The Stranger

Indeed Bizarre

Dan Savage in NYC, uncredited photo ca. 2011.

Curtis M. Wong of Huffington Post brings us the headline, “Dan Savage Is Tied To University Of Oklahoma Racist Fraternity Scandal, FRC Pundit Claims”, and we’re just going to leave it at that, because, well, you know, it’s not that we would doubt Mr. Wong, it’s just that the lede―

The Family Research Council’s Ken Blackwell bizarrely pulled outspoken lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocate Dan Savage over into the racial controversy at University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

―is exactly accurate insofar as this really does not make any sense.

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Wong, Curtis M. “Dan Savage Is Tied To University Of Oklahoma Racist Fraternity Scandal, FRC Pundit Claims”. The Huffington Post. 12 March 2015.

The Gay Fray

Sekirei-No2-bw

Notes from the Gay Fray:

Mark the date: 28 April 2015. (Reuters)

• Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore tells judges to defy federal law. (Huffington Post)

• Is marriage equality a sign of the End Times? (Huffington Post)

• GOP presidential dreamer Ben Carson does what he does best: Open mouth, insert foot. (msnbc)

• For an encore, Dr. Carson blames the press and says, “I’m not going to really talk about that issue anymore”. (Huffington Post)

Dan Savage. Why? Because. (Slog)

― While we’re on the subject, there is also the fallout, which is well worth the savagery. (Slog)

• And something almost interesting, a right-wing sensationalist named Shoebat arguing something about Daa’ish as a component of the gay agenda. Yes, really. (Right Wing Watch)

Your War on Drugs (Cherryburst Edition)

Suicide is never funny.

Then again, if you want the detail, Oren Yaniv, et al., of New York Daily News have an article for that. Still, though, there is something much more succinct about Dan Savage’s capsule summary:

Authorities in New York City raided a maraschino cherry plant in Brooklyn looking for environmental violations because illegal runoff from the factory—maraschino red syrup and waste—was turning bees in the area red. When they spotted a false wall in the plant … the owner excused himself, went to the bathroom, and blew his brains out.

Just say 'No' to the War on Drugs.Right. Not funny. Nor is the war on drugs.

Seriously, this guy killed himself over marijuana, because, you know, it’s just like methamphetamine: “‘Underground, it was really Breaking Bad,’ said the astounded law enforcement source.”

Frankly, between growing dope and manufacturing maraschino cherries, I’d say the abuse of fruit is probably more detrimental.

Look, none of this would have happened but for the war on drugs.

This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. And this is your brain spattered all over the bathroom because there is a war on drugs.

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Yaniv, Oren, et al. “Owner of Brooklyn Maraschino Cherry company kills himself after police find huge marijuana-growing operation: sources”. New York Daily News. 24 February 2015.

The Future as Now as a Matter of Priorities

"Fellow Citizens: Now is the time to consume.  Why skimp when you deserve more?" (Detail of frame from "Ergo Proxy" episode 1, 'Pulse of the Awakening'.)

Many of us were raised in a time that looked forward to the future, to the age of angels, to the days of miracles and wonder, to the time when most of our economical problems would be solved by new and amazing technologies. Many of us actually arrived in the future. Here it is. We find ourselves in it. And it is disappointing. We no longer cure anything, as the money is in lifelong treatment. Corporations have abandoned R&D and spend their surpluses on generating more surpluses from stock buybacks. Only billionaires travel to space. And a whole generation of brilliant mathematical minds has not been spent on filling the remaining gaps in the Standard Model, our deepest understanding of the universe and its history, but in constructing models for Wall Street traders. And we do not have robots. We have instead machines that make us do the work at supermarkets.

Charles Mudede

It is always a matter of priorities.

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Image note: “Fellow Citizens: Now is the time to consume. Why skimp when you deserve more?” Detail of frame from Ergo Proxy episode 1, “Pulse of the Awakening”.)

Mudede, Charles. “MIT Graduate Develops a Program that Will End Theft at Self-Checkout Machines”. Slog. 26 February 2015.

Jonjak’s Magnificient Natural Whore Revue

You know how every once in a while, someone for some reason decides to remind you that this or that isn’t natural? You know, gay sex, a man wearing a skirt, women with unshaved legs and no man on top of her … yeah. Anyway:Detail: Illustration of bottlenose dolphin by Brian Britigan for The Stranger, 11 February 2015.

Female bottlenose dolphins use their snouts as dildos on other females. These activities don’t always coincide with a low availability of males, but no surprises there. Apparently when the ladies are bored and desperate to get off, terms such as “motherhood fantasies” or “lifelong commitment” mean absolutely nothing to them.

So if I tell you that Marti Jonjak’s article for The Stranger, on “Whores of the Animal Kingdom” only goes downhill from there, well, right.

