Archive for January 2008

Walk Ignorant: The Jerry Cox Story

January 27, 2008

Having successfully convinced Arkansans back in 2004 to amend their constitution so that gay people are forbidden to protect their relationships with marriage rights, Jerry Cox of the Arkansas Family Council, is now officially working to make it illegal for anyone BUT married couples or singles who swear to be sexually abstinent to foster and adopt children. So if you are a gay single person who adopts are you supposed to swear to never find a long-term committed partnership? If you find a partner, does the state split your family up? How are we even HAVING this conversation?

All of this despite the fact that even now there aren’t enough adoptive and foster parents to go around, and also despite the fact that the Arkansas supreme court, which included conservative Huckabee appointees, voted unanimously to strike down a prior ban against gay adoptive/foster parents based on findings in peer-reviewed research that indicate children of gay parents do just as well as those of straight parents, and also despite the fact that no one can point to problems with gay Arkansan’s adopting in the past. Court quote excerpts HERE.

Cox said he will visit churches to get the 62,000 signatures required to put it on the November ballot.

It makes me so sad to see how easily duped into hateful action some of my Christian brothers and sisters are. In this case I fear that my fellow believers will make the mistake of further disadvantaging Arkansas’ orphaned children, something God clearly frowns upon. But as I’ve said before, if I’m wrong and the initiative fails, I will gladly stand on the steps of the Arkansas capitol building and yell, “I am a giant douche bag” at the top of my lungs.

Multivitamin

January 22, 2008

Phone conversation with Dave last night:

D: What’ you doin’?

T: Eating tomato soup with some pimento cheese I just made on some bread John just made with a tiny glass bottle of Coke.

D. Oh, I had a glass of V-8 and an Airborne for dinner.

T: I’ve decided that the only way you can be so fun and still only eat what you do is because you are already just so naturally full of goodness. (John overhearing our conversation: He’s full of somethin’.)

D: I’m a human multivitamin.

Golden Compass is Surprisingly Good

January 14, 2008

A preview of The Golden Compass came with our DVD of Hairspray (thanks Dave!). GC wasn’t even on our radar screen of movies to see because it was generally panned by the critics.   But the previews looked great so we saw it last night.  Here are some quick impressions since I really need to be ironing pants for work rather than blogging:

  1. Story line is complex but rich
  2. Well acted 
  3. Fabulous costumes – If you enjoy watching Nicole Kidman’s red carpet mojo and/or if you knit, run don’t walk to this movie
  4. Wonderful looking in general, lots of eye candy, but thankfully it doesn’t have to carry the movie 
When the movie ended (actually just the beginning of a series that I hope can still be made considering its chilly public reception), I asked John and Dave, “Is it just me, or was that movie really awesome?”  They agreed it was awesome.  
 
Only reason I can imagine GC had trouble is that it was marketed to the Narnia crowd, which is unfortunate.  It works as a great fairy tale, but it’s really more for the science fiction fans.   
 
And as for the “but it’s anti-church” hoopla*.  Well, yeah, it kind of is, but it only criticizes the part of the church that requires people to check their brains at the door.  And for that matter, it criticizes any institution that does the same.  Personally, I saw many pro-faith allusions.  To me, GC has more to say about our current political situation than any crisis of religion.  
 
 
 
*And the daemons (pronounced liked demons in GC, which probably wigged some church folk out) seem to be modeled on the Greek notion of lower order spirits (in Greek mythology, love is a daemon) rather than the evil spirits in Judeo-Christian tradition.   

Litter and Butts

January 11, 2008

My friend Katie and I were walking to lunch downtown this week and out of the corner of my eye I saw a woman, probably in her late 40s, drop an empty water bottle onto the sidewalk on Washington St. as she started to get into her car. Her car was 20 feet from a garbage can.

Without even thinking about what I was doing I shouted, “Nice!” and stomped 15 feet to pick up the bottle and drop it into the trashcan while she and the man she was with watched. I HATE LITTER! I have no idea how someone gets to the point that they think it is okay to drop their crap for someone else to pick up, and several neighborhood cleanups have just made me angrier about it.

I was especially surprised that she felt comfortable just dropping her bottle on the sidewalk at lunchtime in front of God and everybody. She was kind of large so maybe the walk would have been a pain and she looked like she had trouble breathing, but she could have asked her friend to help OR just taken the empty container with her so that she could throw it away at home. I wanted to say, “This is where you and I live! Show some pride in your community!”

As Katie and I discussed the scene (which believe me could have been much more of a scene if I’d taken a notion to make it one), she talked about another person we know who berated a woman for nearly hitting him with a cigarette butt that she randomly flicked to dispose of, nearly hitting him, also on crowded public street. If you want to see my sweetie get mad, do this in front of him. He hates the way smokers treat the world as their ashtray, and I’m tired of it, too. Anyway, I hate litter.

Gettin’ Some Gore – Lessons for the 2008 Clinton Campaign

January 9, 2008

At this point, I would vote for Hillary before any of the Republican candidates. If it sounds like I’m damning her with faint praise, it’s because I am.

She’s a fine statesperson- She has the street cred. She’s a thoughtful, smart, and nose-to-the-grindstone type. Her work on the Hill is strong in the areas of health care and in world (not just Iraq) politics. As a carpetbagger back in 2000, she had to win the votes of a lot of conservative upstate New Yorkers. They seem, on the whole, pleased with their investment.

So what’s bugging me about her? Mostly that she’s exhibiting all of the same weaknesses Al Gore did during his 2000 election bid:

a.) Wooden
b.) Defensive
c.) Appears to blame voters for not recognizing her street cred or understanding how much of a smart, thoughtful and nose-to-the-grindstone type she is.

If she wants to win, she needs to take a page from Gore’s post vice-presidency, which oddly enough looks a lot like Obama’s current campaign. She needs to:

1) Lighten up
2) Passionately chase down her vision (kind of her strong point)
3) Present it in inspired ways

Granted, Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth to take one example, was just a slide show, one that even made a few debatable assumptions, but it was also simple, visually catchy and full of enough good and true information that it made a lot of Americans want to know more; no small feat, that.

Here’s an inconvenient truth for you, Hillary, and I speak from painful experience, if you know something in your heart of hearts, inside and out and you find that no amount of telling people about it is getting the point across, you may need to stop questioning your listeners’ thinking and listening abilities and rethink your delivery.

I believe Gore actually started learning his lessons during his campaign. And it’s not like his campaign was a failure. He actually won the 2000 election; he just didn’t “win” it. I sometimes wonder if he had “won,” whether or not he would have finished learning the lessons he began. I wonder if he would have become humbled (sorry, the Baptist in me) to the point that his intellect and passion had to pull him up in a new direction. I wonder if Hillary won’t have a similar experience (please, God, please, don’t let that mean we have to live through a Huckabee/Norris administration).

Obama may not have years of experience, (pardon me while I meme hop, but neither did another well-known Illinois senator when he became president–Jennie, ya hear me?), but he obviously has enough years of experience to be chill, smart, and confident about his plans and ideals without making people feel bad about themselves in the process – no, actually while making people feel GOOD about themselves in the process. If Obama doesn’t have to lose an election to learn those lessons and has some substance to put behind that form, good for him, and more importantly, good for us.

Nothing but Gladiators

January 7, 2008

Sorry so slow to post. Lots going on. FYI. American Gladiators premiered last night. Will be on again tonight. Either it is really entertaining or I’ve just grown too accustomed to the writers’ strike. My favorite contestant was the little guy who runs a daycare and had to keep handing someone his eye glasses before each challenge.