Thursday, February 26, 2004

The reason I have not supported gay marriage....

I don't support gay marriage for one reason, and one reason alone. I discovered that I had a prejudice bias against the homosexual lifestyle. Don't haven't run across a racist, homophobic, sexist individual's weblog, I am simply stating the reason why I don't support it. I never made a conscious effort to like or dislike homosexuals, I suppose that there was always a level of unconscious indifference regarding them. I was always quick to say, "Hell, I'm not homophobic, what someone does in the privacy of their own bedroom doesn't bother me." But for some reason the gay marriage issue has, and I had to do some soul searching in order to find out why.

I suppose that the urge to chastise homosexuals starts at an early age. I knew to call the boys who could not run fast, catch a ball, or take a punch without crying, "sissies" when I was in grade school. In later years some of the friendly taunts to my high school friends was to tell them they played ball like "girls", or their outfit looked "gay". And perhaps I still have that feeling toward people that I deem to be "different". My reasons for not showing support toward gay marriage is the same as everyone else's I just choose to be honest.... in today's modern society, homosexuality is still a "no-no". There...I said it. I can admit it, but some of the most staunch opponents to gay marriage always claim reasons based in religion. It doesn't matter that shows such as "Queer eye for the straight guy", or "Sex and the city" portray the homosexual community to be the haute couture of style, fashion, and glitz. We still have a condescending and distrustful eye toward them.

I find it funny that the "religous right" has such a problem with gay marriages. I also find it funny that so many people feel that homosexual marriage is an "attack" on the sanctity of marriage. In all actuality, I would say that cell phones, alcoholic beverages, internet connections, chat rooms, personal ads, and pay-by-the-hour motels are more of a threat to marriage than gay people. I don't see how anyone getting married or not getting married, whether they are gay or straight can do something to damage my marriage, let alone the "sanctity" of marriage on the whole. I would say that most major religions frown upon homosexuality, but in so many ways, those who used to be persecuted by their sexuality now find themselves being reached out to by the Church....somewhat.

The Anglican church is going through a bit of turmoil over the newly installed, openly gay Bishop. My church, the Catholic Church, is reaching out to its homosexual members, yet still admonishes them to live a chaste life if they cannot overcome the earthly "temptations" of their sexuality. The gay community has found itself in the newspapers over this issue, and now unwillingly finds itself a major subject of the Presidential campaign. Kerry isn't sure, and Bush is being pegged as a homophobe for saying that he is "troubled" by the marriages being performed in California. No doubt we will see this issue, as was the issue of gays in the military, being hashed and rehashed all the way through November.

Is Gay the "New Black" this election year? Usually the stumbling block for a candidates viability is how he or she does on racial issues. But it seems that perhaps attention toward a sexual classification, rather than an ethnic group may be the litmus test to see how effective the people vying for the White House will be. I do say that I am surprised that the Democrats, a group that long prides itself in being "progressive" (liberal is a naughty word, as was conservative in the late eighties), is so sharply divided over this issue. The Republicans, who have long touted State's Rights, and less government intervention, are jockeying to have a Constitutional amendment that will specifically define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Wow. Aren't those the guys that rail against Judicial Activism? Undoubtedly, many gays wonder how women's groups and minority groups aren't rallying to their side for equal protection, but it seems like the view of homosexuals is one thing that the most diametrically opposed groups can agree on. "We don't understand and don't want to understand", is the common consensus. I would say that a black militant and a KKK member would probably put their fists down and shake their heads in disgust if two men walked past them holding hands. Sad to say, but that is true. We all have our own self-serving interests and it seems that if things do not directly affect "Us", (whomever that may be), we have no cause to get involved.

Television shows and movies usually stereotype a gay man to be some limp-wristed, flamboyant, prissy, and annoying specimen. Someone who not only probably can't fight, (hetero male society's unspoken measure of a man's manliness second only to the number of women he has knocked off), but is of no utility except for helping his female friend's pick out shoes and decorate their apartments. Lesbians are portrayed as steel-jawed, manly, lumberjacks who have a penchant for misandry. What is even worse, in some of the stereotyping we do of gay people, we throw sexism in there as well. How many guys have joked about a woman being a lesbian due to bad relationships with men? There should be several hands in the air now....
The fact of the matter is, being gay is about as much a life "decision" as being black or white, or male or female. Because we live in a society that was founded by Christian men, yet demands to be free of the Church, we find that religous pressures still pervade many of the issues that we deal with. (i.e. Abortion, Cloning, Stem cell research, gay marriage, gays in the military, the legality of prostitution.) The fact remains that the reason that most heterosexuals frown on gay marriage is because we look at the attraction between two men, or two women to be nothing but the physical act. Because the idea of same sex copulation is incomprehensible to the point of being revolting to many of us, we are not willing to dignify a homosexual relationship with the possiblity that two people may love one another. Arrogance or instinct?

