Archive for May 2008

Indianapolis 500 Parade Memories

May 27, 2008

Dave had an extra ticket to this year’s parade so I tagged along.

Where else would you see a sight this fabulous?

Frilly Fabulousness

I have no idea who these girls are or why they were dressed up like giant toilet paper cozies,

loo

but aren’t they frilly?

Giant balloons are always fun.

There was a bored looking Felix the Cat:

Felix

A kind of scary Uncle Sam:

Uncle Sam

And the Pink Panther (When the child of a guy sitting behind us asked who the Pink Panther was, the dad said, “He’s like Tigger with an alternative lifestyle.” Who knew he was “one of those”?)

Pink Panther

There was a smattering of celebrities like Patricia Heaton, who played Deborah from Everybody Loves Raymond and that new show with Kelsey Grammer.

Patricia Heaton

The parade really took it out of Dave.

Dave After the Parade

I Love Murakami

May 25, 2008

Sometimes I wish I were Japanese. I’ll never be this cool.

David G., the little girl could be you.

Screen Play: Ferraro Projects Her Frustrations Onto Obama

May 22, 2008

Geraldine Ferraro, a former Democratic VP candidate in 1984 believes Obama is running a sexist campaign, and she just doesn’t know if she can bring herself to vote for him in November. If she believes a McCain administration is more likely to benefit the women of America than an Obama presidency, she’s as deluded as a Chicken Ranch hooker on Fire Island.

Oh, and she thinks the only reason Obama is so popular is because he is black. She implied that if he were a woman or a white male, no one would care about him. That’s right Gerry. All of Obama’s supporters are just throwing their votes around willy-nilly like birdseed at a gay wedding in Sacramento because he’s a person of color. Thanks for that vote of confidence in our intelligence.

Fortunately it doesn’t matter what Geraldine Ferraro thinks, at least not in terms of the general election. Her opinions make for good news theater, and that’s why we are hearing them. Still, I’m glad she’s spouting off for the same reason I am glad Rev. Jeremiah Wright spouted off: because institutional sexism needs to be discussed, just as institutional racism does. Folks like Wright and Ferraro just push the conversation.

I have seen no evidence that Obama is running a sexist campaign (his campaign has actually been quite clean all the way around), however, there is much institutional sexism in the corporate media. There is also a lot of institutional racism there, too.

I personally believe bringing these issues out in the open is the ONLY way to make things better. It is not comfortable, and it is definitely not something I want to distract us from other issues – the economy, education, energy, healthcare – but our country is long overdue for a come-to-Jesus meeting on racism and sexism.

Obama is a screen on which people’s fears about race and their prejudices about sex are projected. From what I’ve observed, he actually seems okay with that. He is comfortable with the conversations and knows they have to happen. It is his comfort with conflict and his tendency not to personalize things that makes me comfortable with him as a candidate. Well, that and the fact that he is basically campaigning against both McCain and Clinton now, and seems to be doing a fine job at handling both.

What surprises me is how people who are especially sensitive to racism and people who are especially sensitive to sexism, are NOT necessarily sensitive to one another. If you want to see a fascinating example of just this phenomenon check out Nathanial Bach’s article on Ferraro over at HuffPo. Click on the comments section (I learn a lot about the way people who leave comments think by reading comments), and you will read remarks from seemingly intelligent people who seem to be completely unaware that they are fighting fellow passengers on the USS Oppression.

Is it just that unless we are properly challenged, we tend to only understand our own oppression?

Like I said, I’m okay with hashing through this stuff. Talking is good. But let’s just deal with it and move on.

Superbowl 2012 Coming to Indy

May 21, 2008

Given the amount of money our city could have spent on streets, schools, and infra-structure, I’m ambivalent about this news. Plus I’m no Dungy fan. But I am happy for the Colts, and hopefully I can get a little more excited over the next four years.

I evidently should be excited about the Legacy Project, which was a community development piece of the bid proposal that some people suspect sealed the deal. The Superbowl will somehow reenergize the near East Side of town, which is where I live. All day I’ve been hearing words like “struggling” to describe our neighborhood and those around us, but the only “action” I hear our would-be benefactors talking about is a 9M dollar sports center to be built for nearby Tech High School. That’s good news for a school that deserves it.

