivity in Marvel Comics. You'd think someone would have told him that was a horrible, horrible idea.
With respect to Northstar, it is a simple comic book cliché, characters are good guys and gals and sometimes they go bad only to become good again, hey, sometimes the villains become good guys too. Comic's history is littered with stories like this and all we're trying to do is something cool with Northstar who, as a character, had been out of the limelight for some time.
You mean a character who, despite having a somewhat interesting backstory, wasn't touched at all once he came out of the closet? A character whose sole character trait, according to most writers, was his homosexuality (and occasionally, his Canadian-ness)? A character who, despite all that, was still Marvel's first gay character? A character who didn't even get to make a noble sacrifice (more on that later), but got treated as cannon fodder to show how "bad" Wolverine was when he was brainwashed by HYDRA? A character who then manages to get killed off in two comic books released during the same week, released just a few months after his death in the mainstream Marvel Universe?
As for the Young Avengers, while in fact three characters are captured at the end of this issue and they happen to be gay, another character was killed and yet another dismembered, which strikes me as a far worse fate than being captured by the bad guy. To be honest, no one, even the writer, noticed that the three characters captured were the "gay" characters until a reader pointed it out to us, because that's simply not how we think. I guess what is striking me as weird is that what we should be looking at (and somehow missing) is that this is a comic book that features three gay lead characters. Also, and by virtue of that, the odds of something happening to those gay characters goes up exponentially as we do have to put our heroes in peril in order to have a story. So, while we honestly don't look at our characters in any way other than what's going to make for a thrilling, touching story, it seems that some small portion of the outside world still looks at our books and characters and wants to segregate them.
For the curious, this was the image. The in-comic explanation for the capture and torture is that the characters brought together are all aliens, and thus have no rights as part of some weird Marvel Universe law... despite the fact that Wiccan**, one of the gay characters, is not an alien. Technically, he could be considered the son of an extradimensional entity, but then again, so's his (straight) brother, so why isn't he strung up?
And here, ultimately, is where Joe Quesada and the entire gay comics (and likely some of the feminist comics) blogosphere differ:
Let me put this out there using myself as an example. As someone of Hispanic ethnicity, I've always felt that there should be more Hispanic characters in comics, especially with the booming Hispanic population here in America.
Now, by hoping for that I'm asking for everything that comes with that hope. Super hero characters, Marvel characters, by their very definition, have a lot of crap that gets dumped on them only to hopefully someday triumph over all of it. They have to be put through their paces, especially at Marvel where our characters all have feet of clay. And yes, sometimes they die, sometimes they're hurt and sometimes they¹re villains. So, for me to desire inclusion but then to hope that my inclusion is treated differently than everyone else's is then asking for the kind of segregation that I'm fighting against.
We don't preach hatred or ignorance at Marvel, we never have. Our mandate has always been very simple, we tell the stories of extraordinary people doing extraordinary things under extraordinary circumstances and yes, most times they triumph, but sometimes even the villain has his day. So, as more and more gay characters enter the Marvel Universe, what I can assure you is that more and more stuff will happen to them as it does to all of our characters and isn't that what we all want in then end? If so, how will you intend to change this?
So, Joe's basically arguing that all gay heroes, like all Marvel heroes, get the chance to take arms against a sea of troubles and, even if they die, make a heroic sacrifice. All right, then, Joe. Show me.
Therein lies the problem, with both gay characters and, if Women in Refrigerators indicates anything, some female characters, in comicdom. Whenever a gay comics blogger or a feminist comics blogger raises their hackles, someone inevitably says, "Well, what do you want, plot immunity?" We don't want plot immunity, we want plot equality.
Barry Allen, the original Flash, gave his life to stop the universe from being destroyed in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Superboy, Kon-El, gave his life to do the same thing in last year's Infinite Crisis. Superman gave his life to stop Doomsday, an unstoppable weapon (and then he got better). Jean Grey, one of the few truly heroic sacrifices among female comics characters, killed herself the first time she died because she knew she couldn't control the Phoenix, and died the second time trying to stop Magneto.
Compare and contrast. Northstar gets impaled and killed because, despite the fact that he has super speed, he can't dart out of the way when he sees Wolverine's claws go through an intangible Kitty Pryde. Freedom Ring gets horribly, horribly mutilated because he accidentally spills his secret to the villain. Sue Dibny picks up the phone and gets an aneurysm, then charbroiled, for her troubles. Gwen Stacy snaps her neck when Peter Parker tries to save her. Black Canary gets tortured, possibly raped, and loses her supersonic screech.
