October 2008 Archives
URGENT NOTE TO THOUGHT THEATER READERS:
The effort to protect gay marriage in California is in need of our support. Tim Gill and Scott Miller have offered to match No On 8 donations up to $100,000. The campaign needs to raise 1.5 million by midnight tonight and your help is needed. I'm publishing the following request from No On 8 and I ask you to consider making a donation.
This morning's Field Poll carries news that Prop 8 is narrowly losing, 44 to 49%.
This initiative battle is razor thin. We know that 7 to 10% of voters are still up for grabs.
And Tim Gill and Scott Miller will match your donation up to $100,000 if you respond NOW.
We knew we needed something more. Something big. Something to remind California voters that there were times in our history when we did not stand up against discrimination, and these are times we now regret.
So our new ad -- which we call "History" -- focuses on the central fact of this campaign: it is wrong to discriminate and wrong to treat people differently under the law.
This new ad, narrated by renowned actor Samuel L. Jackson, drives home the message that discrimination is always wrong. Watch the ad and make a donation to keep it on the air.
Now it's our turn. It's our turn to make sure we do everything we can do so the next generation grows up in a more decent society -- a society where discrimination against LGBT Americans remains part of that sorry past rather than enshrined in our Constitution.
We must keep this ad on television statewide through Election Day. To make that happen we must raise at least $1.5 million today. Please donate NOW.
With your help, we will defeat Prop 8. Please continue your support with a donation and ask the people who care for you to do the same.
Executive Committee Member
No On 8
DONATE. HERE. NOW.
Tagged as: California, Civil Rights, Gay Marriage, LGBT, No On 8, Proposition 8, Same-Sex Marriage
Daniel DiRito | October 31, 2008 | 3:15 PM |
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So much for Joe the Plumber! Now that Joe is busy turning his fifteen minutes of fame into a book deal or a country music recording contract...or some other means to capitalize on his notoriety so he can actually earn the 250K he told Barack Obama he planned to make when he bought his fictional plumbing business...he's suddenly missing in action at John McCain's rally in Ohio. Watch McCain ask Joe to stand up at his rally this morning; only to realize that Joe is no where to be found.
Yep, just like their honorable leader, Joe and Sarah put country first, eh? Apparently NOT...Joe has taken the same route as Sarah Palin...the one where it's every man or woman for themselves (maybe Sarah and Joe can be paired up on the GOP ticket in 2012?). It's also consistent with the McBush economic philosophy...the one they like to call "The Ownership Society"...the one that Barack Obama appropriately described as the "you're on your own" philosophy.
You see, while John McCain has been busy selling us on the notion that Joe the Plumber and the rest of us hard working Americans will be the victims of Barack Obama's "socialist" agenda, he and his hypocritical minions have been busy looking for the means to snatch power and line their own pockets.
Yes, John McCain believes in change...the kind that puts the big bucks in the hands of the wealthy...the kind that leaves the rest of us checking our pockets for enough change to feed our families.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, George Bush, Joe the Plumber, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Socialism
Daniel DiRito | October 30, 2008 | 10:23 AM |
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Stephen Colbert isn't going to be left on the outside looking in. Colbert, "angered" by the seeming rush of prominent Republicans to endorse Barack Obama, decides it may be time for him to toss his hat in with the rest of 'em.
In this segment of "The Word", Colbert provides the startling rationale for switching his endorsement to none other than Barack Obama - Stephen's not getting enough attention and he doesn't like it. There is one caveat...Colbert tells us an endorsement isn't the same as a vote.
In a puzzling afterthought, Colbert suggests that John McCain can still win this election...if he'll simply do what Stephen is doing and endorse Barack Obama...like the rest of the "mavericks" in the GOP.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Colbert Report, Colin Powell, Humor, John McCain, Stephen Colbert, William Weld
Daniel DiRito | October 30, 2008 | 9:59 AM |
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While it's difficult to measure the meaning of any single election, there is reason to believe that the 2008 election has the potential to be a transformational one...not just in terms of political affiliations but with regards to the tenor of political discourse, the importance of the middle class, and the latent racism that has continued to percolate in the background for many years.
I've been looking for the means to depict the significance and the importance of this election is simple terms...and I think I've found two videos that achieve that goal. In the first video, we witness a few McCain supporters exposing their racial animus towards Barack Obama...blatant in some instances and cloaked in code words with others. What is clear is that race will be the deciding factor for some segment of voters in 2008.
When that happens, the real issues that should determine one's vote are ignored and rational debate and dialogue have little, if any, influence. When this exists, it provides an opportunity for those politicos who would rather win elections than advance the issues necessary to benefit the nation. Hence, the politics of division (the past)...which has been the hallmark of the GOP for a number of years...is seemingly on trial in this election.
