good vs. evil

June 15th, 2009 | Other Projects

Okay, I’m sorry, but what with disputed election in Iran and North Korea shooting off missiles and the attempt to reform health care, I really can’t get too worked up about DOMA. I just got back from the new Star Trek movie. I’m hoping that maybe Obama is like young Spock sending young Kirk–us gay people–to the ice planet. Where we’ll find the older, future Spock/Obama, and eventually, after a lot of special effects, we’ll get our civil rights, which was part of the plan all along. Or not. I can’t really understand movies any more.

But in the spirit of Star Trek, plus the trailers for 10 other nonsensical action flicks I had to sit through, I’ve compiled an action flick of my own. Here are a few of the titanic conflicts that have been raging around here lately.

56 Responses to “good vs. evil”

  1. Techzoid says:

    Giggle. Maybe Tim Geithner is Scotty. Hilary Clinton is Captain Janeway. Harry Reid is Batman.

    Please stop me before I need to take myself to the vet…

  2. Leah says:

    So, you’ve seen Trek!!! Friends and I have had a discussion as to whether it passes your test for women in film or not. Obviously there are woefully few women in the film, and even fewer that are fleshed out. Also, one woman is fridged (aka killed, see women in refrigerators) for a man’s character development. So that right there is pitiful.

    But there is one scene where two women talk about something other than a man….but while they are half-naked and a guy is hiding under one of their beds.

    So, what do you think? 😉

  3. Em says:

    Wow. I am feeling sick to my stomach at your post. Literally sick. So. I beg to differ. DOMA exists because of homophobia. There is no other reason for it. Homophobia kills people. Some people live places where they have the privilege not to worry too much about it. But a lot of people don’t. Homophobia kills. It kills people in the same way that missles do. It kills people in the same way that a lack of health care does. And by that I mean: because of homophobia, people die. Sometimes teenagers. Sometimes 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 or 70 year olds. And sometimes 11 year olds and sometimes even 3 year olds!!! Laws that promote homophobia and confirm the belief that we are less than for the phobic. It is a lie. But it is a very dangerous one.

    The world is a mess. It’s been a mess for my entire 51 years of life. I’m not happy about it. I’m not discounting the importance of paying attention to what is going on. What I am saying is that treating homophobia as though it is less important than any of the other of the world’s problems is a mistake. DOMA is homophobic. It IS a big deal.

  4. Nele says:

    Dr. Winnicott is not happy but cooperative. Remarkably cooperative, indeed…. 🙂

  5. hairball_of_hope says:

    In the political kerfuffle department, GOPers are making tons of noise about the current comedian vs. politican dust-up, aka Letterman vs. Palin. Red herring I say, designed to distract us from REAL battle.

    Consider the case of South Carolina GOP activist Rusty DePass. His Facebook page said the following about a gorilla who escaped from a local zoo, “I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors – probably harmless.”

    Now this isn’t some lov-level GOP office clerk making disparaging and racist remarks. And it’s not some entertainer or late-night comedian trying for laughs. DePass is the former chairman of the Richland County GOP, was an early backer of George W. Bush, and was co-chair of Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 campaign in Richland County.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2009/06/14/2009-06-14_pol_gorilla_is_related_to_first_lady.html

  6. Suz (Bklyn) says:

    I want to say that that sort of casual racism isn’t a surprise coming from that side but really, I’m more suprised at the stupidity in putting something that broadly offensive out there in public.

    Meanwhile, back for a moment to DOMA, is Scott Simpson’s position a patronage job–is it one of those that the White House can appoint, or is it X person’s job to keep once ze’s appointed?

    Alex–Yeah, lots of casual crude racism and classism in Christie. All the help/servants are dumb, there are several greedy Jewish finance types that show up, and darker-skinned folk are always suspect. OTOH there’s at least one pretty obvious lesbian couple (supporting characters in A Murder Is Announced) who’re treated not badly, overall.

  7. Alex K says:

    @Em / 3: AB can’t carry ALL our torches.

