I could post another political diatribe or link to an important Op Ed in the NY Times (whose unfortunate lead in on the main page read "Blow: Gay Marriage Problems).
I could comment on the horrors of the Mumbai terrorism overseas, or Black Friday in the U.S.
Instead, I've gone LOLCat!
moar funny pictures
Yep, I posted a few photos of various family kitties and used their innovative caption doohickey to make some "funnay" lines for our cats. It's addictive. It's harmless. It's good for the soul to have fun with animals.
moar funny pictures
Thursday, November 27, 2008
To see Milk on the day Harvey was shot, in the Castro Theatre, which featured prominently in the film, was almost like watching home movies.
From my days back in high school in Ohio, when I saw the news of his assassination, and the subsequent White Night Riots, Harvey Milk has been a part of my thoughts and life, like so many other gay people.
Yet, I never thought, even two years before moving here, that I would live so close to where it all happened. Mere blocks from City Hall and The Castro District, I've taken Harvey's legacy for granted.
Even after moving here, and getting to know people who were his friends, part of me never got the impact that Milk had.
The current issue of the BAR includes article about Harvey Milk, the movie Milk, and local gay peoples' reminiscences about that fatefuly day, 30 years ago, when Supervisor Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White.
It's amazing to work at a publication where Harvey was also a contributor, a paper that's even mentioned in the film as one of Harvey's endorsers (only on his third supervisor bid).
Following Dan Nicoletta's acclaimed GLBT Historical Society exhibit, Saint Harvey, with their second, Sporting Life, which I curated, I got to see intimately, the incredible documentation of that era, mostly by photographers like Robert Pruzan and Crawford Barton.
As many know, that exhibit included the suit in which Harvey was shot; bullet holes and blood were all on display. And yes, there was a day where, sitting in an archival box after the exhibit closed, while I was working at the historical society, I delicately lifted the top and simply gazed upon that suit, folded in tissue paper, somber, a shroud, a relic of our movement, as local accomplished artist Leo Herrera's recent photographs attest.
Having participated in my small way in activism, and this year, as one of many enthusiastic extras (who never made it onscreen, darnit!), it all seemed so familiar, like I'd already read the script, like I'd already seen it.
That's not a bad thing. It's just interesting to see new audiences, and people, like my dinner and movie date, become exposed to the intricacies of politics, and the delicate and sometimes very public events that shaped Harvey's fate.
How will audiences feel, those out in America, not as cozy with the setting, not as familiar with the struggle, about such a political yet ultimately human film? Will they be as distanced as I am sometimes from those that are just now learning who he was?
SF Gate.com/The SF Chronicle as a bunch of articles about the history of that fateful day, and an interview with Milk protegeé and prolific photographer Dan Nicoletta.
MSNBC has an article on Milk and Moscone.
Its gay film critic dislikes the 'standard biopic' aspects of the movie.
Good As You has clippings from Harvey's days; his political successes and failures.
Having participated in previous Milk Marches, and the filming of it on Market St. only blocks away, tomorrow's march should be a moving, if not deja vu-ish, event, for many.
I can't help but think, given his prescience -and love of tragic opera- that Harvey saw all this in a prophetic dream, or a vision. That's pretty much how it's portrayed in his last audio tape, in the film, in so many accounts of his life.
If you knew you were to die senselessly, wouldn't you do everyhting in your power to change the world?
The 30th annual Milk March will begin at 4 p.m. at City Hall Friday, November 28. If you're in another part of the country, or the world, see this film. Be warmed by the love stories, the passion, and yes, the politics.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
When your biggest negatives are that people think you're pushy, rich, secretive, weird, and hell-bent on imposing your seemingly-cultish way of life on them, the last thing you should do is use gobs of money to force your views on millions of others. It's not clear what the Mormons were thinking, but in the process, they may have made a few friends on the religious right - friends who still think the Mormons are a cult, mind you (even the Mormon's evangelical "allies" have this to say about them, "Our theological differences with Mormonism are, frankly, unbridgeable") - but they've just convinced millions of other Americans that they're hateful heavy-handed bigots.
