Uncivil Unions: August 2008: Archives

August 15, 2008

Friday Funny: No To Gay Marriage & BigoTV genre: Gaylingual & Tongue-In-Cheek & Uncivil Unions

Those opposed to same-sex unions frequently suggest that it is a threat to their own marriages. In the first of the two following videos, 9in10.org helps highlight some of the hypocrisy behind these sanctimonious assertions.

Needless to say, their depiction of the heterosexual male's fascination with girl on girl action also highlights the acceptance of female objectification and the degree to which the male mind set dictates societal norms.

In the second video, they introduce us to BigoTV...a network committed to propagating all forms of bigotry. Pay special attention to the portion of the video (1:35 - 1:45) where our two bigoted friends engage in a little celebratory cackling. Suffice it to say that their latent tendencies are on display.

No To Gay Marriage

BigoTV

Tagged as: Bigotry, Gay, Gay Marriage, Humor, LGBT, Racism, Same-Sex Marriage

Daniel DiRito | August 15, 2008 | 11:32 AM | link | Comments (0)
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August 13, 2008

Edwards V. McCain: Sean Hannity Spins Bunkum Out Of B.S. genre: Polispeak & Uncivil Unions

I realize that partisan politics is apt to skew our views of the politicians we support or oppose. At the same time, reality should lead us to see them as they actually are. In the aftermath of the John Edwards affair, party pundits have done their best to spin the situation for maximum benefit. Unfortunately, the following video of Sean Hannity demonstrates the degree to which denial can transform strategic spinning into little more than hysterical hyperbole.

In discussing the Edwards affair with a guest panel, Hannity proceeds to excoriate John Edwards while defending the same behavior from John McCain. It seems that Hannity thinks that McCain's time in captivity in Vietnam is sufficient to grant McCain a waiver with regards to cheating on his wife. Never mind that his wife, who had been the unfortunate victim of a horrific car accident, remained faithful to her husband despite her stressful circumstances. Apparently Hannity believes adversity can only be used to the advantage of husbands when explaining their dalliances.

The problem with Hannity's tortured defense of John McCain is found in numerous biographical accounts of his candidate. Truth be told, while McCain's time in Vietnam deservedly garners him high praise for exemplary service, it simply interrupted his well-documented and self-admitted womanizing. I've included two video excerpts from A & E's biographical account of John McCain. Suffice it to say that the piece includes the following paraphrased descriptors when referencing the Arizona senator.

He spent his time cruising for girls.

He was a rebel who broke the rules.

He was the class delinquent, a partier, a bad student...always on the edge of expulsion.

His was the life of a free-wheeling jet jockey...drinking, chasing women, and living the life of a playboy.

Within a year and a half of his return from Vietnam, he resumed his old ways as a playboy...drinking, carousing, and having affairs.

The 42 year old ladies man decided to run for office a year after moving to Arizona with his new wife and former mistress.

Let me be clear...I don't believe a candidates sex life necessarily negates their capabilities to be an effective elected official. Yes, the deceit and dishonesty is troubling, but I challenge anyone to take a moment and consider their own co-workers who have engaged in extramarital activities. I doubt many of us can conclude that their infidelity directly impacted their ability to fulfill the duties of their employment. While it's reasonable to revile the cheating, its relevance to one's occupational acumen is rarely substantiated.

I suspect the same is true with regards to John Edwards and John McCain...just as it was with Bill Clinton. The fact that campaign surrogates seek to capitalize upon our disdain for such behavior is to be expected. In Hannity's case, I suspect he's a victim of his own pompous pabulum. Fortunately, our own emotional maturity ought to instruct us to proceed with caution. If Hannity wants to drive the bias bus off the cliff, so be it.

When it's all said and done, there are more similarities between the behaviors of Edwards and McCain than there are differences. Both men appear to have engaged in extramarital affairs while their own wives struggled with serious illnesses (yes, Edwards denies this but I suspect the evidence will confirm otherwise).

The fact that Sean Hannity wants to grant John McCain a pass is a transparent display of the kind of punditry that poisons the airwaves and undermines our ability to focus on the real world issues that will influence our lives. Ever intent to be good soldiers - spinning bunkum out of B.S. - men like Sean Hannity actually do little more than muddy the waters of the morality they seek to claim as the unique domain of their party and their candidate.

In the end, history tells us that wherever human beings are found, human frailties will flourish. Sean Hannity's banal bravado is simply more of the same.

Sean Hannity - Being A POW Justifies McCain Affairs

John McCain A & E Biography - Part One

John McCain A & E Biography - Part Three

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Adultery, Alan Colmes, Fox News, Infidelity, John Edwards, John McCain, Morality, Politics, Sean Hannity

Daniel DiRito | August 13, 2008 | 9:26 AM | link | Comments (2)
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August 8, 2008

On The John Edwards Affair - The Stop & Stare Society genre: Nouveau Thoughts & Six Degrees of Speculation & Uncivil Unions

LionAndZebra.jpg

It's common knowledge that car accidents cause traffic jams...even after the vehicles involved have been moved to the shoulder of the road. I've often wondered what causes us to slow down and gaze out our windows as we pass by. Is it out of concern for the passengers or is it some morbid curiosity as to the carnage?

