Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Rachel Maddow makes my day. My friend CN told me about this interview, and I can't remember the last time I was so delighted by TV news. I know I'm a broken record with this issue, but for some reason it galls me, the ignorance of recent history in the gay rights movement. Honestly I don't even think it's that the gay rights movement has taken such a hard right turn in recent years that bothers me as much as the fact that everyone talks about "marriage equality" (don't even get me started on how much I hate that term -- about as much as "pro-life") like it's a progressive cause. If they're going to sign on to this reactionary agenda, at least be clear about what it is.

Maybe the best thing that will come out of the Prop 8 trial is that we will finally be able to straighten out the rhetorical mess. (It occurs to me that perhaps, if the gay marriage people had been honest all along about how conservative their agenda is, they would have made more progress with it by now. Hm.)

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I said in a comment to CN's facebook post regarding this interview:
The one consolation is that it makes for a very interesting era for queer politics, which excites the history geek in me. What if the right splits into a religious fanatic wing and a traditional conservative/libertarian wing (which looks sort of likely). The gay marriage people will find themselves allied with the traditional conservatives. Will they be able to stand it? Will the gay rights movement fracture as well, with more tradition-minded gays getting married and being subsumed into mainstream America and the rest of us going off to create a new sexual minority movement of some kind?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Our History.

I've been reading Rick Jacobs' excellent live-blogging of the Prop 8 trial in San Francisco (Perry v. Schwarzenegger). It's a shame this trial isn't being televised -- not, as so many have said, because it will expose the opposition's argument as a sham; I guess I'm cynical enough to believe that people's opinions about marriage are pretty well entrenched by now -- but because the plaintiff's side is presenting an amazing, concise history of the institutional discrimination against homosexual people in the United States. Most queer people don't know this stuff, let alone heteros. Learn your history, people!

Of course, Anita Bryant came up, and I was curious to see if the famous pie-in-the-face incident was on youtube. It is.

But then I found something even better. A short film, obviously made by stoners, but intended to prevent kids from trying drugs. Delicious.

Now I'm Really Confused.

Football is gay?

I'm surprised this is on Spike. I would have thought Logo.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ta-Nehisi Coates, To The Rescue.

I started to blog about this Harry Reid thing yesterday, because it was just so outrageous that anyone would believe his comments about Obama were equivalent to Trent Lott's comments about Strom Thurmond. But I scrapped it. They are so obviously not the same, and anyone who doesn't understand that is playing stupid. Or is stupid.

So, thank god for my favorite blogger, Ta-Nehisi Coates, who is infinitely smarter and more patient than I:
Leaving aside political cynicism, this entire affair proves that the GOP is not simply still infected with the vestiges of white supremacy and racism, but is neither aware of the infection, nor understands the disease. Listening to Liz Cheney explain why Harry Reid's comments were racist, was like listening to me give lessons on the finer points of the comma splice. This a party, rightly or wrongly, regarded by significant portions of the country as a haven for racists. They aren't simply having a hard time re-branding, they don't actually understand how and why they got the tag.
I don't like talking to Republicans for the same reason I don't want to teach 1st grade. I get bored and frustrated having to break everything down, simplify every concept beyond recognition, and still see in their faces that they have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Still Trying.

There hasn't been any subbing work at all since before Christmas, but I keep checking every day. And I applied for a full-time position teaching high school speech and theater. I should know about that one this week some time. I think I'd be great at that.

Not sure how I missed this op-ed in last week's Times. And here are some letters in response. I've been subbing and looking for a teaching job, and suddenly most of my friends are teachers, so I've been having a lot of conversations about teaching lately.

I disagree with this writer's gripe about the number of days teachers take off. Almost every time I have a conversation with a non-teacher about teaching, he or she gets around to saying that teachers have a pretty cushy job because they get summers off. For what teachers get paid and for the level of stress, exertion, physical danger, number of extra unpaid hours they put in every week, and the amount of their own money they spend on supplies, a few personal days and summers off every year are the least we can do.

Other than that, though, I agree with most of what the writer says.