In the second video, "Generation WE" stakes its claim to the future. They argue that the size of the "Millennials" (those 95 million Americans born between 1978 and 2000) will make them the largest generation in this country since the "Baby Boomers"...and therefore grants them the power to remake this nation.
While it's impossible to generalize the make-up and mindset of any generation, there is reason to believe that this generation will be a counterbalancing reaction to the excesses of those that preceded them...making it more tolerant, more environmentally conscious, more engaged, and more interested in putting an end to the politics of division.
Returning to the significance of this election, one could argue that the election of Barack Obama may be their first salvo in securing their vision of the future. If they succeed in making that happen, the course of this country could be forever altered. Given the troubling tenor and tone of those who continue to cling to the past, we must not only hope that change is coming...WE must vote to bring it.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Bigotry, Racism, We Generation
Daniel DiRito | October 29, 2008 | 12:02 AM |
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I don't have enough information to discern if Cindy McCain is as strange as she seems on the campaign trail or simply uncomfortable in such settings. Needless to say, she seems to be a rather strange duck. The Onion's recent spoof offers an even less favorable take on Mrs. McCain...suggesting she's a rather strange alien...with a hard "outer shell".
In the following video, The Onion gives us a matter of fact look at the potential first lady, inserting some rather "out there" statements. There's an image of Cindy McCain at 1:27 of the video that will leave you wondering if The Onion is offering something more than good satire and a few laughs.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Cindy McCain, Humor, Spoof, The Onion
Daniel DiRito | October 27, 2008 | 1:54 PM |
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While "no child left behind" is the battle cry of many Americans who worry about the state of our education system, there's more evidence that far too many parents were left behind.
Look, I realize that politics makes people emotional...but the fact that so many adults devolve into uneducated irrationality is frightening. Yes, it makes for great comedy on The Daily Show but the fact that the Republican Party has chosen to capitalize on this vulnerability and what seems to be a growing disregard of logic and reason is an unfortunate development at a time when this country needs clarity and calm.
In the following two videos, taken at a Sarah Palin rally in Henderson, Nevada, we see the degree to which some McCain supporters have been led to believe that Barack Obama is a threat to this country. The responsibility for fostering this notion rests squarely on the McCain-Palin campaign's shoulders. For every instance where John McCain corrects the misconception of a follower, he and his minions incite the same in thousands of others by resorting to the politics of fear.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure what can be done to repair the damage being done and reverse these unfounded impressions. Fomenting these views with code words and innuendo may be politically expedient for John McCain but it is clearly contrary to his assertion that he puts country first.
It's hard to imagine the benefits of educating children when they suffer the bias and prejudice of their parents on a daily basis. Promoting the politics of ignorance is simply fuel on the fire. Absent the right leadership, this nation is apt to suffer further regression. Should that happen, we'll all be left behind.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Bias, Education, John McCain, Prejudice, Racism, Sarah Palin, Socialism
Daniel DiRito | October 25, 2008 | 1:07 PM |
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John McCain takes great offense with the accusations that he's flip flopped on a number of issues. In fact, he's been so bold as to challenge anyone to prove he has done so. His problem is that there is ample footage to prove otherwise.
In the following video, we get to see where John McCain has been on the issue of clean energy and where he now says he is in order to win votes.
John McCain tells us he puts country first but it's looking more and more like the only thing John McCain puts first is John McCain.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Clean Energy, Energy, Flip Flopping, John McCain
Daniel DiRito | October 25, 2008 | 12:46 PM |
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There's a number of ways to frame elections. One of the most memorable is based upon Reagan's "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" With that said, do you remember the "Wasup commercial for Budweiser?
Well, there's a new version for the 2008 election that's certainly worth viewing. I think it may well be the most effective campaign commercial I've seen this election cycle. Take a look at both below and let me know what you think.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Budweiser, Iraq, Katrina, Wasup
Daniel DiRito | October 25, 2008 | 11:43 AM |
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With more than ten days to the election of a new president, it's probably premature to attempt to decipher the missteps of the McCain campaign. At the same time, given the theatrical nature of the candidates erratic endeavor, it's not unusual for critical reviews to precede the cancellation of a poorly constructed production. The fact that the dogged director assumed it would be possible to indiscriminately insert and remove actors as if they were interchangeable only exacerbated the inevitable panning of the performances.
As I've sought to define the differences between the McCain and Obama campaigns, I've been forced to return to the issues of authenticity (believability) and character construction. It strikes me that the McCain campaign's prevailing problem has been an inability to portray the presence of either. Instead, those in charge have lurched to and fro while latching onto a litany of incoherent cameo caricatures.