As I've pondered the possibilities, the first image that comes to mind is a herd of zebras, standing and staring with ears perked, as the lion they've just eluded puts the finishing clench upon the zebra that didn't get away. What makes a herd of animals suddenly stop to watch, as their comrade becomes an unwilling victim of the food chain, moments after running frantically for their lives?

If you're wondering where I'm going with this rather morbid musing, I've been looking for a way to make sense of our fascination with John Edwards' admission that he engaged in an extramarital affair. Let me be clear...I'm troubled by the deceit that preceded the revelation...but I'm more troubled by our seeming inability to focus upon the underlying issues.

You see, John Edwards may be unique in having had the opportunity to run for president of the United States, but his affair puts him on a par with the majority of the American public. The fact that we stop to gawk at him underscores our similarity to a herd of zebras, while our holier-than-thou looks of disdain uncover our propensity for self-forgiving double standards.

As we approach the November election, we're being confronted by the all too familiar rhetoric that same-sex marriage is threatening to destroy the family. Frankly, this is a manufactured issue that serves the purposes of politicians and preachers and serves as a distraction from what actually ails the family. Truth be told, the preoccupation with same-sex marriage and the affairs of others is the equivalent of watching the zebra in the grasp of the lion. It gives us something to look at while counting our blessings that we avoided capture...not by the lion...but by the discovery of our own undisclosed indiscretions.

Yes, I've long argued that gays should be entitled to the same marriage rights afforded to heterosexuals...but I've also argued that the institution is at best broken. In fact, I suspect that it is, in its current form, contrary to human nature. In saying as much, I'm not suggesting that we eliminate marriage. At the same time, I'm in favor of beginning the process of an honest assessment of the expectations we attach to our marriages and, therefore, the manner in which they're created...and dismantled.

Yes, I'm embarking upon an unpopular task that mimics the myth of Sisyphus...but then again...so are most of the individuals who choose to marry. If we admit that pushing the rock over the pinnacle is the equivalent of perfection, we should quickly understand the reason for Sisyphus' perpetual failure...as well as our own with regard to marriage.

Look, the human heart is fragile...it can fall as fast as it can harden...and in that dichotomy is revealed the precarious nature of love...as well as the inability to predict its path. While the mind can promise the heart, the heart cannot always be expected to abide. That's a reality we prefer to ignore...until someone's heart is broken.

Where we miscalculate is in our expectations of ourselves and others...antecedent to our marriages as well as the moment at which we recognize the one we're in is broken. In each of these moments, rather than acknowledge our human nature, we demand that another defy their own in order to protect the fragility of ours...and visa versa. Yes, this works well on the front end...but it fails miserably at the other.

In many ways, we humans are victims of our own success. In that it provided us with more choices and greater flexibility, it has also diminished our dependence on each other as well as the affiliations we believe we'll need to form in order to survive (make a living, raise a family, etc). Hence, marriage is no longer the essential sociological glue it used to be. While necessity may be the mother of invention, the lack of necessity has allowed us to reinvent our understandings of the roles we play as mothers...and fathers. As such, we've reached the point at which one can choose to be either without the requirement of the other.

On the other hand, this freedom may also provide us with the opportunity to choose our partners absent many of the historical calculations and contrivances. Unfortunately, our actions with regards to relationships seem to lack the full awareness of the evolving terrain. At the same time, there are those who experience this changing dynamic as anxiety which leads them to recoil and call for a return to conventionalism. Unfortunately, rolling back progress is akin to rolling our mythical rocks over the pinnacle. Sadly, the time spent doing so simply detracts from the time we can spend adapting and adjusting our relationships (and the expectations we bring to them) to the current paradigm.

It's time to admit that the idyllic image of marriage, invoked by those who claim to be its protectors, is no longer the nature of the institution. That which no longer exists cannot be preserved. Notwithstanding, the painfully natural, though imperfect, human emotions that facilitated the creation of marriage will remain...and they warrant our awareness and our embrace. Were we to refocus our efforts upon understanding the essence of these emotions, and establishing our expectations accordingly, perhaps the next announcement of an indiscretion could be met with introspective analysis rather than preoccupied projections.

When the voyeurs are enthralled in watching the lion lay waste to the zebra, the bonds that connect them with those they love are left unattended...hanging perilously exposed...ever ready to attach themselves to the first heart that has taken the time to acknowledge, accept, and allow its innate humanity to flourish. When this happens, the heart of the voyeur is apt to be crushed...not by the lion...but by the weight of its own untenable judgments.

Tagged as: Adultery, Culture, Elizabeth Edwards, John Edwards, Marriage, Relationships, Rielle Hunter, Same-Sex Marriage

Daniel DiRito | August 8, 2008 | 2:47 PM | link | Comments (1)
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