Updated exact wording to be (slightly) less reactionary.
There's a big to-do on Tumblr right now because Don't Ask, Don't Tell has supposedly been repealed. It's in the usual rhetoric of the internet, where you've apparently got to be angry and aggressive about your opinion or no one will listen to you.
"Hey homophobes! 'Sup? You mad? Too bad, because DADT is going to be history as soon as Obama signs the law!"
This is incorrect.
The Senate voted to repeal it. It is still law.
Even the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is warning men and women in the military not to come out, because DADT is still in effect.
If any of those doing their insipid gloating on Tumblr (could we reframe this as, say, common sense and equality and a reminder that the US still has to fight to put in practice the beliefs it was supposedly founded on, instead of what's going on right now, which is this idiotic victory party against a hated rival parted in cartoonishly broad strokes) could be arsed to read almost anything being written about this, then they'd see that this is just the next step on the road and not, as those people are explicitly stating, the end of DADT.
In order to get the repeal into law, President Obama has to observe Robert Byrd's 90 day waiting period and then obtain a written certification signed by himself, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff saying that all three have considered the recommendations in the report, that the Department of Defense has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to put the repeal into practice, and that such implementation is consistent with the standards of the Armed Forces (i.e., it won't compromise military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting).
So there is no open service until the Pentagon says they're ready to implement open service. Actually, not until 60 days after that, since there's a mandatory waiting period on this.
So no, DADT is not gone. Eventually, it will be. It finally got through both houses of Congress. But the rest of the process will take as long as our military leaders want it to take. It would be nice if it didn't take long, but there's a lot of potential there for feet-dragging.
Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy about this. It's long past time for this abomination to slide into the sunset. You know it and I know it and a majority of the country knows it. I'm often slammed for not just shutting up and letting liberals be pleased with themselves. But I point all of this out both in response to the people I see all over the internet celebrating the end of something that has yet to end, and because I just have to verbalize that the job is not done yet. DADT has been repealed. But it's still law.
Don't stop the activism. Keep this in the public eye. Don't let anyone in the government--even the President himself--tell you to shut up because DADT has been repealed and we should be happy with that because it's good enough. Do not quit until we have full certification and a hard date for implementation. Never stop fighting until the fight is won. And though another hurdle has been crossed, the race isn't over.
In a world too often satisfied with lip service and half-measures, I just thought that needed to be said.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Updated exact wording to be (slightly) less reactionary.
Friday, December 17, 2010
1. What do you add to your coffee?
Some variation on cream and sugar. Sometimes it's sugar, sometimes it's Splenda. At various times, it's cream, Half & Half, milk, or custard nog.
2. What are you reading now?
I'm reading The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski, a book I've wanted to read since high school and, for whatever reason, never got around to it. I also just finished the new, non-young adult version of Cherie Currie's Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway.
3. Do you own a gun?
No, but I keep trying to talk Becca into letting me get an air rifle or a paintball gun for when parties in the complex get too loud...
4. Are you registered to vote?
Yes. I'm not registered as either a Democrat or a Republican.
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
Not anymore; I've got a nice doctor now. I get nervous before they weigh me.
6. What do you think of hot dogs?
I love hot dogs. My favorite are Hebrew National, which I like to steam in beer or ale. We've also been occasionally getting some hot dogs that are made with Colby Jack cheese and jalapeno. Those are really good for making chili dogs.
7. Favorite Christmas Song?
"O Holy Night," Nat King Cole.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
I usually have water or Kool Aid or juice or something.
9. Can you do push ups?
Not as well as I could when I was in junior high. Unless you mean the frozen novelty that Fred Flinstone shills, in which case I can do a lot of those. I haven't in a really long time, but that's what I always used to get from the ice cream truck when I was a kid.
10. What was the name of your first boyfriend/girlfriend?
I guess Jenny was my first semi-real girlfriend. We weren't serious (but we thought we were, like all over-dramatic teenagers), but she was the first girl I went out with more than a few times and actually called my girlfriend.
11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelery?
I don't wear any. Does a watch count? Because I used to love to wear my Mickey Mouse watch. I need to replace the battery, but the woman at Wal-Mart won't do it for me. She claims it's now Wal-Mart policy that they won't change watch batteries unless the watch is a Wal-Mart watch, despite the fact the watch was bought at Wal-Mart. What the hell is a Wal-Mart watch, anyway? So at this point I'm used to just not wearing one.
12. Favorite hobby?
Music, movies, books, and making lists. I'm big on the lists. What that shows about me, I don't know.