One late appearing actor precipitated my decision to predict that the lights would soon be switched off on what may well be recorded as one of the most disjointed debacles in political theatrics. Enter Joe the Plumber with nary a week's worth of rehearsal, an unvetted vitae absent an iota of acting experience, and a hastily assembled set of scripted lines. John McCain's decision to write Joe into his debate dialogue and make him a fixture of his final act only attached an exclamation mark to his dubious and drama filled fiasco.
In short order, it became obvious that Joe the Plumber was miscast and unable to carry the arc of McCain's suspect story line...a stilted path that might evoke an abundance of pathos were it not the result of a reckless commitment to disassemble comity while utilizing an inordinate amount of conflict to carve out a constituency critical to his campaign's continuance. Sadly, the use of Joe the Plumber hasn't been any more authentic than the other tactics employed by the message challenged campaign.
From the outset, Joe's words didn't sync with his circumstances, and thus, rather than support McCain's effort to inject a much needed pivot point into his script, the plumber without papers simply highlighted the suspicions that John McCain's ambitions had eclipsed his ability to adhere to authenticity. In truth, if his goal was to attach a name and a face to an "everyman" meme, he needed to find one that fit. Instead, the haste with which he selected Joe undermined his sincerity; making him look more manipulative than measured.
Take a look at one of Joe's most recent remarks.
In an online chat session, a participant asked Joe the following question:
Hi Joe. If you are making the average plumbers' salary, you will get a greater tax break under Obama ~4x greater than McCain as well as an education credit to get your plumber's license. Will this help or hinder your dream of owning your own plumbing business? When you do start your business - according to your business plan - when do you anticipate personally clearing greater than $250,000 income/year?
This was Joe's answer:
Whether or not his tax plan, as he states it today, would help me, it still comes down to principles. I don't want someone else's hard earned money. How can you be sure they're not going to change their minds and decide you make too much money and want to take more of it to "spread" to someone else. Unfortunately, as much as Obama says he wants to help out small businesses, this small business opportunity is now dead.
As I read the answer, I was struck by the last sentence in which Joe suggests his small business opportunity is now dead. Rather than bring clarity, all I could wonder was why? In stating as much, he only accentuates the degree to which his situation is consistent with McCain's seemingly incoherent message. In retrospect, not only was Joe's original question of Obama an abstraction, it now seems as if it were little more than a stunt. As such, nothing McCain sought to demonstrate through Joe has felt real, which means Joe was just another in a long string of McCain's curious contrivances.
As one attempts to draw conclusions, it's the difference between lauding the believability of an Academy Award performance and laughing at the overdone and obtuse affectations of an actor in a "B" movie. The latter has been the nature of the McCain campaign while the former equates with the error free execution of Barack Obama's candidacy. This contrast leads us to see McCain as increasingly inauthentic while Obama's consistency strikes the observer as all the more genuine.
In the end, it's all about the audience. In John McCain's effort to pander, he has underestimated the profundity of the patrons, which meant his play and it's performers appeared superficial and suspect. Instead of invoking an air of inspiration, it left his audience hungry and unfulfilled...with more questions than answers...with more doubt and less hope.
As November 4th approaches, the critics are beginning to speak. In short order, the scarcity of ticket sales will begin to sink in. As the curtain is lowered for the last time, the lights will go dim and darkness will signal the death of a dismal drama. It's time to cue the finale.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Joe The Plumber, John McCain, Sarah Palin
Daniel DiRito | October 24, 2008 | 5:47 PM |
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How about a little lighthearted fun from The Onion? In the first video, we get our first look at the issues confronting gay racehorses. Ship's Captain will be the first openly gay horse to compete in a major race. Rumor has it that Richard Simmons will make his debut as Ship's Captain's jockey...wearing sassy sequined silks and sporting a rhinestone encrusted riding crop.
In the second, we hear the harrowing tale of John McCain being left unattended on the Straight Talk Express. No doubt he had know idea which way to turn. After all, McCain the marionette struggles mightily when his handlers aren't pulling the strings. I can only imagine how frightening it must have been to have to think on his own.
Tagged as: Horse Racing, Humor, John McCain, LGBT, Richard Simmons, Satire, Ship's Captain, The Onion
Daniel DiRito | October 22, 2008 | 11:40 AM |
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Oh how I love irony! My frenzied friends on the right have done their damnedest to portray the Obama's as snooty elitists...despite the fact that it's the McCain's who own seven homes, thirteen automobiles, and a virtual department store of haute couture for Cindy to show off on the campaign trail.
None of this should come as a surprise since the GOP has spent the last three decades pretending to care about the interests of the common man. With the emergence of the maverick McCain-Palin reformers ticket, that persona has been put on steroids...championing the likes of Joe Six-Pack, Joe The Plumber, and Tito The Construction Worker.