And it seems we're not the only ones who are thinking this way. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Mormons around the country are now being forced to deal with the fall-out from their ill-fated decision to become hate's banker.
Although they live a continent away from California, LDS Church members Gregory and JaLynn Prince, of Washington, D.C., still have felt the backlash from their church's involvement in the traditional marriage initiative known as Proposition 8.
Their daughter, Lauren, a Boston University student, has lost friends over the issue, while their son, an LDS missionary in San Bernardino, Calif., has had a disproportionate number of potential converts cancel appointments.
About two weeks ago, during a first-ever class on Mormonism at Wesley Theological Seminary, where the Princes have built bridges for years, students pointedly asked them: "What was your church thinking?"
"We are not taking sides on the issue, but the way this was done has hurt our people and the church's image," JaLynn Prince said. "It reminds me of the naive public relations strategy we had regarding the Equal Rights Amendment."
In some minds, the so-called "Mormon moment" heralded at the start of 2008 has stopped short.
Stopped short? Try, set you back 150 years. In one fell swoop, the Mormons just convinced somewhere between 10 million and 30 million gay Americans, and their 40 to 120 million friends and families, that the Mormons are filthy rich bigots who want to come into your town, take over, and force you to live under their rules (rules which include accepting Jesus as a polygamist who married his mother and was the brother of Satan, rules which include being forced to convert to Mormonism against your will), or else they'll destroy your families and ruin your lives.
Hell of a way to stop people from hating you.
Also, Prop 8 Mormon money investigated.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
forgiving Elton john's "domestic partnerships are enough" gaffe, via lyric appropriation, I can only say that people will be saying a lot more stupid things before this pans out.
Even though no one past the front of City Hall park could hear what was being said, it attracked thousands.
Preparing to perform near City Hall, the Gay & Lesbian marching band warmed up, while a Socialist-led contingent with a great drum corps led most people away on to Market Street, where, what i think was only the first of two marches, began.
Nobody thought to bring or sell water, food info, except a few clipboarding Marriage Equality peeps and the Socialists.
The roused crowd, in an array of diverse fonts and color schemes, held posters that the Milk set dresser would have envied. Just think if more musicians and outreach had accompanised this seemingly (until someone takes credit) collective, anonymous protest nationwide.
While the socialists should get some credit for inspiring another peaceful, empowering march, their tactics are less than genuine.
For upstaging whatever else was still going on onstage, albeit unheard, (and unseen, since no one got a permit to set up a stage) was a cheap shot at upstaging for no reason or focus.
Of course, even whomever the real organizers were could have offered a shorter route uphill to the spaceship Catholica, and find a true protest target, instead of nestling between such supportive edifices; City Hall and the Federal Building.
The socialist-led crowd marched up into the Castro, just like the Friday march, where it diminished into a mass brunch and bar crawl.
Act up. Fight back. Fried eggs.
More pics HERE. Video next week.
I'm a bit of an unintentional luddite, technologically speaking.
4pm: helicopters are flying again. There must be a splinter group raising a ruckus...
National coverage on Towleroad.com
Article from Associated Press, with a huge photo album of nationwide protests.
Plus, Chicago, Kansas City, San Diego, Miami Beach, New York City, more San Francisco, Cleveland, Lexington, KY, Madison, Wisconsin, Omaha, Nebraska, Boston, and our nation's capital.
And, last and least, last night's unpleasantry, where a fundie cluster got chased out of the Castro.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Join a Prop 8 protest in your city.
And here's what to tell anyone who wonders why we're so upset.