13. Do you work with people who idolize you?
Some of the younger kids seem to be easily fooled into thinking I'm awesome.
14. Do you have ADD?
I don't think so--SQUIRREL!
15. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself?
That I'm very quick to anger. In the past, this used to manifest itself by throwing things without looking where I was throwing them, hitting things, punching holes in walls... I'm a lot calmer now, and I feel much better.
16. What’s your Middle name?
17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment.
"I can't wait for dinner."
"I'm glad it's sunny today."
"Didn't I used to have a rabbit?" (He must be sleeping in Becca's bathroom, which is his favorite place for earnest afternoon napping.)
18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday.
Nothing, nothing, and most of all, nothing.
19. Name 3 beverages you regularly drink.
Water, Kool Aid, coffee.
20. Current worry right now?
Money, bills, money, car, money, bills.
21. What side do you dress to?
What does that even mean?
22. Favorite place to be?
23. How did you bring in the New Year?
In my sleep, I think. I can't remember, but New Year's isn't really a big deal to me.
24. Where would you like to go?
Oh, lots of places. But I miss every one.
25. Name three people who will see today.
Anyone with the vision and the will, man.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
1.T.V. Show: Ever, Farscape. Currently airing, Castle.
2.Book: A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters, Julian Barnes.
3.Movie: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
4.Color: I think it's blue now. Like a midnight blue.
5.Actor: Christopher Lee
6.Actress: Greta Garbo
7.Ice Cream Flavor: Chocolate
9.Animal: African Elephant
10.Band: The Runaways
11.Singer: David Bowie
12.Food: Pizza or nachos
13.Disney Character: Donald Duck
14.Girl Name: Andromeda
15.Boy Name: Jim
Just... thank you for not being Russell.
Now let's not have another Hell's Kitchen until at least the summer so that the producers can actually go out and find people who are at least a little more competent and genuinely interested in food. Then maybe you can show us some more of the cooking every once in a while.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
A review of the films I've seen this past week.
SEX DRIVE (2008)
Okay, yeah, it's a silly, predictable movie. But it also made me laugh my ass off. I'm not going to pass it off as a great flick, but I have to be honest, I laughed harder than I thought I might. I just sort of caught it on cable and, like Eurotrip, expected nothing and was blindsided with laughter. It's about an 18 year-old virgin from outside Chicago who steals his brother's car and drives off with his friends to find his internet sweetheart. Great cameo from Seth Green as a savvy Amish man. ***1/2 stars because it made me laugh so hard. I can't defend it. But it's all about the reaction.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I can't believe it, but my Godzilla Hauiku tumblr site made Buzzfeed's list of the 60 Best New Tumblr Blogs of 2010! There's a pick-me-up during an otherwise awful time of year.
Before I even start, I want it clear to everyone that I'm not doing this post to get angry with Cal or start some kind of flame war or get anyone to take sides. Cal is one of my favorite people online, and I'm just responding to a couple of comments. But I thought I'd do it as a post because, as I was responding to a comment of his, my response started getting very long, and I thought maybe this was something I should explain in the open, since a lot of people have taken me to task for this over the years.
This week's Sunday Hottie was Kesha. Because, for some reason I cannot understand, Kesha is polarizing, I braced myself for a slew of negative comments. To my surprise, there was only one, from Cal, who said: "As far as hotties go, I find this one to be less attractive than Chloe S, or ditch pig Christina A. So I guess we have a new bottom of the barrel. But do you think brother. I am as full of shit as the next guy so what do I know."
Well, you know, this was his opinion and he was sharing, much as I'd shared my opinion on Kesha by posting her as the Sunday Hottie. He was building on an earlier comment on a different post of Chloe Sevigny, someone I personally find very beautiful, raw and unpolished in a way I find charming, but someone who I understand others do not.
I don't know why it got to me; with a post he had a few days ago about what a ditch pig he finds Christina Aguilera to be, that made three times in a week that Cal was trashing someone I found attractive, and it just spilled over into irritation.
Testily, dismissively, I commented back: "Boy, what a shitty job I'm doing of having my own taste in beauty."
Cal answered back: "Don't be like that. It's your site, you post who you want. I comment. You just have hit many of my least favorites lately. Hope you don't take offence. If you do come bash me at my site. I would love your comments. You never let me know what you think."
That's all true. I was being overly sensitive. It is my site, and I can and do post what I want. He has his opinions, I have mine, and beauty is subjective. It's an utterly ridiculous thing to be offended about, and it's something I see online all the freaking time and get utterly annoyed by: people fighting over opinions on celebrities. That's the domain of 15 year-olds, not grown men.