    Many and many a time she’s said — Marriage? Sorry, that’s not my table. (And if you’re reeling from that shift in metaphors, maybe she was on her way, torch in hand, to flambe a different dish… Palin baked Alaska, perhaps, rather than our DOMA crepes Suzette.)

    And yet: The comparisons that AB makes are importantly flawed. No one expected the Dear Leader, the mullahs, or the insurance companies to take stances different from the ones that they’re taking now. With BHO, someone who made us quite a few promises — hope, ‘n ‘at — betrayal is in the air. That warrants anger. And action.

    To find an agent of BHO pulling legal arguments in favour of DOMA — incestuous couplings need not be recognised as legitimate — from the same box of case law that, years ago, would have been used to defiine BHO himself, in some jurisdictions, as the bastard product of an impermissible because miscegenatory marriage… That is indeed a big deal.

  8. Aunt Soozie says:

    loved that short film… can’t wait to share it with the kid… loved the intervention on behalf of the snake. gotta keep a close eye on those kitties. that movie had alot of hits in just three hours…wonder if it’s the title? action movie? or that you posted it here?

  9. Aunt Soozie says:

    sorry… these are the things that are on my mind. and, had no desire to see that movie, though I was an avid Star Trek fan… of the original, way back when and then Next Generation. but, all others just sort of turned me off. Is it worth seeing??

  10. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Suz

    Simpson’s job is a standard civil service job, he’s a GS-15, so he’s covered under the same civil service rules that protect the janitor and the secretary. He can only be dismissed for cause, not for political reasons, and unlike the high-level folks, he does not serve at the pleasure of the president.

  11. Suz (Bklyn) says:

    Thanks, HoH.

  12. Alex K says:

    @Aunt Soozie / 8: It’s the title. And oh, the disappointment — hot cat on snake action? Gal on beanpatch? (Even with Crocs, rubber gloves, and hose…) Vet on cat? Sometimes Google just lets you down.

  13. From what I’ve read by other progressive bloggers/activists, the decision to allow the language in defense of DOMA by Obama is a policy one, not an accident and not a rogue action by Simpson, et al. He’s (obliquely but declaratively) come out against lesbian/gay marriage as a federal issue, and considers the comparison to other forms of now-legal marriage not applicable case law. He’s a careful manager when it comes to setting policy, so this is clearly what we can expect in the future.

    Thus, further freedoms related to sexual identity (and likely gender in general, since I don’t think the guy is great on sexism, either, all rhetoric to the contrary) will not be coming from his leadership. We’ll have to organize it with pressure on Congress. Or so I believe at the moment.

    And yes, it’s not the promises he ran on. I don’t think he can rationally expect to win points for this shiv in the ribs from the frothin’ Right, because they will go on hating him and obstructing him no matter what — because he is Not White, because he had a Muslim father, because he does not entirely (though mostly) capitulate to money and capitalist control by the few. This is his first Epic Fail. It’s most interesting to me how there’s been NO coverage of it by the mainstream media.

    I agree that health care and nuclear annihilation is more consequential to life in this country and on the planet. I don’t think we have to choose between them — we can all pick where we want to work — and that’s how I read Alison’s comment, a statement about her personal energy at the moment. Which we are not bound to emulate or dispute. We each pick our own path.

    So: I can’t trust the guy on some core issues critical to my survival. But I still have to support his Presidency, given the alternative. And exert useful pressure where I can.

    I’m tired. I don’t have anything more hopeful to say.

    I don’t think it’s asking for political correctness to insist that the N word not be used in public, especially by an employer or trainer. It’s common decency.

    And the repeated, egregious use of simian comparisons to blacks by Republicans is deliberate, to keep part of their base activated, because the war is on, kids. They will subdue us or go down trying, and racism/woman-hating is how they pull enough numbers from the white working class to keep in power. It’s always been true, it’s just out from under (sorta) wraps now.

  14. Oh, and HoH, in reference to your post in the last thread where you ended with shuffling off to vanilla-land, I immediately thought of the following: Man Who Had Sex With Bike In Court.