I was looking at CNN the other day, and saw an article where two women were getting married. They had been a couple for 51 years. I am sure that in that time they had probably purchased a home and several vehicles together, paid state, local, and federal taxes, and probably planned for a retirement together...for 51 years. Yet, me and my wife of not quite three years, enjoy tax breaks that these two women did not. Simply because we are not the same sex.

In closing, I have to say that probably acculturation is to blame for my hesitancy to support the idea of gay marriages. But, I do have to say that I am a product of my upbringing, and environment. The way I feel is not a choice, it is who I am. If I look at gay marriage under the microscope of socio-political theory I would have to say that there are many cases for gay marriage. The main case for it rests in the document that they are trying to amend to ban it. However, something holds me back, my own bias that I am finally admitting. So, I do apologize, sincerely I do.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Boulder Colorado...

Sixth rape allegation surfaces at CU

I just don't understand what is going on in Boulder. Everything from the alleged sex parties to lure recruits, to the unreported six elleged rapes, to the football coach. I went to Boulder for 4 days in 1999, and I have to tell you that I loved the place. I walked around on the University of Boulder campus quite a few times. The one thing that surprised me greatly was the fact that there were absolutely no overweight people there. Everyone was jogging, walking, roller-blading, and working out. The campus was absolutely beautiful, the air was fresh and clean, and there was no smoking in any public facility. Shoot, I thought I had found paradise. I don't doubt that there are some shady goings on in Colorado, but I do wonder why these rape allegations have not come out until now. I don't completely dismiss the veracity of these claims, but I do submit that SOMEBODY had to know SOMETHING. I pray to God that when my daughter comes of age that she will have the courage and the trust in me to let me know if someone does something to me.

I would comment on how the coach talked about the abilities of the female place kicker. I am fired up enough to let him have it, but I can't waste the virtual ink on a slug like that. All I can say is whether the girls claims are true or false, it takes a piss poor excuse for a man to berate athletic skills in the wake of a woman saying she was assaulted. Lord, who knows what will come out of this next.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Just a few words...

My daughter is learning to communicate, so I thought I would try and record some of her speech. If you aren't ready to say, "Awwwwwwww!", then don't click my audblog link.

Powered by audblogaudio post of Alexandra saying a few words powered by audblog
And the dirt goeth...

It seems that the report about an alleged affair between John Kerry and an "intern" was much ado about nothing. Both Kerry and the girl as well as her family categorically deny everything. Newspapers in the UK ran wild with this one. Some people complained of a media "blackout", but I think that to the contrary it was "responsible" coverage. Not that Matt isn't responsible. But, I think that he would have been happy to have brought out to party shaking scandals all within a 15 year period.

Not that he has any particular interest in bringing out some dirt on anybody, especially the Dems.

Well, we are poised to see how Kerry, Edwards, and Dean do in Wisconsin. Kerry is already heavily favored, and now one of the issues that should be in the back of Dean and Edward's mind is, "How do I gain points and delegates in this race without doing damage to the party as a whole." I submit that they need only stick to the issues, and talk about why they have the "best" course of action versus saying that someone else is out for personal gain. Truth be told, Kerry, contrary to my predictions will get the Democratic nod. But, if he goes through a catfight within his own party, he will be weakened by the time he takes on the incumbent. I hope all concerned parties will remember this. I wonder who the running mate will be? Hmmmm.......

Thursday, February 12, 2004

The Dirt Cometh...

There is a developing story on the Drudge Report that points to marital infidelity on the part of Senator John Kerry. Additionally, some thirty year old photos surfaced that show Kerry and Jane Fonda (albeit they were not seated together) at the same Anti-war protest. He is the frontrunner, and seems to have been gathering momentum, but there is nothing like a trist with a mistress and a link to Hanoi Jane to throw a monkeywrench in the works. We will have to see what the future holds.