Unfortunately, it's not that easy to play a caribou killin' moose burger eating mom, with a doggone down home dialect, when one is dressed up in 150K of name brand clothing purchased with campaign funds. It's especially problematic when just days earlier your rabid right ring rottweiler's are pushing a story about Michelle Obama partaking of a delectable dinner fit for an airing on an episode of Robin Leach's "champaign wishes and caviar dreams" Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
So here's the problem...it turns out the Michelle Obama story was false...shooting a huge hole in the efforts to paint her as none other than an angry and arrogant African American manifestation of Mommy Dearest meets Leona Helmsley.
From The New York Post:
The source who told us last week about Michelle Obama getting lobster and caviar delivered to her room at the Waldorf-Astoria must have been under the influence of a mind-altering drug. She was not even staying at the Waldorf. We regret the mistake, and our former source is going to regret it, too. Bread and water would be too good for such disinformation.
Now cue the creation of Caribou-Barbie-wears-Christian-Lacroix (yea, that's close enough for Vic the Voter to draw a connection to hockey's Pierre Lacroix, right?) and you begin to see the sweet irony that comes with exposing those whose expertise is found in concocting ill-conceived illusions.
The Republican National Committee appears to have spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.
According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.
The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.
The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.
Politico asked the McCain campaign for comment, explicitly noting the $150,000 in expenses for department store shopping and makeup consultation that were incurred immediately after Palin's announcement. Pre-September reports do not include similar costs.
Spokeswoman Maria Comella declined to answer specific questions about the expenditures, including whether it was necessary to spend that much and whether it amounted to one early investment in Palin or if shopping for the vice presidential nominee was ongoing.
Think about it...when Sarah Palin asked us to imagine the difference between a hockey mom and a Pit Bull, we foolishly believed it was limited to lipstick. Well, we now know it includes skirts and suits, handbags and high heels, dresses and designer wear, and anything else one can buy on a paltry allowance of 150K.
Not to worry though, John McCain and Sarah Palin plan to share the pie with the two Joe's and Tito and Vic...that's what Republicans do when they cut taxes for all of Robin Leach's BFF's. A word of caution to the wise though...you better stay alert...I wouldn't want you to miss out on a few of the crumbs when they fall off the table.
Tagged as: Barack Obama, GOP, Hockey Mom, John McCain, Michelle Obama, Pie, Pitbull, Robin Leach, Sarah Palin, Waldorf-Astoria
Daniel DiRito | October 21, 2008 | 7:05 PM |
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Perhaps I'm an ignorant lunatic...but I am completely baffled by the McCain campaign and the statements made by his running mate, Sarah Palin. In the following video, Palin asserts that the vice president is in charge of the Senate and has legislative authority.
While her uninformed view of the VP's reach is startling, it must be looked at in the context of her predecessor, Dick Cheney. I simply don't get why the McCain campaign would have their VP candidate making a play to consolidate more power in the VP's office...especially in the wake of Cheney's willingness to circumvent the constitution...not to mention his horrendously low voter approval.
The fact that John McCain hired George Bush's henchmen to run his campaign seems to amplify the degree to which he and the GOP have failed to recognize that voters are looking for a new direction. You simply can't look at this growing list of missteps without questioning the judgment of John McCain.
In fact, I can almost hear James Carville muttering, "That dog won't hunt". Then again, why would it...it might smudge its lipstick.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Vice President
Daniel DiRito | October 21, 2008 | 4:12 PM |
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If the 2008 election is remembered for anything, I suspect it will be the utter disconnect between the rhetoric of the McCain campaign and the actual facts. It's as if McCain and Palin have looked at their weaknesses and decided the only plausible means to address them is to call them their strengths...while at the same time accusing their opponent of having those weaknesses they themselves been attempting to disown.
In the following video, The Daily Show travels to Wasilla, Alaska in hopes of discerning the truth about Sarah Palin's "executive" experience. Of course they can't ask the Alaska governor any questions about that since the McCain campaign won't let her conduct an interview until the media promises to play nicer.
Now I guess that's supposed to give us confidence in her competence and assure us that she is capable of assuming the presidency should that be necessary. Oh, and don't question any of this because it will undoubtedly mean that you're anti-American and filled with hatred for small town USA. If you push it too far, you might even warrant being labeled a terrorist, a socialist, or a communist.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Alaska, Humor, John Stewart, Sarah Palin, The Daily Show, Wasilla
Daniel DiRito | October 21, 2008 | 1:51 PM |
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Did you know it's radical to seek the punishment of gay bashers through hate crimes legislation? Did you know that those religious leaders opposed to hate crimes legislation believe their right to condemn homosexuality trumps the right of gays to seek stricter punishment for those who engage in gay bashing?