  15. Alex K says:

    @Maggie J / 13: Today’s lead NYTIMES editorial calls BHO out on the DOMA brief. Perhaps more reaction will follow.

  16. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Maggie (#14)

    I recall a T-short popular years ago among the two-wheeled crowd. It had a picture of a bicycle on it, and the tag line “Put some fun between your legs.” I don’t think that’s what they had in mind.

  17. falloch says:

    Re: bike love: read Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman.

  18. Alex K, #15: Thanks for the heads up! The NY Times editorial link is here. Joe Sudbay at AmericaBlog is also promoting it, and has suggested that LGBT folks boycott the DNC fundraiser later this month as a first step to asserting we stop being the expendable arm of the Democratic party.

    HoH and others, I don’t mean to make fun of people who have sex with inanimate objects. And the man who got caught with his bike was at least trying to insure privacy between him and his, um, beloved — it was staff at the hotel who barged in on him. Although the mechanics of that act (I use that word deliberately) do fire my imagination.

    Years ago, my favorite News of the Weird item of all time concerned a man who worked in a machine shop with several other men. This guy worked an industrial sander, and had discovered if he leaned his gonadal zone against the machinery, the vibrations imparted would repeatedly strike his clock, as it were. He managed to escape observation by his coworkers. (Or perhaps they were engaged with their own machines?) But the cost to his trousers by the sander proved his undoing. One day, unnoticed by him until too late, the belt wore through his pants fabric and actually ripped a hole in his scrotum. He went into the back tool area and assessed the damage. Too embarrassed to seek medical attention, he attempted to close the wound himself, but used a staple gun for he job. His coworkers found him passed out on the floor, exposed and bleeding.

    You just can’t make this stuff up.

  19. Suz (Bklyn) says:

    A staple gun?! Ouch.

    I’m thinking that if a man can be arrested for having sex with his own bicycle behind closed doors, there are a lot of women who should be glad that their hand-held showerheads can’t talk.

  20. Here’s a wonderfully lucid discussion between Rachel Maddow and Howard Dean on the language of DOMA and the Obama administration’s strategy.

  21. Ginjoint says:

    I sure as hell didn’t expect leftist perfection from Obama, but I expected more than this.

  22. Kat says:

    Maggie (#18) said:
    “HoH and others, I don’t mean to make fun of people who have sex with inanimate objects.”

    I do. What the hell? A man having sex with a bike? How would that even work???

    On second thought, let’s let that stand as a rhetorical question, shall we? I think I’m happier not knowing.

    And as for the machine shop guy, it doesn’t surprise me that others didn’t notice. Machining is very detailed work with things that could kill you, so I think the level of concentration is very high. Makes me wonder how a guy could get off while working, but, as Maggie’s anecdote clearly shows, it doesn’t actually work.

    Changing topic and returning to Star Trek:
    Aunt Soozie, I watched a little bit of Next Generation as a kid, and that has been my sole Star Trek experience.

    Boyfriend desperately wanted to see it, so after days of poking and “when are we seeing Star Trek???????”-ing, I finally said: “Will I get it?”

    I did, since, really, the plot is not complicated (bizarre time travel plot line excepted, although those are apparently par for the course in ST movies).

    If you can get past the opening half hour of overwrought emotional “climaxes” (they can’t be climaxes if they keep happening, right?), then it’s a fairly enjoyable film, provided that one turns off one’s brain.

    The Bechdel rule is violated, of course. Because they tried to keep the aesthetics close to the original series’, the women are in short skirts and go-go boots….

    Scotty steals the show, as far as I’m concerned.

    So, verdict: mixed bag, but somewhat enjoyable as mindless space fluff.

  23. Dr. Empirical says:

    I gave up on Trek when, in Next Generation, Barkely de-evolved into a giant spider.

    I demand at least a pretense of science in my science fiction.

  24. Alex K says:

    @AB / 20: Thanks for that. Interesting to watch Howard Dean scuttling rapidly backward, away from BHO’s administration’s stance, as quick as all eight legs can carry him.

