Also, I would by that children’s book about the leaf.
I love the latest article in The Awl, “I Am An Object Of Internet Ridicule, Ask Me Anything“. It’s about a typewriter busker who ended up getting labeled as a hipster in an Internet meme. For one thing, I dig typewriter buskers.
It’s this weird quirk of mine that I’m opposed to threats of violence against strangers, simply because of their fashion, beer and bicycle choices, no matter how strange those choices may be. The post in The Awl chronicles what it’s like to be on the receiving end of such threats, and reminds us that people doing weird things (like God-effing-forbid, taking a typewriter out in public) often do them for perfectly understandable reasons. Personally, I take an even more radical position that I don’t think people should be bullied for weirdness, even if there’s absolutely no rationale for their fashion crimes. If only the people posting their hatred of hipsters could devote that passion to fighting climate change or fixing the economy. But no, those are not issues they feel affect them personally, not in the way a guy with clunky glasses, shorts, and a typewriter does. I mean, WHO GAVE THAT GUY THE RIGHT TO SIT IN A PARK WITH A TYPEWRITER?
Before you call the lynch mob though, I ask that you please read the articles I’ve posted on this. Maybe some reason can be talked into you hipster haters before your pitchfork and torches army burns down the whole village.
In a recent segment on The Daily Show Jon Stewart notes the contrast between hackers and potheads whom the DOJ targets and the big banks that continue to be prosecution proof. He leads into this with a segment that compares the Obama administration’s words to their action in their commitment to freedom of the press.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
The LULz just keeping coming over a juxtaposition of news clips that no other news source would put together. You get news stories about: the prosecution of state-run marijuana shops, a man who faces twenty-five years for hacking a Taylor Swift article, and otherwise boring C-Span clips of the coverage of the DOJ’s attempts to find a bank they can prosecute. This isn’t news, it’s political commentary with jokes. What distinguishes political commentary from news is that it goes beyond stating facts, it combines facts to suggest new ideas.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Priorities USA – Too Big to Jail|
Thirty years ago, Jon Stewart’s role would have been filled by a columnist, nestled below Doonsebury on the back of the Opinion section. But Jon Stewart doesn’t have to state his facts. With the power of video to show you, rather than tell you, the news-makers hang themselves with their own words.
Most of what he says are jokes; the commentary is in the juxtaposition itself. This is what The Daily Show does best. Where the newspaper columnist of yore would paint a picture with facts and statistics, they make a collage of news clips that, alone, would be the tripe of another news day but together emphasize the hypocrisy, folly, or failure of their target. He doesn’t have to say that the administration’s targeting of journalists and sources goes against their stated values, he can prove it by showing clips of Obama’s words contrasting with his actions. Likewise, by showing a bunch of clips wherein the DOJ passes out prison sentences to hackers and potheads while those who caused the bank crisis go free, he can let the condemnations go unsaid. The video clips say it all, leaving him to make a joke of the irony.
They don’t have to do this. Nothing about The Daily Show requires political analysis. When it began, it was little more than a half-hour competitor to Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update.” If you’re old enough to remember the show Not Necessarily the News you know that jokes can be thrown over a news show without giving analysis too. But it’s often the case that while Jon Stewart is making Jew jokes and funny faces, the clips his team puts together are making astute political arguments that can make you angry and make you laugh at the same time. Any given episode of The Daily Show inspires more pathos than an entire season of The Cosby Show. As it should, because you begin to think, hey I listened to CNN all morning and nothing hit me as hard as that four minute segment on The Daily Show.
Following this is an equally brilliant segment wherein Jason Jones interviews a conservative lobbyist who was a victim of the IRS’s recent political targeting. Then it’s a Physics chat with Morgan Freeman. Here’s the full episode: The Daily Show with Morgan Freeman 5-23-2013.
This morning the 9th Circuit Court overturned Prop 8, the proposition that outlawed gay marriage in California. There was one dissenting opinion from Judge Randy Smith. He argued that traditional marriage can be harmed by changing the definition to include same-sex couples. I’d like to argue the opposite: opposing gay marriage harms the sanctity of traditional marriage.
When I was dating women, marriage was never a possibility. To take the relationship to the next level was to move in together, and in typical lesbian fashion that happened pretty quickly. We didn’t give any thought to whether we wanted to be together for all of eternity because we’d known since the time we came out of the closet that that wasn’t an option. If being queer meant being swallowed in a lake of fire, so be it. We’d accepted it.
Now I’m in an entirely hetero-normative relationship. One man, one woman. And guess what? I still don’t think about marriage. I know that it’s an option, but I don’t fantasize about wedding gowns and bridal showers like some of my straight friends do. To them, marriage has always been the measure of love, because that’s what people do when they love each other. To prove they love each other. But it is hard to believe in the sanctity of marriage when you’ve been in love, and done just fine without it.
But that’s a young person’s game. What every queer wants, even a Godless heathen like myself, is equal rights. The right to leave our pension to our partner, the right to visit them in the hospital, the right to add them to our health insurance, the right to file jointly on our taxes, all of the rights that straight couples get when they sign that piece of paper. Most Americans, even those who support the sanctity-of-marriage argument, recognize this as an injustice that should be rectified. Arguing against giving queer couples the same rights as married couples is a losing argument. Too many people saw If These Walls Could Talk II I suppose, or they have a gay friend, or they get their hair cut by a friendly-but-opinionated gay stylist. Over and over statistics show that the younger generation has no problem with gay people, thinks they aren’t going to stop being gay just because you guilt them, and believes they deserve equal rights.
Enter civil unions. Civil unions seem like the perfect compromise to keep our grubby, queer, little hands off your precious wedding rings. But it seems obvious to me that civil unions are only going to further destroy the sanctity of marriage. Let me tell you why. Continue reading