Well if you didn't take a look at the following video. Tony Perkins and Bob Knight, two of the right wingers usual suspects offer their take on the evils of enacting hate crimes legislation. Like so many of their arguments, they never focus upon the intent of the actual legislation. Instead, they present their slippery slope conjecture that one thing will lead to another and before you know it, Christians will find themselves being persecuted.
Here's the problem. When was the last time you read an article about a Christian being assaulted by a gang of homosexuals? Can you name the Christian equivalent of Matthew Shepard? You see, a number of Christians are determined to prevent gay issues from receiving any recognition or passing legislative protections that they are willing to give tacit approval to acts of violence.
In the end, the message being delivered by these zealots is that their right to say whatever they want is far more important than protecting gays from physical violence. With Christians like this, the world is bound to be a kinder, gentler place, eh?
Tagged as: Bob Knight, Coral Ridge Ministries, Family Research Council, FRC, Hate Crimes, LGBT, Religion, Tony Perkins
Daniel DiRito | October 21, 2008 | 10:28 AM |
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As I've thought about Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative designed to deny gays the right to marry, and what I could do to oppose it, I've continued to come back to a missive I wrote nearly eighteen months ago. I'm of the mind that in order to discuss gay marriage, one must understand the state and meaning of marriage as it exists today, what impact, if any, gay marriage may have upon the institution of marriage, the progression of gay culture, and what is at stake for the gay community.
All too often, those opposed to gay marriage speak of it in terms of the harm it will do to their marriages. I summarily reject that premise...contending instead that whatever ails marriage has little, if anything, to do with homosexuality. It's also true that the quality of love isn't heightened with the attachment of a state approved license any more than it is diminished by its absence. Notwithstanding, the decision to deny that affirmation to gays is a tacit rejection of the merits of love.
I can't force anyone to support gay marriage...but I think I can argue that a recognition of love should not be withheld because one happens to be a homosexual. In suggesting as much, it should be apparent that efforts to deny gays the right to marry is antithetical to love. Should you conclude the same after reading the following words, I implore you to consider making a donation to oppose Proposition 8.
LINK TO DONATE
Does Where You're Going Depend Upon Where You've Been?
I was gay when being a homo was a mental illness...when queer sex was illegal...when you didn't discuss being a faggot with your doctor...when sodomites were chased down and thrown out of the military...when AIDS was god's punishment for being a fairy. I was gay before being gay was remotely fashionable. Nonetheless, I was always just me.
Perhaps the most shocking part...I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to returning to those days if given the opportunity. Not because I enjoyed being a mentally ill criminal who was likely to die well before my time...not because it was easy to hide my identity and live in secret...not because I might find myself the victim of hatred and violence.
No, I would return to those days to remind me why I must still fight today...why it isn't enough to no longer be a mentally ill criminal destined to die young...why it isn't enough to be allowed to serve in the military if I just keep quiet and conceal my lifestyle...why it isn't enough to be an acquaintance that hip heterosexuals get to namedrop at a dinner party like a new pair of Pravda shoes...why I don't want to abandon my gay culture in order to have a place at the insiders table...why I don't want the right to marry to be held over my head as if it were the Holy Grail.
I don't accept that my destiny is to assimilate myself into heterosexual culture such that I no longer create discomfort for those who demand homogeneity over homosexuality. I don't want the music I hear in gay clubs to be the same music I hear everywhere else...I don't want my sense of fashion to be identical to that of my straight counterparts...I don't want heterosexuals to understand everything I say...I want gay slang to remain gay slang. I don't want to have a party that is so nondescript that the neighbors can't tell that a gay man lives on the same block.
Let me be clear. I don't say this to reject heterosexual culture or to assert the superiority of gay culture...I appreciate and honor the validity of all cultures. I say it to remind myself and my gay brethren that acceptance need not come with capitulation...the world is large enough for every cultures to exist...and the world ought to be educated and enlightened such that acceptance equates with the ability...no, the desire and the demand to embrace and celebrate them all.
If society is akin to the palette of an artist, then it is essential that all the colors remain...lest we become a canvas absent contrast...imbued with the blandness born of banality. America may be the proverbial melting pot but our greatness results from the soup we serve from that pot...a complex soup that maintains an array of distinct flavors...all perfectly blended such that each maintains its identity and each is enhanced by the presence of the others...not overwhelmed or masked such that the independent flavors are indistinguishable.
The need for acceptance is no stranger to trepidation. How one responds to that anxiety may define the degree to which the achieved acceptance is authentic or, conversely, it may define the distance one has traveled from one's authenticity in order to obtain enough acceptance to mitigate the trepidation. The distance between the former and the latter may well describe a journey of betrayal that is predicated upon the need to extinguish discomfort at the expense of preserving identity.