    Re: Rachel Maddow. I like her. Full stop. I like her BETTER when she’s not channeling Jon Stewart. But hey, that’s just me.

  25. Kate L says:

    A.B. (#20):
    What Howard Dean referred to in his interview with Rachel Maddow as the part of the U.S. federal constitution honoring reciprocity of contracts from one state to another is more commonly called the “full faith and credit clause” of the constitution. Quite simply stated, something that is established as legal in one state must be honored by another state. This is equally true of gay marriage as it is of interracial marriage, but 40 years ago there were states that did not want to recognize that fact, either.

    I hated the new Star Trek movie. They destroyed Vulcan! Good-bye, Subcommander T’Pol
    http://www.startrek.com/imageuploads/200307/tpol01/200×150.jpg
    And, is any timeline without Janeway worth living in?

  26. Kate L says:

    I take my 54-pound harrier hound to the vet tomorrow. She hides under the chair there, also. Or tries to!

  27. j.b.t. says:

    Aunt Soozie – give Trek another chance! I suggest Voyager, with the formidable Captain Kathryn Janeway and a few other cool female characters as well.

  28. Ginjoint says:

    I’m a Next Generation fan – I couldn’t stand the sexism of the original. Brent Spiner remains one of my precious few male crushes. Dr. E, IIRC, that episode occurred well into the series’ run, didn’t it?

  29. Calico says:

    Dr. W – you rock!
    A home visit. Lucky you!
    Today I took our 16-year old Pomeranian dog to her annual checkup – all is well, except her teeth are dirty. Time to brush those ivories.

  30. Dr. Empirical says:

    I’m not sure, Ginjoint. My ST:TNG-watching days took place in grad school. TV access was sporadic, so I didn’t necessarily watch things in order.

    Mass-media science fiction passes my science-content test about as often as a movie passes the Bechdel test.

  31. Renee S. says:

    looks like the DOMA that AB posted has disappeared from this site due to “terms of use violation” but, you can still see it at
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP76-N2qxxg

  32. longdistance says:

    My partner is English, and I am American. Because of DOMA, we cannot be married in the eyes of the federal government and therefore she has no immigration rights. We have spent the last three years in a long distance relationship, and will have to continue this next year because we cannot get married and we have been unable to find another way for her to have a visa. This is heartbreaking. On global scales, I agree, this isn’t a big deal. In our lives, it influences every decision we make and takes years that we could be together away from us. In our lives, it’s not just a big deal, it’s tragic. We smile through it, we remind ourselves that in the scheme of things we’re lucky. But no one should be kept apart from someone they love because of bigotry.

    DOMA may not be a big deal for you, but it’s huge for some couples.

  33. Duncan says:

    I’m with Alison, though for somewhat different reasons. Neither Iran nor North Korea is as much of a threat to the US, or to anyone else, as the US is to the rest of the world. Obama hasn’t changed that. Obama is still killing people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and supporting the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The US blockade of Cuba is still in place. (Even if DOMA were repealed and same-sex marriage legalized throughout the US, it wouldn’t do gay Cubans any good: if a gay Cuban fell in love with a gay visitor from the US, they’d be as SOL as longdistance and her partner.) Obama has blocked efforts to do anything about the perpetration of torture by his predecessors, and has simply moved the US practice of torture to other sites. He’s sold out working people by abandoning crucial provisions of the Employee Free Choice Act. He’s now pushing a government subsidy and extension of our already lousy health-care system as “reform,” doing his best to ignore and block real grass-roots efforts to consider alternatives. I don’t watch TV — has Rachel Maddow denounced Obama’s use of torture and murder yet? I did see one clip where she gleefully repeated Bush-Obama talking points on Iran; like many liberals, she has no evident objection to US violence and imperial power.

    I certainly agree that what matters to us is as valid as what matters to straight people. But when gay people have aligned themselves with capitalism, the Vatican, and the US imperium, I remind them that we can’t expect straight people to look outside their own narrow little worlds and care about us unless we look outside ours and care about others. I’m not a one-issue voter or human being. Yes, “homophobia kills”, sometimes, but so do hunger, untreated illness, and state violence.