[developing story]

Reference Link
9-11 Public Forum to include Clinton and Bush?

Just an interesting tidbit. The Commission is going to seek to have testimony from:
George Bush(43), Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, John Ashcroft as well as their counterpart/predecessors from the Clinton Administration.

I wonder what kind of details we can piece together?
Decapitation attempt?

(CNN) -- A convoy carrying Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of all U.S. forces in the Middle East, was attacked Thursday during a visit to Iraqi defense forces in Fallujah, U.S. officials said. No one was injured.

Abizaid was accompanied by Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division.

Color me funny, but I don't think it is a good idea for more than one general officer to be in the same aircraft or ground vehicle at a time. Despite all of the problems that the U.S. armed forces have encountered in dealing with insurgents, we have still shown ourselves to be a strong and unwavering force. However, those Iraqis who are sitting on the fence in regard to how they feel against the Americans may have found a "successful" attack on the Americans something that would draw them into insurgency.

No bones about it, if you kill the CentCom commander and the CG of the most powerful and mobile Airborne Division in the world, then you have scored a serious point for your cause, no matter how insane your cause is. I am happy that no Americans were hurt in this attack, and I am glad that the leadership is in place.

I do hope that if there was an intelligence leak regarding the VIP status of the convoy that they find out who leaked it, and to whom it was leaked. I remember not to long ago there was a general officer who was nearly shot down in an RPG attack by some insurgents. Not that a general officer's life is more important than that of a Specialist, but simply the fact that it would be such a resounding news story throughout the world. I pray that the remnants of Al Queda, the Fedayeen, the Taliban, and whatever nutcases are out there will be rounded up soon. Too many lives are being lost.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Jazz anyone?

Last night, I went to the Kentucky Center for the Arts to see Jazz luminary Wynton Marsalis, and the Lincoln Center Jazz orchestra. I have heard live jazz music played before, but this completely changed my perspective of Jazz music. Marsalis is the winner of 9 grammy's and a Pulitzer prize. He took the stage and introduced everyone in an archetypal husky, but cool Jazz speaking voice. All we needed was for him to have shades on and be puffing on a cigarette. Man, the guy is an absolute musical genius.

Last night they played some of the definitive works by composers such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Thelonious Monk, and Charles Mingus. They did do a few contemporary pieces as well. Marsalis broke this down into the "New Testament" and "Old Testament" of Jazz.

The crowd, including me, was held spellbound by not only the high caliber musicians, but the historical anecdotes that he offered about the pieces and their famous composers. I sat in the presence of Wynton Marsalis, a man who is already a legend amongst Jazz musicians, and I was awestruck.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Black History Month: A look forward

February is Black History month, a month that is both reviled and despised by some in this country. There are some whites who feel that this is "yet another undeserved, or unneeded handout to black people." Some people feel that this is special pandering to blacks that further confirms the "blackmail" that is being exacted upon the country as a whole for the slave trade. To many people, the "shame" of slavery is paralyzing us because to speak out against special consideration or acknowledgement of black oriented events is tantamount to racism.

I just want to say that when we look at the Black experience in America, it can be said that at one time, people thought that we had contributed nothing of any merit from 1619 to 1926. Hence, the start of Black History Week. Because it has gone through several changes, I think the the reason and the relevance for this observation has been lost. Though, I think the need for this event is more dire now than what it ever was. Like the cyclical trends in unemployment, crime, drug use, and lack of family stability. Hopelessness is also cyclical. I think that if we are ever to improve our situation, we have to instill more hope in our youth. Many black kids, despite the bravado and flash displayed on the street, have no hope for the future. If there is no hope, then why should anyone try for more. I think that it is incumbent on all of us to show our kids "real" contributions that blacks have made in our country, and further to show them the tremendous odds that people in our history have overcome in pursuit of these contributions.

While inventions and innovations are important, I think that we should steer clear of lists of "firsts" that include the pressing comb or the toothpick, but more toward firsts in politics, science, the arts, music and what have you.

This rationale should not be for needless self-promotion, or self-aggrandizement, but simply to say, "You can be anything you want as well." It is fine to not like your present situation, but you can do something about it. One thing that my father always desired for me was to be "more successful than him." While success can be measured a number of ways, I don't think I am there. But, I can say that I have had more opportunities for success than my father, because of the change in times, and the sacrifices that he made.

Lets just remember, Black History is all about our future. What matters most is how you want to proceed....