That which is authentic need never become inauthentic to achieve acceptance. Any society that expects as much becomes a faceless, colorless canvas which consumes itself while feeding upon its fears. The same is true of any subset of that society which would accede to those expectations.
The issue of gay marriage is an excellent case in point. Marriage has become the gauntlet upon which the war for acceptance of homosexuality and the associated authenticity of our existence and our relationships is being waged. I reject that premise. So long as we allow marriage to define the legitimacy of our relationships, we enable the opposition to defile us.
Are we entitled to the rights afforded by marriage? Absolutely. Should we wage the battle for gay acceptance on that platform? I don't think so. Let me explain. At the core of a large share of the opposition to gay marriage is an inherent bias and prejudice against homosexuality. The message sent by those opposed to gay marriage is that we refuse to give your lifestyle the legitimacy afforded by such state sponsored recognition...your relationships are lesser than ours and we intend to maintain the institutional constructs to demonstrate as much.
Simultaneously, the dialogue that opposes gay marriage is couched in the argument that it would represent an affront to family and longstanding societal and religious traditions. By design, this is intended to steer voter debate around and beyond the realm of civil rights and the basic notion of equality. It also leaves gays on the outside asking to be let in...and nothing communicates the perception that I'm not as good as you as demanding another admit, acknowledge, and accept that I am.
An example is warranted. If you've ever watched a group of children playing, you've seen the situation where a couple children form an alliance that excludes another child or group of children...and they often flaunt a possession or a privilege...telling the outsiders they have the newest Game Boy or their parents take them to the country club on the weekends. The goal is to establish a distinction of inequity whereby those on the outside long to be included.
Fortunately, circumstances can change and the excluded can become a sought after commodity...maybe it results from a discussion about animals in a science class whereby it is exposed that one of the outsiders lives on a farm with horses...and the teacher elects to take the class on a field trip to the farm. That can lead to realignments such that some children choose to befriend the child with horses in the hopes of being invited to go riding after school. You get the picture.
Coming back to gay culture and the issue of gay marriage...beginning in the early nineties, society became fascinated with all things gay...gay music, gay fashion, gay theater, gay television characters, and many of those elements were mainstreamed...or If I may gently suggest...they were co-opted by society at large.
Conventional thought argues that familiarity breeds contempt...but on the contrary, with regards to being gay, I would contend that familiarity brought a degree of tacit acceptance on the part of society which was followed by complacency on the part of the gay community. In the wake of our perceived assimilation, we ran for the cover of conventionality...embracing many of the means and measures of conformity...which included the traditional model of marriage.
Sometimes, in order to understand one's own progression (the place at which one has arrived)...whether that be individually or collectively as a group...one must consult the perceptions of those with whom we now consort. During a past airing of This Week with George Stephanopoulos, I was struck by a comment made by George Will as the panel was discussing the issue of gays in the military. Mr. Will remarked, "The culture is moving anyway...I have a daughter...26...in her cohort...being gay is just like being left handed...it's just boring".
In terms of acceptance, perhaps that is a good thing which will ultimately, by default, manifest itself in the full granting of recognitions...including gay marriage. Call me a skeptic, but while many heterosexuals worry that including gays will diminish the integrity of marriage, I worry that our acceptance of marriage as the means and the measure by which we define our relationships may in fact diminish the fundamental premise of those relationships.
Perhaps loving someone in spite of society's validation of that love is an added demonstration of love...a love that must be found and fostered absent the endorsements and benefits that society grants when recognizing an announcement of marriage. Frankly, I'm not convinced that marriage, in its current iteration, requires much more consideration than we bring to bear on the purchase of a new automobile. It seems to me that marriage has become another commodity in this zero-sum equation that typifies our consumption crazed society.
As such, when gays bestow idyllic attributes upon the acquisition of marriage rights, do we not endorse a failing system and in the process begin to minimize the relationships we chose to form in spite of their rejection by society? I, for one, reject the notion that society, in its current form, represents the best we can do and I believe that the state of marriage no doubt supports my premise. Gays should not accept the role of villain with regard to the state of marriage and they should not seek its sanction if it simply becomes a vehicle for their ongoing victimization.
If acceptance and the affording of full participation in society were to require we give up portions of our cultural identity...or if we were to succumb to the premise that it does in order to best achieve our objectives...then I would opt to remain detached but whole. Unfortunately, I'm worried our history and our heritage may be slipping into the abyss...exacerbated by the loss of a generation to HIV....a generation that facilitated so much of the progress we've made by standing strong and living large.
At the same time, I'm inclined to reject the current state of America's morality...a morality that is worn as an external badge upon hollow human holograms of holiness. Our proximity to hallowed temples on Sunday is not a measure of our piety any more than another's absence is a measure of their dedication to the devil. Morality cannot and should not be reduced to a sexual preference scorecard, a campaign slogan, or policies that deny or impose.