    I’m really concerned with the prevalance of marriage in our discourse nowadays. Why should someone have to get married to be with the person they love, to get health insurance, pensions, etc.? A lot of advocates of same-sex marriage are openly contemptuous of straight people who could marry, but don’t: they’re quite willing to throw a heterosexual couple separated by distance to the wolves if they won’t avail themselves of the “right” they have. Why wouldn’t they want to get married, the proof of love and commitment, the most beautiful day of a woman’s life?

    Marriage, let me remind you, has nothing to do with love; it’s about property. It’s about privileging some couples and families over others. Marriage goes on whether the partners love each other or not. Marriage has rarely been good for women, though it has sometimes been the lesser evil; but many women have voted with their feet against marriage in the past 50 years, and continue to do so. People who demand access to an institution of, at best, dubious justice in the name of “equal rights” make me skeptical; I think they’re using PR rather than sound arguments.

  34. MaryE says:

    I find all of the DOMA conversation interesting… but I’m going to take it back to the “inanimate object love” because I don’t really have anything to say about DOMA that hasn’t already been said before.

    Last February, I randomly stumbled on a documentary called “Married to the Eiffel Tower,” which talks about women who love inanimate objects (including crossbows, an amusement park ride, fences, bridges, and, of course, the Eiffel Tower). It WAS online but the video I had has been taken down… but if any of you are able to get your hands on it, it’s pretty interesting.

    But, then again, this website says that the film is denounced by many Objective-Sexuals because it sensationalized it: http://www.objectum-sexuality.org/

    … maybe it’s not so rare after all.

  35. Andrew B says:

    Duncan, #33, false dichotomy. Marriages are not “about” either love or property. Two people get married when they wish to make a long-term, potentially lifelong, commitment to share their lives. Why can’t they do that without getting the state involved, I hear you asking? Part of the answer certainly has to do with property. (I don’t even want to get started on “love”, except to observe that the claim that marriage has nothing to do with love is silly.) But there are other legal privileges that attach to marriage, e.g. the immigration issues that have been mentioned here more than once, as well as issues like medical decision-making and all the issues that surround child raising. I’m not particularly in favor of marriage as a solution to these questions, but to reduce marriage to love or property is really to miss most of the point.

  36. steve macdonald says:

    Your vet makes house calls? That must cost a fortune.

    As a lifelong fan of science fiction and all things Trek, my hopes for the film were raised even higher by the uniformly positive press reviews. I was very disappointed to find myself very disappointed by two shortcomings:

    First, was was watching these young actors consciously trying to imitate the physical mannerisms and vocal patterns of the original Trek cast members.  By the gods, nobody should have to begin their acting career doing a William Shatner impersonation.  Once I realized that’s what they were doing, it became painful to watch.

    Second, the holes in the logic were big enough to fly a starship through. As I read somewhere, “The bad guy was pissed because a star explodes and destroys his home-world. Gets knocked back in time, eventually captures Spock and Spock’s ship and the stuff he needs to prevent a star from exploding. He’s got something like a hundred years, the fastest ship ever and the stuff to prevent his tragedy. He goes out for revenge. Doesn’t fix the star, doesn’t save his race. Just revenge preemptively. Stupid.”

    However, I am a sentimental sap, and when the closing credits burst on the screen accompanied by the theme song from the old TV show, I admit it brought a tear to my eye.  One of several throughout the film. (I always cry at movies, even comedies. That’s why I have to go alone.)

