Monday, July 11, 2011

NPR: Lesbian Couples Wed More than Gay Men

Never mind that NPR has now mainstreamed the best known lesbian joke ever.  What I really like from this news story are these sound bites:

"When you're an outsider, in order to make it okay you haveto embrace that otherness of yourself, that you live on the outside. And many of us unconsciously don't want to totally give that up. I like it.  We're used to being different and being on the outside.  Now, with marriage, you're just like everyone else. So there is a resistance to it." -- Leslie Cohen

"So, lesbian and gay people have formed very complex families, and need more flexible norms." -- Katherine Franke

While same sex marriage can do great things for some couples, it also stands to obliterate the different forms of familial and other relational bonds that queers have learned to form.  What is the cost of forgoing our queerness in the quest for equality?

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Truly Offensive

As a general rule, I don't talk about Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum (or Sarah Palin for that matter).  None of these individuals are serious contenders for the Republican nomination given their extreme viewpoints and stances.  They are odious individuals who don't deserve any kind of attention.  But Bachmann and Santorum have sunk to new lows by signing the Family Leader (an Iowa based conservative organization) "Marriage Vow."  In terms of gay rights, it's all same old, same old.  What is truly offensive is that the pledge asserts that Black people were better off under slavery than they are today.

The pledge contains plenty of other objectionable material, but the racist language of the pledge takes the cake. MSNBC covers the story:

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Problematic Gay Rhetoric

I've been troubled lately about what I consider very problematic rhetoric that seems pervasive on at least one gay blog that I follow.  About the only website on which I can manage to read comments by readers is NPR and even there the occasional ill-considered comment pops up.  On almost every other internet site, comments reflect the worst of humanity: ignorance, flat-out stupidity, bigotry, prejudices, inhumanity (e.g., "I hope you die"), rudeness, ad hominem attacks, the worst logical fallacies, etc.  Gay blogs are no different, but I wish they were.  Some are better than others, but what concerns me is that: a) gays should know better and b) much of it seems to be echoing current activist rhetoric.  To be clear, most of the problematic language and though I've read comes from gay males and white gay males at that.  Men of color, lesbians, and transfolk seem to be considerably better in both manner and thought.  Perhaps on other sites, those people are just as bad, but there seems to be something particular to white gay men (likely of a certain social class).

What follows are some of the problematic thoughts I've read and very brief thoughts about them:

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The Same Old Stuff PLUS Michigan AFA: Gays are employment risks

I don't usually post much from the likes of the AFA (American Family Association) or its ilk (e.g., the Traditional Values Coalition,  Family Research Council, Exodus International, Catholic League, National Organization for Marriage); the rhetoric is pretty much the same regardless of the organization or event to which these groups respond. 

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

June Zombiepaloozapocolypse

Inspired by watching AMC's excellent Walking Dead series and my love for George Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968), I dedicated June to watching major (and often influential) works of zombie film:
Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Day of the Dead (the third of his zombie trilogy- 1985),
and Land of the Dead (his fourth movie - 2005)
Return of the Living Dead (1985- of which I had seen portions of years ago)
28 Days Later (2002)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Zombieland (2009)

Shaun and Zombielands are more affectionate, comedic takes on zombie films than anything, although it's worth noting that Shaun does this extremely well and is a very funny movie, taking full advantage of zombie film conventions and turning them on their head in a clever way.  Zombieland starts out promising, particularly with it's "rules" for surviving zombie attacks, but after a stop at certain comedic icon's Hollywood mansion, fades into a rather by the numbers and not so funny zombie movie.  It never fully capitalizes on the fun premise of a zombie rulebook and throws its own film logic on its head at the end, unfortunately. Also, the promise of a zombie-infested Disneyland type amusement park is woefully under-delivered.