But while 9M dollars worth of facility is nothing to sneeze at, a tricked out gym does not a revitalized community make. Is there more to this plan than I know about? I can’t help but think that 9M dollars would sure buy a lot of sidewalk and textbooks. I suppose the 9M could have been spent in worse ways.

Mike Huckabee’s An Idiot

May 16, 2008

Mike Huckabee is such a dumbass.

CBS reports that he joked about Obama being shot at during today’s NRA meeting in Louisville, KY:

Mike Huckabee, speaking later in the program, was interrupted by a loud noise. “That was Barack Obama,” he said. “He just tripped off a chair. He was getting ready to speak and someone pointed a gun at him and he dove for the floor.”

Maybe Huckabee’s son finally made it through an airport x-ray machine with that Glock he’s been trying to tote onboard in his carry on.

I suspect that Huckabee is so used to making inappropriate remarks and jokes, in private of course where in his mind I’m sure they don’t count, that he doesn’t even realize how not funny that joke was. But if we needed one more example of how mean-spirited the GOP is these days, I guess we have it.

The Obama campaign ignored him, which was smart.

Part of me prays they make McCain take Huckabee as a running mate.

To George Bush: Obama and Gay People Thank You

May 16, 2008

While there is much to celebrate about yesterday’s California Supreme Court ruling, there is always the possibility that the decision might mobilize an otherwise anti-McCain religious right base. While fear of change is a pathetic plank in the Republican party platform, it is important politically in getting conservative candidates elected. It really seems to bring the folks out.

Thankfully, Bush took advantage of the international stage he had at Israel’s celebration of its 60th anniversary yesterday to imply that Obama will likely want to have conversations with terrorist leaders. It was meant as a slam, but frankly, this is just the kind of ball Obama’s campaign takes off and runs with.

Here is how this helps progressives and hurts McCain:

1. Bush’s blunder (calculated though it may have been, this is what it was) turned out to be a bigger story than California’s same-sex marriage ruling, dangling a shiny object in front of the conservative right that may help keep the strengthening of gay families from being such a big deal for folks who are scared of change*.

2. Bush’s isolationist philosophy stands in stark contrast to Obama’s world-player approach. McCain is being cast as McBush with good reason. His continuance of Bush’s policies is his primary “selling point” for conservatives. But it is clear to the world that this administration’s present foreign policies are weak. Obama represents the hope for innovative ideas, and in a post-modern world, dialogue and conversation between people who can all pronounce the names of heads of state are de rigeur.

3. Bush may have stolen some of McCain’s thunder (and poor McCain has so little thunder). Bush stole the 2004 Republican nomination from him, now he’s wielding a weapon against Obama that McCain should be swinging.

Gary Kamiya at Salon sees the election emerging as a choice between a young and old America. I believe as Obama and McCain go head to head, these kinds of contrasts will become more apparent. Which America are we? The ever youthful, energetic one, ready to pull the U.S. back out of the crapper or the decrepit, doddering one, content to simply stir the mess in the clogged toilet around.

*At present, even McCain treats the same-sex marriage issue as a state’s rights issue. He’s not in favor of a federal constitutional amendment, which is the ONLY remedy that will satisfy the religious right. But the bigger question for the RR and gay marriage is who gets to appoint federal supreme court judges, since without an amendment this will eventually become a court issue. That is why this issue will remain important.

California Supreme Court: Separate is NOT Equal, Marriage for Same-Sex Couples is Fine

May 15, 2008

Here is the story. The full decision is here (Thanks LA Times).

Gov. Schwarzenegger has said that he supports the decision and will not support a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. This is interesting because twice the legislature has voted to allow gay marriage and he vetoed their efforts.

Still, the religious right will attempt to mount a measure onto the ballot in November to make it constitutionally illegal. So this fight is not over.

I need to wade through the full opinion before I understand all of the nooks and crannies.

One thing I do know, I’m sure the more cynical of the Republicans are thrilled that they finally have something with which to whip up their base. We’ll just have to deal with that and hope that many will see this for the positive bit of history that it is. As my friend Wayne says, “It’s time for a lot of people to do a lot of good.”

Congrats Californians! We’re proud of you.