Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rick Rolled

Rick Warren will giving the Inaugural invocation at the Inaugural. Because he ( like many other Evangelical pastors) does not condone gay marriage, a shitstorm has ensued in the blogosphere, calling the center-liberal President a failure and worse.

Really? Somehow, pastor Lowery, a progressive Christian, has been completely overlooked as the giver of the benediction. And excuse me, but Aretha Franklin is singing, yet somehow, we care about Rick Warren?

The cornerstone of this is the crappy job HRC ran in trying to defeat Prop 8 in California and the high visibility of Evangelicals who poured money in Cali to defeat it.

The reaction that came after- the nasty racist "Well, lets blame the black Baptists" after an incomplete poll taken after the election, the readiness to not do outreach, the readiness to scream only after the fact and not treat this as the right to the pursuit of happiness and private property issue that 'gay marriage'- that marriage, period- is about- says a great deal about the LGBT movement.

It says:

1) There's a lot of white skin privilege going on.

2) There's a alot of upper class privilege going on.

3) There's a willful lack of connection to other issues going on in this country, and how focusing on marriage rights keeps the rest of the country diverted from problems.

4) Different regions where gay people live are not connected, period.

5)Many gay people think complaining loudly will get them somewhere.

6) Alot of gay people are remarkably shortsighted and foolish.

All of this is not pretty or attractive in any sort of way. Unless there is serious, truly serious discussion of issues that affects gays in real ways- DADT, maintenance of property, discrimination, white skin privilege ( sorry, it is NOT like interracial marriage nor is it like legalising marriage, thanks so much)class issues, drug and substance abuse- I am sorry, but so called gay leaders cannot be taken seriously.

That's what this election was about- taking stuff stuff seriously. And if some gay people think the way to accomplish to scream like children instead of working like adults, then you will continue to be seen childishly.

Rick Warren is not about stomping on gay rights- he has made a real connection to people about poverty and work issues. Why use that as a jumping point, and then talk about gay families and how life is much harder when they cannot even guarantee their own property will go to their loved ones in case of death?

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow and cosiness

This has been one big snow week. Snow, snow, snow. For the valley dwellers, this is something that is really rare. Unfortunately, this has happened at a time when people would be shopping for their Christmas gifts and doing last minute temp work.

Instead, you look outside, and want to stay in, making pots of soup, pans of cookies and drinking hot cocoa. Board games come out, Vince Guaraldi goes on the sound system, and friends come over for chats and walks in the snow.

Not very profitable, to be sure, but very cosy, indeed.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

One thing with James Kunstler

He means well, that JK. He writes effectively about poor planning, the pretension and overall ugliness of suburbs, and the waste of resources that they entail. But what JK does not get is the potential for suburbs to become fully functional towns of their own ( with business and shopping centers) and for larger suburban lots to have a part in become part of the urban farm movement. He fail to see the possiblity of modernism and science and plain old creativity.

Instead, Kunstler looks to a sort of modern day medievalism, where Rome has completely burnt down, all knowledge is subsumed or lost completely, and everyone will be living in localised smaller towns or city-states, and where the food is local, local, local. Everyone is well adjusted, and not greedy at all. Everyone bikes or walks or rides a horse.

The thing is, very few societies have ever lived that way- not during our most ancient days as humans, not certainly during the Empires of the Greeks, Romans, Mayans, Aztecs and Egyptians, and not now. A surplus of a crop was often traded with something else and - boom!- an economy was created. That's what humans do. As for the oil crisis and peak oil- there is no disagreement there. What Kunstler fails to understand is that our American Empire, and all the other Empires, where created before the mass utilization of petroleum. Oil crisis? Tell that to the Greeks, Romans, Hebrews and all the other Mediterrean peoples who harvested tonnes of olive oil for daily usage for thousands of years. Materialism? The Romans were greediest motherf***s ever and I do mean ever, and they ruled, nastily, for about 1000 years.

The problem is petroleum, or even how we use it. Rather, the problem is how we conceive of ourselves, our needs and our country. Our world view of how resources should and ought to be used.

Enough about peak oil, already.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Toast on Toast!

Hey Guys-

The place where I was thinking we could meet up at is Toast, which is at 5222 SE 52nd street in Portland. Here is a link to the review site on yelp and here is the review site on WWeeK's site!

So give me a holler and come on!

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