Ultimately, the problem is not that Joe Quesada is a horrible bigot-- hell, he seems like an okay guy-- but the problem is that he sees no problem. He doesn't see the homophobic subtext, he doesn't put two and two together when the writers tell him what they're going to do, and he doesn't understand that it's all well and good talking about gay equality in comics when gay characters aren't exactly equal in his comics.
It's good that we're actually there. But until a gay character makes a noble, willing, world-saving sacrifice that gets people talking like Barry Allen's did, then we'll talk about equality.
*Well, I'd just like to say that apparently, Tony Stark is such a Machiavellian genius that, the first time he met the Avengers, he thought he'd take a hair from Thor, the God of Thunder, if the event that he would need to clone him. But, I believe we all know that Mark Millar licks goats.
**Yes, he's actually named "Wiccan." Yes, I know it's like naming The Spectre "Christian." He's still a pretty good character, dumb name aside.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
I'm Not Dead, Just OD'd On Turkey
The next day, we headed home, and once I got home, I had to head off to work.
Saturday? Uh... no excuse. I had a lot of homework? Yeah, that'll do.
So, anyway. Back to semi-regular posting.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Run For Your Precious Water!
Dear God, I hope not. But the worst part is, given everything that's happened so far, the constant attacks on one side and the "money walks, bullshit talks" approach on the other, I can understand why these soldiers do it, even if I find it utterly disgusting.
And we wonder why they hate us.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Oh, They're Not "Activist Judges", They're "Freedom Judges"!
"A decision not to vote is a decision to usurp the Constitution, to abandon democracy and substitute a form of what this nation's founders called tyranny, that is, the imposition of the will of those in power, on the people," Romney said earlier. "The issue now before us is not whether same-sex couples should marry. The issue before us today is whether 109 legislators will follow the Constitution."
When the legislature "flouts" the Constitution, it's tyranny. When Romney does it, it's good politics.
Forty-five days until we're done with you, you hypocritical, power-hungry jackass.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
And Then A Step To The Ri-i-i-ight...
Does this man actually stand for anything?
Saturday, November 18, 2006
I'm Normal, Damnit
Jesus Christ. How long do I have to put up with the idea that there is something wrong with me because I'm gay?
Now that the Democrats are the majority, however, Sen. Mitch McConnell, incoming Senate Minority leader, has threatend to filibuster unless the Democrats give Bush's nominees an up-or-down vote. Remember, it's not as bad when you do it as when the other guys do it.
Does anyone in Congress actually remember what they said three weeks ago? And if they do, do they actually care about it?
Thursday, November 16, 2006
When Did You Stop Beating Your Wife, Senator?
Oh, right. That will never happen.
Why does this bigoted little jackanape still have a show?
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Now, Let's Say I Was The Real Killer...
Just fucking confess already. It's getting really goddamn annoying.
There's Being A Host, And Then There's Being A Warden
-tell the child that the devil is in his heart?
-wake the kid up on Sundays at 6:15 in the morning to go to church, when he doesn't want to?
-say that his mother is just as "devil-ridden" as he is, due to the fact that she's separated from his father?
-tell the kid that the real reason you brought him into your home was so that you could use him as a mouthpiece for your own religious intentions in his home country?
These assholes did. Luckily, the kid in question managed to find a much more welcoming family for the rest of his stay. Still. When you open your house to the world, it should be with the intention of showing the world the great variety of perspectives and lifestyles in your nation, and not using it to flog your own personal agenda like a submissive in Miss Kitty's Parlor.
At least someone showed this kid that Americans can be sane.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
This'll Just Be A Comma
Is there anything that can even be done in Iraq anymore?
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Meet the New Boss...
Some big name Democrats want to oust DNC Chairman Howard Dean, arguing that his stubborn commitment to the 50-state strategy and his stinginess with funds for House races cost the Democrats several pickup opportunities.
The candidate being floated to replace Dean? Harold Ford.
Says James Carville, one of the anti-Deaniacs, "Suppose Harold Ford became chairman of the DNC? How much more money do you think we could raise? Just think of the difference it could make in one day. Now probably Harold Ford wants to stay in Tennessee. I just appointed myself his campaign manager."