Then again, that’s probably what makes it worth reading, and why you should keep the link at hand to deliver unto the next person ejaculating that stuff about what is and isn’t “natural”.

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Jonjak, Marti. “Whores of the Animal Kingdom”. The Stranger. 11 February 2015.

An Appeal to General Decency

I, Anonymous writes:Detail of illustration by Steven Weissman for The Stranger, 11 February 2015.

Dear worthless hipster dude who called my friend a “fat cunt”: My friend came into your bar and was overcharged. She spoke up for herself, and you called her a “fat cunt.”

The rest is pretty obvious, but click the link if you’re the sort who needs a refresher.

For the rest of us, it should suffice to say I’ll take any excuse to post a Steven Weissman illustration of, er … ah … well, yeah, a fat cunt.

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Anonymous. “I, Anonymous”. The Stranger. 11 February 2015.

A Market Symptom

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.  (Washington Times, file photo)

“Another thing that doesn’t work the way Tony Perkins would like: God’s favor. Unhinged religious conservatives like Perkins are always screaming that God punishes countries that embrace equality for LGBT people and showers blessings on countries that persecute LGBT people. But a quick look at the list of the worst places to be LGBT—Iran, Nigeria, Uganda, Russia, Cameroon—makes it clear that ‘shitty and fucked’ correlates strongly with ‘rabidly anti-queer.'”

Dan Savage

Sometimes it is enough to go with, “What he said.”

And sometimes it should be enough to do so, but it might take some explaining nonetheless.

Within that subset there are occasions when one can trade such explanation for an expression of mild exasperation as if to say, “What, you need this explained?”

Okay, that is a concession worth making on this occasion: As long as people keep sending these groups enough money to keep them in business, others will point out the dangerous, uneducated excrement they produce.

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Savage, Dan. “Tony Perkins: Same-Sex Marriage Destroys Currencies”. Slog. 16 December 2014.

Something About Justice

Detail of cartoon by Matt Wuerker, 27 November 2014 (via Daily Kos Comics)This is what it comes to. This is the problem. And no, it is not so simple as black and white.

Jenny Durkan, formerly a U.S. Attorney from Seattle, offered some insights recently, in the wake of the Ferguson Grand Jury decision to not charge Officer Darren Wilson with any crimes related to the shooting death of Michael Brown, about why it is hard to secure any sense of justice when police officers have the appearance of being criminals. “I know firsthand,” she writes, “how difficult it is to prosecute police officers.” And then she recounts a really awful period in the history of the Seattle Police Department, a force whose misconduct demanded and received federal attention, a story that is still playing out, a hyperdrama that includes the police complaining that they cannot do their jobs properly and safely without excessive force.

There comes a point at which some might argue that of course the police are going to fight for every last scrap of force, and it really is properly arguable in the context of how the laws of our society operate and intermingle with diverse customs. Trying to identify a threshold between what is tacitly known and accepted—officers can customize their incident reports, omitting or rearranging details as they please to make for a more prosecutable narrative, and the state is allowed to destroy the evidence that would support or contradict those narratives—is an abstraction both peculiar and common. It is customarily inappropriate to speak ill of the police in any terms, which is its own bizarre question insofar as we should not hold our breath for any explanation of just how one applies to become black.

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¡Godzilla! Oh, Wait … It’s Just Marriage Equality

Justice is blind ... just kidding.  No, really, did you read the Sixth Circuit ruling?  Jaded eyes, jaded eyes ....

And then there is this:

Today, November 19, U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in Montana, striking down the ban on marriage between same-sex couples in the state.Marriage Moves Forward in Montana!

The ruling is set to take effect “immediately,” the judge ruled, meaning that same-sex couples in Montana should be free to marry now.

The Attorney General said shortly after the decision that he will appeal the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Attorney General could also seek a stay from Judge Morris, but as we’ve seen time and again this month – from the 4th Circuit, from the 9th Circuit, and even from the United States Supreme Court – judges have repeatedly rejected requests for stays, because there’s no good reason to delay the freedom to marry.

(Hiott-Millis)

Dan Savage gloats, of course, but here’s the thing:

Slog’s resident trolls would erupt every time I ended a Slog post about marriage equality with “We’re winning.” They LOL’d at my delusions, they sneered at my efforts to buck up supporters of marriage equality, they trolled a little harder. They called me a cockeyedmouthed optimist. That was then. This is now: 35 states, motherfuckers. And, thanks to a “loss” before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit—the only U.S. Court of Appeals decision that hasn’t backed marriage equality—we’re headed back to the Supreme Court.

Reading through the Sixth Circuit decision against marriage equality is a fascinating exercise in depression. We knew that a decision against same-sex marriage would require some degree of juristic contortion and acrobatics, but what the court gave us was the metaphorical equivalent of ceremonial magick.

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