The state of grace must be our goal. It holds the power to promote change and to heal hearts. Graciousness is a conscious choice that is elected when innocence has been lost...an innocence that has long since evaporated but remains forever valued and painstakingly imitated. It is not an emblem we acquire...it does not flow to the winner of an election...it is an endeavor of example whereby words are not sufficient...it must be lived.
Our gay authenticity is no different and it mustn't be wagered or mortgaged for any imagined or perceived prize. We must never accept that homosexuality and morality are mutually exclusive. Morality is an internal state; not a litany of state installed mandates. Morality maligned by the majority is nothing more than the manifestation of institutionalized immorality.
One's love for humanity requires no higher being, no promise of salvation, no threat of damnation...it should be unconditional and absolute. It need not elevate nor annihilate those who are similar or dissimilar. It honors humanity simply because it is humanity. It seeks no special treatment nor does it require one to adopt any specious identity in order to find acceptance. We humans share the same origin but we also possess different identity's...which is as it were intended. We mustn't forget.
I love beauty queens and drag queens...I love girls who are cowboys and boys who are cowgirls...I love tin soldiers, toy soldiers, and our soldiers...I love rednecks and red lipstick...I love drama whether it's on the big screen or just plain old big drama...I love cry babies and babies crying...I love hetero sexy and homo sexual...I love girls with big boobs and boobs that are big girls. They give us our texture, our color, and our depth.
I'm reminded of the words from an old song that have always spoken succinctly and eloquently to these issues that I hold near and dear, "Don't make me over, now that I'd do anything for you...Don't make me over, now that you know how I adore you...accept me for what I am...accept me for the things that I do". May I suggest that there is no finer song to honor the sanctity of our shared humanity?
No individual...no sexual orientation...no skin color...no party...no religion...no nation...has a monopoly on goodness. We're all at our best when we embrace the best our identity has to offer. I am not an opinion poll...I am not a debate question...I am not a threat to marriage...I am not that queer homo fairy faggot sodomite gay guy who blogs. I have always been first, foremost, and forever human. I should not need to tell you and you should not need to ask me...I have always been me. I will always be me.
Are gays not human enough to grant them the right to marry? Wouldn't it be grand if we Americans could find a way to embrace and celebrate the simplicity of that which connects us...our humanity? Isn't the affirmation of love the place to start?
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Tagged as: California, Equality, Gay Culture, Gay Marriage, LGBT, Love, Marriage, No On 8, Proposition 8
Daniel DiRito | October 20, 2008 | 11:13 AM |
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I can't recall when I've detested a political candidate and his proteges as much as I do John McCain and his clan of contemptible claptrap kooks. Richard Nixon is the only other one that comes to mind, however my...
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Capitalism, Joe McCarthy, John McCain, Michelle Bachmann, Nancy Pfotenhauer, Richard Nixon, Sarah Palin, Socialism
Daniel DiRito | October 18, 2008 | 2:18 PM |
| Comments (2)
I've been rather quiet of late...feeling I had little new to offer on the presidential campaign. Frankly, I'm of the opinion that more words aren't always wise words...so I often need time to ponder in the hopes of finding the...
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Debate, George W. Bush, Ideology, Iraq, John McCain, Politics
Daniel DiRito | October 16, 2008 | 10:15 AM |
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If you want to get a reading on the validity of the assertion that the McCain campaign has been erratic, there's no better source than his fellow Republicans. In the following video compilation, you'll see a number of leading...
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, GOP, John McCain, Pundits. Media, Republicans
Daniel DiRito | October 15, 2008 | 12:16 PM |
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Keith Olbermann calls John McCain out on his feigned outrage at the remarks of Congressman John Lewis. Yes, a number of pundits and politicians believe Lewis went a step too far...but then again...who knows better how narrow the line...
Tagged as: 2008 Election, George Wallace, John Lewis, John McCain, Keith Olbermann, Racism, Sarah Palin, Special Comment, Violence
Daniel DiRito | October 14, 2008 | 9:29 PM |
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I've previously written about the Bush Administration's focus upon abstinence in its efforts to combat AIDS in Africa, particularly in Uganda. Under the program, a significant portion of the funding has been earmarked for abstinence only initiatives, a move...
Tagged as: Abstinence, AIDS, al Jazeera, George Bush, HIV, PEPFAR, Sex Education, Uganda
Daniel DiRito | October 14, 2008 | 9:27 AM |
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I don't often watch Larry King, but I happened to catch a portion of his show this evening, and I'm glad I did. While discussing the 2008 election, Michelle Laxalt, daughter of former GOP Senator Paul Laxalt of Nevada,...