1. Gay people are trying to change the definition of marriage.
Answer: No, we're not, any more than we're trying to change the definition of your car by buying a car of our own. Nothing about the existence of gay marriage alters heterosexual marriage. What we're trying to do is obtain the same rights that straight people have. The definition of marriage between heterosexuals remains exactly the same.
2. The institution of marriage is under attack.
Yes, it is. By straight people. By a high divorce rate. By infidelity. You will not protect the institution of marriage by preventing people from participating in it unless marriage is only defined for you by the people you exclude. Which is kind of pathetic if it's true.
3. If gay people are so big on tolerance, they need to be more tolerant of people with different points of view.
No group needs to tolerate its own oppression or the people who make it possible, any more than black Americans needed to find "middle ground" with Southern sheriffs or Jews with Nazis. There is never any need to compromise with people who would seek to take away their rights.
4. The public voted and gays lost. Why can't you just let it go?
The courts decided and we won. Why didn't YOU just let it go? We're fighting for a right. You should be aware that we will never let it go until we have it.
5. Yes, but the courts overruled the will of the people, and in a democracy, the will of the people is what counts.
The particular democracy in which we all live created the judicial system in part to prevent the tyranny of the majority--to prevent large groups from stepping on the rights of small groups. Our pursuit of justice via the court system is actually much more in keeping with American values than your pursuit of legalized bigotry through the mob rule of hate-driven ballot initiatives.
6. But this has nothing to do with hate. I don't hate gay people--I just believe marriage should be between a man and a woman.
Part of being an adult means taking ownership of the consequences of your actions. When you are voting to deprive gay people of a right they should have, it really doesn't matter whether you are doing it out of bone-deep hatred or out of adherence to something your preacher said. You are taking an action that is designed to hurt people. If you can't own the consequences of that, you're a coward and a hypocrite.
7. But I'm acting out of a deeply held religious conviction.
How would you feel if my deeply held religious conviction told me that blacks or Jews or women or Mormons shouldn't have equal rights? Your right to enact your religious conviction within the secular law of our society stops when that conviction tramples on someone else's civil rights. Moreover, "religion" is not a magic word that gives you license to hurt other people.
8. But there's no comparison between the the fight for equal rights that black people went through during the civil rights movement and what gay people are doing now.
Of course there is. Both are civil rights issues. The opponents of the black civil rights movement often argued that the separation of the races was ordained by God. And opponents of equality often boasted, then as now, that "the people" would never put up with this. They lost then, as you will lose very soon.
9. But we're not actually hurting anyone because gay people in California already have domestic partnerships--which is the same thing as marriage, minus the word.
It's not the same thing, and the religious leaders who told you it was were knowingly lying to you. (Isn't that a sin, by the way?) A vast number of rights afforded straight married people by organizations ranging from the IRS to health-insurance companies to private employers are denied to gay people in domestic partnerships.
10. Well, you're not going to win any friends by staging these protests.
The protests are not designed to win friends; they're designed to make our enemies aware that they can't use money to hurt us and expect to escape public notice, attention and condemnation. If you think that people should have the right to give large sums of money to campaigns secretly without ever being identified, well, I suppose you can try to get that passed via ballot initiative. Good luck.
Incidentally, we have plenty of friends, as you'll see when "Repeal 8" is on the ballot in 2010. When it passes, we hope you'll remember everything you've been saying for the last week about how "the people have spoken."
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Join The Impact - Protest for LGBT Rights!
The New York Protest march unfurled a hand-sewn banner by organizer Gilbert Baker while 1000s carried signs which read "Separation of Church and State" and "Tax the Mormon Church" and chants like "Straight. Gay. Black. White. Gay Marriage is a Civil Right." The protest started at the Mormon Church (of Latter Day Saints) at 125 Columbus Ave and with the aid of Norman Siegel; civil rights lawyer, we were able to march down Broadway to Columbus Circle.