    Here’s a fascinating review of the film from a gay point of view: Link:  http://the-panopticon.blogspot.com/2009/05/do-gay-martians-have-right-to-marry.html

  37. Suz (Bklyn) says:

    And now we have the Obama administration extending federal benefits to domestic partners.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/06/16/obama_intends_to_extend_federa.html?hpid=topnews

  38. Rosa says:

    I’m usually just a lurker but I have to say I was so shocked AB by your casual dismissal of the meaning of the DOJ brief defending DOMA that I had to materialize and say so. And of course, comparing individual rights with mass brutality and repression makes the former seem trivial compared to the suffering of the latter. But isn’t that the point? It is not an either or: we should aspire to individual equality and social justice, marriage equality and national health care, bread and roses – you get my gist.
    But what surprises – and troubles – me in reading the always thoughtful and interesting community commentary, is the reluctance of practically all of the commentators to really confront what Obama is doing here: he has made a calculated political determination that the LGBT community is politically expendable. And yes, it flies completely in the teeth of his soaring campaign rhetoric and promises. And given a rather scathing DTWOF column about the Democratic presidential primaries, in which the absolute best that Hillary Clinton got was being compared to boring beige, and the worst was – well, really bad, but let’s just say the worst was being called a calculated political opportunist and a hard-hearted liar, I’d be curious AB if you’d like to re-evaluate not only past hopes, but also perhaps a current willingness to turn a blind eye to some of Obama’s less attractive qualities and actions. Just because Andrew Sullivan was one of the first to out the DOJ’s really bad brief, as in gratuitously bad and not nuetral legal arguments, doesn’t mean that the analysis is wrong – or unimportant.

  39. Renee S. says:

    Hey gang…check it out, Obama is now offering benefits for federally employed same-sex partners, but only after gay fundraisers withdrew their support (which translates as $$$$) for an upcoming DNC event.
    Let’s keep turning up the heat!

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090617/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_obama_gay_benefits

  40. Renee S. says:

    oops, sorry Suz Brooklyn, I posted before I saw your post. Sorry for the redundancy.

  41. Ian says:

    Loved the video. I’m so impressed with the vet as I’ve never seen anyone open a cat’s mouth like that! Hopefully the Doc didn’t need the vet after his titanic confrontation with his Snake-Nemesis?

    HRT probably already knows this, but a common solution to the blackfly problem on beans is to spray the plants with (eco-friendly) soapy water, and when the plants are tall enough, nip out the growing tip of the plant, as that’s where they lay their eggs.

    On the marriage thing – has anyone forgotten Bill Clinton? Another charismatic prez who promised much, disappointed many and actually signed DOMA. Seems like we’ve been here before … Which doesn’t help the problem now but makes me wonder why people are so surprised.

  42. grrljock says:

    Rosa (#38) – ‘wild applause’

    Sigh. In my 20’s, I used to think that the issue of same-sex marriage was a rather quaint side dish in the full menu of the fight for full equality. Fast forward 20 years, and here I am, married (we snuck it in 5 days before the Prop 8 vote), with a kid, a cat, and a dog. Being a foreign national myself, I also get how same-marriage can be a hugely important fight for us.

    Anyway, I guess my point is that there is a time and place for everything. And Ian, (#41) I do remember Bill Clinton and the healthcare, DADT, DOMA, and welfare debacles. Obvious to me why I wear my cynicism as a shield.

    Randomly: I was disappointed by the lets-not-make-waves style of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s senate career, but it seems that she’s regained her mojo. Good on her!

  43. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L (#26)

    Hmmm… I can imagine equal time from your dog…

    “My 175 pound human took me to the vet today. My human thinks I’m silly for hiding under the chair. I think my human is envious because there aren’t any chairs big enough for a six foot tall human to hide under in the doctor’s office. I got poked, prodded, and got a shot somewhere I’d rather not mention. Oh, and the vet weighed me, and I do NOT weigh 54 pounds. And while I might be a bit on the tubby side, it’s not polite for my human to always introduce me as a 54 pound harrier hound. I’ve got a name. Sandy. Use it. Also, that’s not fat, that’s solid dog you’re looking at. At least I don’t need glasses like my human does. Now where’s my Greenie for putting up with the vet?”

  44. Kate L says:

    hairball,

    You know me all too well. That WAS you in the grocery store, telling me to put down the bacon!

  45. Scarlet Pimpernel says:

    Kat (#22) said:
    (they can’t be climaxes if they keep happening, right?)