Dear James Carville: Fuck you.
I mean, let's look at some of Ford's positions, shall we? He voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment, he's chided Dems for their attempts to filibuster Alito, he voted for the (Impossible to Declare) Bankruptcy Bill, and told Democrats they should support the war in Iraq. When I voted for the Dems, it was with the idea that they would change things, and not just suck up money and influence like the other guys.
So, I ask the Dems: are you interested in doing the right thing for this nation, or are you just interested in the sweet, sweet smell of uncontested power?
Friday, November 10, 2006
My Activism Continues
But, yeah. The marriage amendment has been voted down again, which means it would be on the ballot in 2008. What sayeth you, outgoing Governor Mitt Romney?
Republican Gov. Mitt Romney, a vocal opponent of gay marriage, said "the rule of law and the sovereignty of the people have been trampled" but there was little he could do to force the state's lawmakers to vote on the amendment.
That's right, folks, Mitt Romney is talking about "the sovereignity of the people" being trampled. Mr. "Let's Wiretap the Mosques", Mr. "I Was For Abortion Before I Was Against It." Apparently, it's only good when he's the one fucking over the voters and their rights.
Two more months, and this lying jackass is out.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Your Post-Election Summary
Santorum got his self-righteous ass kicked the hell out of the Senate. So long, Rick. Just know that your name will have a legacy that few other senators have ever enjoyed; fifty years from now, happy couples will likely be wiping it up post-coitus.
Lieberman won in Connecticut. Just goes to show ya that sometimes, incumbency does rule all. Though at least Lamont's campaign demonstrated just what potential the grassroots have.
Musgrave's still in office. Fuck.
On the other hand, Ken Blackwell, the Biblical dominionist, man who handed Bush the 2004 election, and general whackass, got thrown over in favor of Ted Strickland, demonstrating that there's a limit to the crazy that Ohio will put up with.
And locally, Deval Patrick won out over Kerry Healey. Within a few months, our state will be rid of Romney's douchery. We just have to make sure it doesn't infect the nation as a whole.
Seven states passed amendments against gay marriage. But Arizona, in a first, voted against said amendment. Progress is being made, slowly yet surely.
Well, that was certainly interesting. Here's hoping the next two years will have plenty of fireworks.
Can't Say I'll Miss You
The real question is, can the next guy possibly fuck it up any worse?
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Huh. Guess I Was Wrong.
Yeah, well, fuck that. I voted today. I got on the T, went back home, voted, then came back in. Wasn't that much of a pain in the ass, now, was it?
So, what made me do it? Simple. I thought it wouldn't matter. Since all of Massachusetts goes blue, I thought my vote would really make no difference.
But then I realized I was being apathetic. And then I read the blogs. I read about Laura "Shut Up and Sing" Ingraham telling her listeners to crank call a Democratic voter protection hotline. I read Adam "It's Better to Give Up" Nagourney bemoaning that Democrats have a snow cone's chance in Hell of actual victory (despite what the polls say) and-- once again-- hinting that maybe it would be better if the Democrats didn't win and just let the Republicans continue to drive America to ruin. I read about general malfunction, voter intimidation, and other disasters.
And I realized that I would not be able to stand up to all this and say, "This is wrong," unless I actually took part in the system.
So, yes. I have voted, and I am proud. I'm staying up to watch the Dems sweep the House and the Senate, and spank all the naysayers but good.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Bad Liberal! Bad!
It's just that I've been damn lazy this semester. I didn't really plan things out, and I didn't think about getting an absentee ballot from my hometown until it was too late. I keep telling myself, "It's okay; Patrick will probably win, and Massachusetts goes blue anyway." But I realize that's the sloth's way out, the way of "It doesn't matter anyway."
Next time, I'll actually plan in advance.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Teddy the Witch Prayer
He was always on the lookout for spies. At the time, Colorado Springs was a small city split between the Air Force and the New Age, and the latter, Pastor Ted believed, worked for the devil. Pastor Ted soon began upsetting the devil's plans. He staked out gay bars, inviting men to come to his church; his whole congregation pitched itself into invisible battles with demonic forces, sometimes in front of public buildings. One day, while he was working in his garage, a woman who said she'd been sent by a witches' coven tried to stab Pastor Ted with a five-inch knife she pulled from a leg sheath; Pastor Ted wrestled the blade out of her hand. He let that story get around. He called the evil forces that dominated Colorado Springs—and every other metropolitan area in the country—“Control.”