It seems that with the growing media interest that this is snowballing into 'Stonewall on Steroids' with the inevitable March on Washington to Come perhaps in the Spring and predicted to bring out easily more than a million especially since the "Non-protester" types see the time to protect and fight for our Equal Rights and the same civil rights as others who can marry. Many gays believe that an Obama administration may be Hope for Change on Gay Legal Marriage and protecting Gay families.
The November 15th National Protest on Saturday is listed at http://www.jointheprotest.com as every city in the US mobilizes for the right to Gay Marriage and opposition to Proposition 8 which passed in California, as well as anti-Gay Marriage wins in Arizona and Florida.
BAR coverage of the post-election problems, upcoming protests, and previous ones, including Sacramento.
Videos and pics of the New York protest at the wonderful JoeMyGod and KnuckleCrack's sites.
Some people aren't waiting for the Saturday National Protest against Proposition 8.
Thursday Nov. 13
11am - Riverside, CA - UC Riverside - Bell Tower
4:30pm - Irvine, CA - UC Irvine - Campus & Culver Drive
Friday Nov. 14
11:30am - San Diego, CA - UC San Diego - 9450 Gillman Drive
5pm - Hermosa Beach, CA - Hermosa Beach Pier
7pm - Los Angeles - UCLA Bruin Plaza
Saturday, November 15th
10:30 AM Pacific Time
(1:30 PM Eastern / 12:30 PM Central / 11:30 PM Mountain)
San Francisco Protest Details
San Jose, CA
Santa Barbara, CA
Eureka/Humboldt County, CA
Orange County, CA
Santa Rosa, CA
Long Beach, CA
San Luis Obispo, CA
Palm Springs, CA
San Diego, CA
The Saturday protests are ALL across the country, even Marquette, Michigan and Oklahoma City. Goodness!
Hank Wilson, 61.
We lost one of the great activists of our time last week.
Hank Wilson died after decades of serving the community, in so many ways. HERE's an obit feature in the Chronicle. At least he lived to see Obama elected, which, I'm told, he enjoyed. His spirit is smiling over all the thousands and thousands of new activists born in the past week.
I don't care how silly any rightwinger or cynical gay thinks we are. This bitchslap really woke up a lot of complacent people, and it's just starting.
Visit Stop8.org for lots of updates, links and info.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Some clips I shot last Saturday at the Prop 8 protest Nov. 7.
A couple explains their predicament:
Author Simon Sheppard weighs in:
A MUNI worker gives us his honk of approval. (Apologies to all commuters.)
Hunks for Equality! "Out of the bars and into the streets!" A classic, but it didn't work so well in the Castro, where the march ended.
Still, it unleashed a new generation of activists, who, with all their new gadgets, seem to have their collective act together. I'd estimte 50,000 participants statewide.
Of course that's not more than the alleged 500,000 that tipped the scale, temporarily, against us. But there's a reason I wore my mighty Mouse T-shirt that night. The meek shall inherit the earth, by any means necessary.
Sunday's protest at the Oakland Mormon church made headlines and TV news stories. The next local Prop 8 protest will be Saturday, Nov. 15, 10:30 a.m. at City Hall, and in simultaneously in nearly every state of the U.S. Rightwing Christians, Mormons and others are poised to restrict our rights nationwide. See the locations for nationwide protests at www.jointheimpact.com
I recommend more shirtlessness in protests. in groups of five, each with N O o n 8 painted on their chests like football fans.
Seriously, religious groups breaking the law by pushing legislative agendas need to be taken to task. Activists and bloggers and have already formed a donor list of Yes on 8 businesses for your boycotting pleasure. Many are pushing for the revocation of the Mormon Church's tax-exempt status.
Sign up with 150,000 others at www.mormonsstoleourrights.com
Find out about more local protests at http://protest8sf.wordpress.com
Friday, November 7, 2008
Well, it seems actually having your constitutional rights eliminated gets us 'mos ticked off.
More protests tonight in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Laguna Beach, long Beach and Santa Barbara.