Tagged as: 2008 Election, GOP, John McCain, Larry King, Michelle Laxalt, Paul Laxalt, Sarah Palin
Daniel DiRito | October 9, 2008 | 10:28 PM |
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While Sarah Palin runs around the country questioning Barack Obama's limited contact with Bill Ayers, the Palin family would prefer that voters forego any scrutiny of their anti-American pals. Take a look at this story on Sarah's pal Mark...
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Alaska Independence Party, Sarah Palin, Secession
Daniel DiRito | October 9, 2008 | 9:27 PM |
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Look, anyone that thinks John McCain understands the troubles of the middle class needs a reality check. If the following video doesn't do the trick, check back soon as there's bound to be more where this came from. Oh,...
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Elitist, Humor Economy, John McCain
Daniel DiRito | October 9, 2008 | 9:14 PM |
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As we move closer to the election, I've witnessed a phenomena that has only recently begun to make sense to me (by the fact that it doesn't make sense). First, I have to hand it to my Republican friends...their tenacity...
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Bill Clinton, Creationism, Death, Economy, Evolution, GOP, Intelligent Design, John McCain, Jonah Goldberg, National Review, Religion, Ronald Reagan, Science, Scientific Method, Terror Management
Daniel DiRito | October 9, 2008 | 4:30 PM |
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There are times when I'm sure the United States won't survive the remaining days until we elect our next president...let alone the day after. As I watch the McCain campaign succumb to increasingly divisive acts of desperation...fomenting fear and...
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Depression, Economy, Fear, John McCain, Politics, Recession, Sarah Palin, Snark, Terrorism
Daniel DiRito | October 9, 2008 | 10:56 AM |
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Recent Republican campaign events seem to suggest that the GOP has decided to relegate the heavy lifting to the likes of Cindy McCain and Sarah Palin. It's as if Gramps has lost his mojo or lacks the stomach to...
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Cindy McCain, Humor, John McCain, Sarah Palin, SNL, Tina Fey, Todd Palin
Daniel DiRito | October 8, 2008 | 6:24 PM |
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During last evenings debate, John McCain took pains to suggest that he'd be a "steady hand on the tiller". If one considers the years of evidence to the contrary, one might better conclude that he's more akin to a...
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Brave New Pac, John McCain, Rolling Stone, Temperament
Daniel DiRito | October 8, 2008 | 4:22 PM |
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It's easy to get lost in the rampant rhetoric of elections. All too often we forget what the stakes are and just how important it is to vote. We do so at our own peril. The following two videos...
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Alaska, Barack Obama, Bill Ayers, Donna Brazile, Equality, Freedom, Joe Vogler, Racism, Sarah Palin
Daniel DiRito | October 8, 2008 | 12:28 PM |
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It seems to me that a significant question will emerge in the aftermath of the 2008 election. The crux of that question has been framed by the inflammatory rhetoric of the McCain-Palin campaign in recent days. In its effort to...
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Bill Ayers, Joe Biden, John McCain, Karl Rove, Sarah Palin
Daniel DiRito | October 7, 2008 | 1:28 PM |
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Keith Olbermann wasted no time in responding to Sarah Palin's latest stump schtick. According to Palin, she's decided that it's "time to put on the heels and take off the gloves" in her efforts to sully Barack Obama. In...
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, John McCain, Keith Olbermann, Sarah Palin, Special Comment, Thomas Muthee
Daniel DiRito | October 6, 2008 | 7:44 PM |
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When John McCain backed out of his appearance on The Late Show to rush back to Washington DC to save the country, David Letterman wasn't too happy...especially since he spotted McCain making an appearance in NYC with Katie Couric...
Tagged as: 2008 Election, David Letterman, Humor, John McCain, Sarah Palin, The Late Show
Daniel DiRito | October 4, 2008 | 9:25 AM |
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Tracking The 2008 Election...
Daniel DiRito | October 4, 2008 | 9:03 AM |
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If affectations were authenticity, Sarah Palin's debate performance would have been Oscar worthy. If flirtations were facts, Sarah Palin could transform ennui into an astute entry in the encyclopedia. If muddled mutterings were metrics, Sarah Palin could be a mathematician....
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Debate, Forrest Gump, Joe Biden, John McCain, Politics, Religion, Sarah Palin
Daniel DiRito | October 3, 2008 | 9:31 AM |
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In recent days, a number of parallel thoughts have led me to perpendicular roadblocks. Generally speaking, I'm struggling to identify the means to unmask the many misdirections being put forth in order to distract us from reality. If I'm to...
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Bailout, Barack Obama, Economics, Gwen Ifill, John McCain, Main Street, Politics, S & L Scandal, Sarah Palin, SEC, Wall Street
Daniel DiRito | October 1, 2008 | 1:52 PM |
| Comments (1)