I've been thinking about his second comment today and trying to figure out why I got so annoyed by it. I get annoyed by that a lot on this blog, as I have in the past. I get genuinely bugged when I basically say with this blog "Here, I think this woman is pretty," and then I hear back "Anne Hathaway looks like the Joker in a wig" or "Denise Milani barely looks human" or "Christina Aguilera is a ditch pig" or "Lisa Rinna disgusts me" or "Rumer Willis is fugly." It gets to me, because sometimes it feels like it crosses the line from sharing a difference of opinion to actively tearing me down because of it. Sometimes it just comes across--in text form, where inflection is next to impossible--as a rudeness directed at me instead of some celebrity. It feels like a put-down instead of an opinion.
And, I admit, I tend to overreact because my way of thinking is that, yeah, it's my site and if you don't like something, then why should I really care? I used to let it rile me up something awful. Now I get dismissive because, well, as the saying goes--or should go--I used to care too much to give a fuck now. When I tell you I like a movie and then your only response is "Good God, you actually liked it?!" then there's really no room for discussion. Because you've been dismissive of my opinion and, then, when I'm dismissive back, you get angry with me. I don't understand how that works all the time.
But in this case, I was testy and overly sensitive, and I apologize for that, because it's a stupid thing to be testy and overly sensitive about. This is why I'm on medication, folks.
But this whole concept is why I don't comment on blogs very much any more.
Take Cal's post on his dislike of Christina Aguilera. Obviously, I disagree with him. I find Christina beautiful and talented (as a singer, at any rate). But, you know, it's his blog, it's his opinion, so what am I going to say? That he's wrong? Well, no one's opinions are wrong or right, they're just different, so calling him wrong sounds insulting. Am I going to tell him I disagree? Well, he already knows I disagree. It's not like there's anything to debate. It's not like me saying "Well, I disagree" is an interesting thing to say, is it? I think it just makes me sound like kind of an ass. If he puts up a picture of someone I find unattractive, what am I going to say? "Oh, I don't like her at all." I feel like someone else might read that the same way I tend to, and then it feels like I'm being rude to someone.
So that's why I don't comment much. Maybe I just don't have a good handle on my initial reactions some days. Even as I left that dismissive comment, I felt like it was too much and kind of pointless. But I did it anyway because, for a moment, I was annoyed and thoughtless and just reacting rather stupidly.
I'll get it someday, I hope.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Come on; after last night, I'm certainly in the mood for more Paul McCartney, and more Band on the Run. I always dug this song, and since Paul did "Band on the Run" and "Jet" last night, I thought I'd throw this one up.
What a breath of fresh air Saturday Night Live was last night. Talented host, talented musical guest (boy, ever since the divorce Paul McCartney really has gotten his sense of humor back), and a show that was fun to watch.
There were a couple of dull spots. The cold open, with Obama developing Stockholm Syndrome for the GOP, was too close to home to be funny. A funnier sketch idea would've been Obama, with a Democratic majority backing him up, letting himself get bullied by John Boehner and a bunch of goons and simply caving in because it's the easier thing to do and he wants people to think he's a nice guy. There is so much there with Obama, and SNL is so reluctant to really take him on. They have the potential to exaggerate the way he folds into a sort of easily henpecked character, and they have yet to see it.
Also, Fred Armisen's Obama impression has never been very funny. It just lays there. So it isn't surprising that the other dull spots were Armisen showcases: another Vogelchecks sketch and Sexually Speaking. Neither of these has ever been funny, and besides that, they're the same thing over and over and over. Vogelchecks make out, new person gets uncomfortable, Armisen makes impassioned speech about persecution, new person comes around, everyone makes out some more. Meh. Not funny and predictable. The sight of men kissing each other lost its apparently inherent humor value for me several lifetimes ago. Sexually Speaking is also unbearable; a semi-amusing concept that has never once gone anywhere.
But even with those irritants, the show was still the best of the season so far. Rudd is a great host, game for anything, and we got four McCartney musical performances (plus his appearance on Weekend Update, which was hilarious). This week's Julian Assange sketch was funnier and had more of a sharp satirical edge than anything the show does with President Obama. It was nice to see Jay Pharaoh in a sketch that didn't require him to play a stereotype or do a celebrity impression. It was also nice to see Abby Elliott do her Meryl Streep impression; I'd forgot she did a good one, it's been so long since we've seen it. And the show really pushed Kristen Wiig and Jason Sudeikis into the background, which was nice, as I'm pretty sick of them both.
What a highlight.