I wonder how many of these people really worked on No on 8 before the election. What good are these protests? I dunno. When I protested it seemed like it had an impact. They're going on all over the state of California.
From the comments: "I'm sorry, but what exactly is the point of all these protests? What is anyone expecting to happen because a bunch of angry gays are holding candlelight vigils? If the people at large had cared at all about gays, the measure would have failed in the first place. Also, just out of curiousity, but where were all these protests LAST week?"
From last night:
Police attacked a few stray protestors in Los Angeles, beating a few people among the estimated 7 arrested.
MSNBC article here.
Surprisingly, AOL, (whose majority of rightwing members predicted a McCain victory by a large majority) has an album of 80+ pics, very good coverage of the assaults, arrests and peaceful protests. there's also hundreds of anti-gay blather in the comments, as expected. These people keep spewing garbled religious clichés, forgetting that we're talking about government. Asshats.
It's rather amazing that only now is the media focusing on the potential illegality of a major church foisting its religious views on another state's constitution. Duh. This is illegal.
ANSWER, which has been completely MIA for years in war protests, has latched onto the momentum of Prop 8 protests. Frickin' socialists; always using gays only when it's expedient for them.
Singer Melissa Etheridge is making her statement quite clear: No Taxation Without Representation.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Police Prepare Riot Gear At 'No On 8' Vigil
Well, that was quick.
People are responding, and fast, to Prop 8's passage.
Three lawsuits have been filed.
In San Francisco, candles at City Hall, and some speeches.
On Current, see a video of the LA protest from the later afternoon.
On Good As You, see footage of gay activists taking to the streets after a protest at the LA Mormon headquarters.
LA Times reports that about 500 people broke from the main rally and stopped traffic for hours.
Screencaps and more on Towleroad.
8pm: LIVE footage of a continuing protest in Los Angeles. Gay people in a few thousands are marching through the city, hopefully out of the West Hollywood ghetto.
Checkbook activists: To sign up and pay for the LA Center to Invalidate Prop 8 can go HERE.
The most direct? THIS ONE.
Subject: Take Action Against LDS
If it upsets you that a church can meddle with another state's political statutes, here's something simple you can do:
To report the LDS Church to the IRS, simply take 5 minutes to print these articles out and any others you can find:
Then print, sign, and send the attached form (already completed, after the jump) or download a blank and fill it out yourself HERE.
Or, here's a smiliar tactic from www.mormonsstoleourrights.com/
Strip the Mormon Church of its current tax exemption status as a religious organization. Through Proposition 8, the Mormon Church has once again shown its true colors as a political group, with very specific social ends. Political speech is fair and legal; however such speech and political fundraising under the guise of religion is not. The playing field must now be leveled once and for all!
Californians will vote on future propositions to correct this flawed amendment next year, and every year, until we achieve our GLBT rights under the state constitution. We must be assured that our advocacy organizations are on an equal legal and financial playing field as those of our opponents.
SIGN AND PASS THIS. As they said last tonight at San Francisco City Hall... it’s time for all Gays and Lesbians to bring up the fight and to get active once again!
Previously, we were dancing in the streets over the election of Obama.
that pretty much got cut short when the TV screen set up by the Lovefest people showed Prop 8 winning by 200,000 votes.
Still, we had a few hours of joy before it became bittersweet. People honked horns, beat drums and banged pots like the fourth of July; no, better.
There are also several videos of San Francisco celebrations on YouTube.
It's important to contemplate our future as a nation, the elegance and reality of a new First Lady who will expand her husband's message.
And still, we have to move on. Continue the fight for gay equality.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
"What an inspiration. He is the first truly global U.S. president the world has ever had," said Pracha Kanjananont, a 29-year-old Thai sitting at a Starbuck's in Bangkok. "He had an Asian childhood, African parentage and has a Middle Eastern name. He is a truly global president." - AP wire story.
More headlines HERE at Americablog.