    Oh yes they can. 😉

    Changing the subject, I wish I had something coherent to contribute to the discussion on DOMA. But the implications are too scary and depressing and angering for me to think too much about right now.

    My partner and I live in her country (the Netherlands) and not mine (the US) because here we can legally stay together. This means, however, that I have been unable to be with my family during the (very) recent illness and death of my favorite uncle. From my sister I have heard about some of the legal hassles his partner (my other favorite uncle) has been having to face in the middle of his grief.

    I really do understand, and agree with, those who say that same-sex marriage is not the most pressing issue the planet is facing at the moment. But same-sex marriage is a huge issue in my life, and in the lives of my family members, especially right now. That’s why I can’t think too hard about Obama and DOMA at the moment.

    That’s all I wanted to say.

  46. Acilius says:

    If gender-neutral marriage “is not the most pressing issue the planet is facing at the moment,” that’s all the more reason to take Mr O to task for selling out on it. The more pressing the issue, the more powerful the interests that contend with each other over it, and the more likely those interests are to wreak havoc if they are unsatisfied. So if gender neutral marriage really were “the most pressing issue the planet is facing at the moment,” then we could assume that a compromise might be the only way to keep powerful interests from a disastrous clash, even a world war. That compromise might have to be something grubby and unprincipled.

    But if Mr O were to take an unyielding stand in favor of gender neutral marriage, which he in fact endorsed in 1996, what would it cost the world? What would it even cost him? Is there really a single vote he can gain by a stunt like this? It’s a real blot on his record, a gratuitous insult to same sexers and to everyone who believes in equality.

  47. Acilius says:

    Oh, I would rather spend two hours watching a continuous loop of Dr Winnicott’s battle with the snake than watch the new STAR TREK movie.

  48. Gabi B. says:

    I’m a Generations girl so I can’t get behind seeing a movie about Kirk.

  49. deb says:

    girl, we need to get you a longer watering wand. ;~}

  50. CJ says:

    Re: Star Trek Movie
    Saw it yesterday, found is worse than I feared. Didn’t think to apply Alison’s rule, but true, it barely meets it.
    I say, its a run-of-the-mill special effects war film where young men save their home (more or less). Roddenberry’s ashes must be spinning at warp speed.

    The German gouvernment is thinking about changing the transsexualism act and remove the clause that after the final sex-adapting operation married people are divorced automatically. Not sure if this will really become law though, elections are not very far off.

  51. Kat says:

    Scarlett,
    HA!!!! Touché!

  52. Janine M says:

    @ Duncan (33):

    “I did see one clip where she gleefully repeated Bush-Obama talking points on Iran; like many liberals, she has no evident objection to US violence and imperial power.”

    I found myself curious about this, because while Rachel is no anarcho-progressive, I still find myself enjoying her perspective on many things. I can’t recall her ever parroting the notion that we should bomb the hell out of Iran, or that it’s a good thing that “all options are on the table.” She’s certainly, and justifiably, criticized Iran for being a theological monstrosity that crushes women and political dissidents under its heel, though…

  53. Alex the Bold says:

    Oh is there anything as adorably contradictory as a cat — with a mouthful of needleteeth — looking like it’s miserable? “Oh, she made me open wide for a look at my gums. I do not like this. I am so helpless.”

    Good kitty.

  54. Pam says:

    Thanks for the recap. I was gonna comment, maybe Obama “really can’t get too worked up about DOMA” either. So someone has to.

  55. Jan Passion says:

    Michele Tulis was OUR vet for 12 years when we lived in Chittenden County! Fun to see her again, tending to your little darlin’ And didja ever figure out why those birds were so loud? And did the snake survive the cat’s curiosity? Blessings from CA! Jan

  56. gh says:

    @Janine M (#52):

    Yes, & Maddow worked institutional racism into a recent show. I really like it when people on TV make social systems visible, no matter whether they’re anarcho-progressives or not…well, okay, I’d probably *prefer* anarcho-progressives, but…still and all.