A gleam of sunshiny sanity from SCOTUS

From Chief Justice Roberts concerning the overturn of DOMA:

“The Court does not have before it, and the logic of its opinion does not decide, the distinct question whether the States . . . may continue to utilize the traditional definition of marriage.”

Better words could not describe it.

UPDATE: Proposition 8 is overturned based on standing. So here is the legal picture:


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Why I love romantic realism in art


I live in the world as it is. That is why naturalistic art bores me. I want to experience what might be.

That’s why I read so much speculative fiction, and why I enjoy Turner, and Rodin, and Conrad, and Doestoevsky, and Dickens  — the best of such artists show us what the world could be, or what it should be, or what we dread it to be.

Jumping into space


There is only one word for this achievement:


My favorite moment was watching the gondola door roll out of the way, and there is space RIGHT THERE IN YOUR FACE!

“And you knew who you were then/Girls were girls and men were men”

As Dan Savage urges all his readers, “blog this!” everywhere.

No sooner said than done.

Archie: Well, who the hell wants people like that teaching our kids?! I’m sure God don’t! God’s sittin’ in judgment!

Edith: Well, sure he is, but he’s God. You ain’t!Archie, listen, you wouldn’t want to be the cause of somebody losin’ their job! Archie, she’s all alone in the world now and she’s got nobody to take care of her like I have. And she can’t help how she feels. And she didn’t hurt you, so why should you wanna hurt her? Archie, I can’t believe you’d do anything that mean.

(Emphasis Dan’s and mine.)

“Thus endeth the lesson. So mote be it!”

Our local Catholic archbishop, His “Excellency” John Nienstedt, recently hosted a meeting of Catholic muckymucks and representatives of hate groups such as NOM — all in the name of supporting the upcoming Minnesota amendment vote permanently banning same-sex marriage in the state.

Here’s what Minnesota Viking’s player Chris Kluwe has to say about this:

Millions of children grow up raised in the Catholic faith. Some of these children will be gay, through no choice of their own, but because of how God created them. What does it say to those children when the head of their religion in this state, a man who claims to “explain and defend the teaching of the Church because I have been ordained to do so and I believe those teachings with all my heart”, a man acting under the direct auspices of the Pope himself, tells them that they can’t be as worthy as everyone else, even though they believe in the teachings of Jesus? What will these children think, as they suffer the barbed insults of their classmates and teachers; I ask you, sir, what will these children think as they are belittled and tormented due to teachings you espouse? What judgment will be passed on your soul when yet another poor child reaches for the knife or the noose to end his or her earthly torment due to your example?

Do you presume to speak for God, Archbishop Nienstedt? Will you tell these children, faithful children who attend Sunday school and earnestly pray every day, that they are somehow lessened in God’s eyes? Will you grasp that millstone, Archbishop Nienstedt, grasp it all the way to the bottom, clutching at the heavy weight of earthly power and influence even as it drags you down?

Hear the brother preach, folks!

“Ya wanna see ‘grassroots’? Here’s ya some goddamn grassroots!”

I’m live-blogging at Minneapolis’ Big Gay Race this morning.

For haters that claim that they represent the majority of Minnesotans by spitting in the face of our gay friends and neighbors (and in my case, a gay son who’s defending our country), here are pictures of real grassroots.



I don’t see 6000 “vote for traditional marriage” folks having fun together and gathering to raise money and awareness for what they believe in.

Perhaps that’s the real difference.

“Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it’s because I’m afraid, and he gives me courage.”

The second trailer for The Hobbit is out. Get ready for another fine dose of Tolkien brought to life!

One hell of a blow for freedom of speech from Chris Kluwe

From Deadspin, quote in toto because that’s the only possible way I could do it:

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has spoken out in favor of a Maryland ballot initiative that would legalize gay marriage. Yahoo has published a letter that Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. wrote last week to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, urging him to “inhibit such expressions from your employee.” This is Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe’s response to Burns.

Dear Emmett C. Burns Jr.,

Chris Klewe

I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland’s state government. Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level. The views you espouse neglect to consider several fundamental key points, which I will outline in great detail (you may want to hire an intern to help you with the longer words):

1. As I suspect you have not read the Constitution, I would like to remind you that the very first, the VERY FIRST Amendment in this founding document deals with the freedom of speech, particularly the abridgment of said freedom. By using your position as an elected official (when referring to your constituents so as to implicitly threaten the Ravens organization) to state that the Ravens should “inhibit such expressions from your employees,” more specifically Brendon Ayanbadejo, not only are you clearly violating the First Amendment, you also come across as a narcissistic fromunda stain. What on earth would possess you to be so mind-boggingly stupid? It baffles me that a man such as yourself, a man who relies on that same First Amendment to pursue your own religious studies without fear of persecution from the state, could somehow justify stifling another person’s right to speech. To call that hypocritical would be to do a disservice to the word. Mindfucking obscenely hypocritical starts to approach it a little bit.