"Control"? Jesus Christ, Ted, if you're going to claim to be staked out by a great all-encompassing malignant force, at least come up with an interesting name for it.
Sometimes, he says, Control would call him late on Saturday night, threatening to kill him. “Any more impertinence out of you, Ted Haggard,” he claims Control once told him, “and there will be unrelenting pandemonium in this city.”
"Oh, and Ted... is your refridgerator running? Then you'd better catch it! Haw haw haw!*"
And in case you think this is all hilarous delusion, think about this:
He sent teams to pray in front of the homes of supposed witches—in one month, ten out of fifteen of his targets put their houses on the market.
That's ten people, possibly ten families, driven out of town due to one man's belief that he was being staked out by an infinite demonic conspiracy that just happened to take root in Colorado Springs. Did President Bush really listen to this man?
*Jack Chick got one thing right: the forces of darkness have really fucking obnoxious laughs.
Eye-uh Have-uh SIIIINNNED!
"The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality, and I take responsibility for the entire problem. I am a deceiver and a liar. There's a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it all my
adult life," he said.
Emphasis mine. Fuck you, Mr. Haggard. I've been open with my sexuality for five years in my life, and I have never hired a gay prostitute or taken meth, and I never will. Your problem is that you've built a life around scorning what you are, around insulting others and making them suffer because you can't come to terms with your sexuality. And given this moment when you could redeem yourself, when you could realize just what you've really been doing wrong, you've revealed yourself as a man who will not own up for his actions, and who will continue to kill the scapegoat.
At least, until the next time this happens.
It was the wrong crime to try him for. It was a bit of a sham. It may make a martyr out of him all over again. And it doesn't at all make up for the string of fuck-ups that have led to the current state of Iraq.
Still. He was a mass murdering bastard, and I can't honestly say I'm displeased by this result.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
You Are Ours Now
We are your lords and masters. Bow to us."
Thursday, November 02, 2006
It's A Sin
Which makes the allegations by a former escort that Ted Haggard was his bedroom buddy for years-- complete with alleged voicemails and a letter-- very fucking interesting. Already, Haggard's stepped down from a leadership position over the scandal, Dobson and other allies of Haggard are circling their wagons, and the press is ready to descend.
As Salon has pointed out, if these allegations are true, then this is huge. Foley was one thing, because people could say that Foley was a politician, a man who adopted issues just for power, money, or the continued acquisition thereof. Ted Haggard, on the other hand, has always portrayed himself as a man of God. He fashions himself as the right hand of the Lord in a godless America. He leads up a megachurch with millions of dollars and thousands of congregants behind it. And here he is, this man of such faith, living a lie and preaching against the very thing he is, misleading his congregation in the entire process.
This isn't concrete yet. But this looks like it's going to get interesting.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Children, Children... Future, Future...
-Well, guess what? They're children. Some of them grasp complex ideas, some don't. And I wonder how many of the parents who likely "volunteered" their children for this ad ever sat them down and discussed the idea that two men or two women might truly, honestly, love each other.
-Hey, I've got an idea! If we're going to introduce legislation to prevent things that children won't understand, then why don't we scrap social security, the tax code, algebra, death, and war. I mean, it works for same-sex marriage, why not everything else?
-So, same-sex marriage is bad because "our kids will be taught a new way of thinking." Then why don't we ban the school system as well? That, in theory if not in practice, seems to be all about teaching children new ways of thinking! That is, unless you keep your kids locked inside the house and teach them the Biblically-mandated truth, which I wouldn't put past the people who designed this ad.
-And one last thing: what about all those children who've already adjusted to this new way of thinking, based on the fact that they've managed to find a loving home with two devoted parents who truly care about them?
No Fucking Comment
By grabbing him from behind, dragging him about, and throwing him into a window. And Elizabeth Dole, who accompanied Allen, is shocked, shocked, that Jim Webb would ever stoop so low.
That's right. Apparently it was Jim Webb's fault for "dragging down" the level of the campaign (and hey, I wonder, which side is leaking passages from the other side's sexually explicit novel again?), and that's why George Allen's close personal assistants had to physically assault someone who was asking Allen legitimate questions.
Just six days, and this madness will be over.