2. “Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment, and excitement.” Holy fucking shitballs. Did you seriously just say that, as someone who’s “deeply involved in government task forces on the legacy of slavery in Maryland”? Have you not heard of Kenny Washington? Jackie Robinson? As recently as 1962 the NFL still had segregation, which was only done away with by brave athletes and coaches daring to speak their mind and do the right thing, and you’re going to say that political views have “no place in a sport”? I can’t even begin to fathom the cognitive dissonance that must be coursing through your rapidly addled mind right now; the mental gymnastics your brain has to tortuously contort itself through to make such a preposterous statement are surely worthy of an Olympic gold medal (the Russian judge gives you a 10 for “beautiful oppressionism”).

3. This is more a personal quibble of mine, but why do you hate freedom? Why do you hate the fact that other people want a chance to live their lives and be happy, even though they may believe in something different than you, or act different than you? How does gay marriage, in any way shape or form, affect your life? If gay marriage becomes legal, are you worried that all of a sudden you’ll start thinking about penis? “Oh shit. Gay marriage just passed. Gotta get me some of that hot dong action!” Will all of your friends suddenly turn gay and refuse to come to your Sunday Ticket grill-outs? (Unlikely, since gay people enjoy watching football too.)

I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They won’t even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population—rights like Social Security benefits, child care tax credits, Family and Medical Leave to take care of loved ones, and COBRA healthcare for spouses and children. You know what having these rights will make gays? Full-fledged American citizens just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?

In closing, I would like to say that I hope this letter, in some small way, causes you to reflect upon the magnitude of the colossal foot in mouth clusterfuck you so brazenly unleashed on a man whose only crime was speaking out for something he believed in. Best of luck in the next election; I’m fairly certain you might need it.

Chris Kluwe

P.S. I’ve also been vocal as hell about the issue of gay marriage so you can take your “I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing” and shove it in your close-minded, totally lacking in empathy piehole and choke on it. Asshole.

Couldn’t have said it better if I’d had a gun to my head. I take back everything bad I’ve thought about American football in the last week or so.

I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but there is someone’s football jersey I want!

(I had to look up “fromunda”. Yeeechh.)

Another measure of worth: which one would *you* want as a neighbor?

You want to see a distillation of the differences between the modern Republican and Democratic political parties?

Just listen to the ladies:

There’s a world of difference between “we had to sell our stock investments to stay in school” and “our [Michelle and her brother] sick father took out personal loans to help ensure that our student grants and loans got the tuition paid”.

A world of difference.

“The basis of that disagreement is her belief that her relationships are intrinsically better than ours.”

Owldolatrous has written one of the finest pieces I’ve ever read on the web about supremacy and social attitude. And it’s written in one of my favorite literary forms — a fable. Specifically, it’s a continuation of the story of the Mouse and the Lion:

The Mouse enjoyed the Lion’s regal nature and comparatively calm existence, and it was fun telling his fellow mice that he was friends with the King of the Jungle. 

Every eleven years, the time came around for the Kingdom’s Ball. And, as King, it was the Lion’s job to host it. 

He invited everyone, even the animals that always ruined the party (the Rhinoceros always trampled up the floors, the Salmon drank like a fish, and the Kangaroo always slipped some of the good silver into her pouch)–everyone, that is, except the Mouse. 

The Mouse was understandably confused. “Why am I not invited?” he asked the Lion. 

“Mice are never invited to these things. It’s a rule,” explained the Lion. 

“But you’re King of the Jungle. You can change the rules,” the Mouse replied. 

“I can’t make an exception for you just because you’re my friend.”

“But you are making an exception of me. I’m the only one not invited!”

“Listen,” the Lion said. “Let’s just let this go. I’m not as popular a king as I used to be, and I need this to go well.”

“I want to know why I can’t come. Tell me! Tell me!” 

“Because you disgust them!” roared the Lion.

Read the entire essay. It’s a doozy, and it’s dead-bang right.

“You want a miracle??! Okay, *here’s* a damn miracle!”

For those who aren’t aware (or those who don’t want to be), the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity touched down on the Red Planet in a flawless way early this morning:

For those who praise Nature (or God or whatever supernatural force they prefer) and damn mankind for its achievements, I have but three words:


And the best comment about Curiosity so far today?

Terpsichore occasionally makes me cry

One of the great jewels in the crown of American singers, performing an unlikely song that meshes with his life so well that tears well up in my eyes when I hear it.