Friday, March 31, 2006

And This Is News?

Here's the headline in the New York Times: "Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer."

Here's the link.

Now, someone please tell me why this is news.

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Religious History?

It has been suggested (I don't have the citation at hand, but if needed, I'll look it up) that the Orestia signalled a change in Greek justice. The gods stepped in and prevented the Furies from exacting blood revenge upon Orestes, instead opting for a "trial" which would impose justice.

Further, Jesus is sometimes credited--the interpretation is valid, see John's "I am the Way..."--with a transition from the bloodiness of revenge of the Old Testament to--what? forgiveness?

It's time for Islamic scholars to re-evaluate the basic intent of their early writings, composed specifically by and for the 6th and 7th centuries, and interpret those intents for the 21st century. Blood revenge is clearly, looking at religious history, not the will of any deity.

Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Ersatz Gays?

Over at Gay Patriot, there's s posting about favorite movie Westerns. (By the bye--Bruce, GayPatriot, says he has 3 "favorites." definition, isn't "favorite" limited to one?)

However, perusal of many entries indicates something which I have suspected for a while: the possibility of ersatz gays--some non-gay types posing as gays.

Evidence: not a single musical among the named (and one went so far as to write "James Dean's Giant" as though Hudson, Taylor, Stevens, et al., had nothing to do with it)!

So, visit them if you must (what a laugh--very few visits here to find out about visiting there [last count: 0]), but add Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Paint Your Wagon. The presence of musicals, then, makes the list officially "gay."

(By the way, I don't post this at GP; their sense of humor, y'know.)

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Round up the sheep

Brokeback Mountain is nearing the end of its run here in the Coachella Valley. As it did in most places, the film made an impact. There was a lot of discussion, and the contretemps over the merits of Crash as "best picture" will continue for a long time. Adherents of the values of both pictures will certainly not let the issue rest. (It's too much fun!)

While we're at it, there has been some punditry from some who say that The Passion of the Christ was "robbed" last year at the Oscars. They point out the fact that Gibson's paean to his father's brand of reactionary Catholicism (is that a touch of bias?) made much more money than Brokeback ever will.

Yes. The money factor, however, does not address the cinematic excellence factor. Stripped of the emotional content of the film's target audience--a sort of "faith based" constituency--The Passion is not very impressive as cinematic art.

Probably, though, Mr. Gibson wasn't concerned about art then, and he certainly isn't concerned about my opinion now.

Go figure.

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Monday, March 13, 2006

A Disappointment on a Beautiful Day

David Brooks did it again. He disappointed. His column of March 12, 2006, trashes Senator Clinton.

"News?" you think.
No, but disappointing nevertheless.

Here are some quotes: "Clinton, though, joined the ranks of the nakedly ambitious demagogues."
"All of these statements[about UAE port issue] were deliberately misleading, since there was never any question of ceding sovereignty or security. They played to the rawest form of xenophobia."

Republicans also "insisted," "charged," and "roared;" but only Clinton, Brooks seems to be saying, "... is happy to be a crude partisan, and egg on prejudice and paranoia."

What Mr. Brooks might be doing is warming up for the 2006 New York senatorial race. If so, his partisanship, never in doubt, is quite likely to emulate the swamp crud of his fellows over at the "F" network.

That would be a sad waste of a mind which at times indicates a judiciousness sorely lacking in "conservative" punditry.

Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Accuracy in Media?

This from the Riverside Press-Enterprise of March 11:

In reporting on Roger Ebert's visit to Rancho Mirage, the paper carried a column with the following:

Headline: "Critic: 'Crash' a better picture"

Actual quote: "It just may be that some people thought "Crash" was a better picture."

Yes. That's a nit. Is it, though, indicative of haste? Or carelessness? Or bias? Or? Or?

One thing for sure: readers must read carefully and thoroughly. Otherwise, our affinity for bumper sticker substitutes for philosophy might affect our decision making processes.

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Ah, Rodney. Where are you when we need you?

Just got off Gay Patriot and Huffington Post. Tsk. Such invective hurled at fellow Americans.

Why can't we get along?

Sphere: Related Content

We Are Everywhere--And We're Thoughtful

A House of Representatives committee voted, by a large majority, to prevent the UAE's take-over of administration of some U.S. ports.

Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona correctly stated the UAE brouhaha has virtually nothing to do with port security, and he voted against the bill in committee.

Kolbe is one of the handful of gay members of Congress.

Good for Mr. Kolbe. It's time we stop passing feel-good-but-worthless legislation.

Sphere: Related Content

Monday, March 06, 2006

For all the wrong reasons

If you were able to invite either Truman Capote or Ennis del Mar to dinner, which would you choose? How about your mother? Your father? Your "funny uncle"?

Perhaps the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences found itself in that position last night. Which of those would be an easier dinner guest? Which would entertain the folks the most? Which could be metaphorically treated as a Maltese lap dog?

The Academy invited Capote, and tossed him a treat.

Not to take anything away from Philip Seymour Hoffman's performance, but Truman Capote would be the easiest of the two to have around. He was so far from the mainstream of social behavior that he could be easily dismissed after the entertainment was finished. Hoffman had the mannerisms and the voice down pat. He very well "mirrored" the reality of the character.

Ennis del Mar, on the other hand, is not so easily dismissed. He is soft spoken, masculine, seething with inner turmoil. He is self-deprecating, accepting of the hand he has been dealt. He does not shy from responsibility. Annie Proulx' character hits too close to the realities of the mundane for it to be easily accepted by the ephemeral "red state" mentality--so far. Heath Ledger had no primary source as did Hoffman. His creation came from his own imagination and life experiences.

I'd invite del Mar. I would be very uncomfortable with Capote. My father would've invited Capote and been very entertained and wouldn't have given the man's sexual orientation a second thought. He wouldn't have understood how del Mar could possibly be a homosexual.

Hoffman did an excellent job; Ledger's was just as good and much more creative.

Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Brokeback Crashed?

On March 6, 2006, and on March 7, 2006, there will be a few comments in the media about why Crash won best movie Oscar.

By March 8, 2006, Crash will fade into history, and Brokeback Mountain will remain in the cultural discussion for months, if not years, to come.

Congratulations to Crash. It is a very compelling film experience.

Sphere: Related Content

What's in a name?

I've discovered a fun website, Gay Patriot, which is sponsored by Gay Republicans.

Yesterday they discovered my other blog, Take That, Right Wing Nut Scum. A couple of the participants on that blog's comments took exception.


Do you suppose they took exception to Ann Coulter's recent book which title includes "Treason: Liberal Treachery..."?

One of the difficulties one has in dealing with true believers of any stripe is handling their rigidity. I just roll my eyes just about every time Ann Coulter gets beyond "Hi" to her fellow panelists or hosts. Certainly I do not take umbrage at her title. Titles get attention. It's her argument and rationale which I find distressing.

Anyway. Or, as gman would say...well, you know what he would say.

Sphere: Related Content

If the 2nd Amendment protects private ownership of...

...magazine-loaded rifles, why doesn't the 14th Amendment protect marriages between two men or two women?

Amendment XIV of the Constitution, Section 1, reads, in part: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within the jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Doubtless at some point, on a matter different from the current marriage debate, the Supreme Court held that since the 14th Amendment was debated specifically to protect the rights of newly-freed slaves especially in the South, the Amendment must be narrowly construed in application in subsequent matters.

That argument rather sounds like the Clintonesque "it depends on what is is."

Would anyone debate the 2nd Amendment's 1789 context as not being applicable to 2006? Who, exactly, would be in favor of private ownership of bazookas?

Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Um...Do Non-Gay Women Really...

...engage in sex while retaining the modesty of a brassiere?

That happened regularly on Sex and the City, and it happened last night on the premier of Conviction.

At least sex on NYPD Blue was a bit more realistic in terms of clothing/no clothing. While there was a lot of rolling around, and quite a bit of butt shots, at least there wasn't the strange visual of a woman experiencing orgasm while wearing a bra.

Granted, my experience with women in the throes of orgasm is limited (zero, if I remember correctly...what did/do I know about how that happened?), at least during the attempts there wasn't a bra doing its bit of inhibiting.

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, March 03, 2006

Speaker Pelosi? Speed Bumps Ahead

Pundits are discussing the prospects of the Democrats taking control of the House in the November, 2006 elections.
Don't count on it yet. The President might have bad polling numbers on March 3, but a lot can happen between now and the first Tuesday in November--November 7.
For instance, here in Palm Springs, Mary Bono is very popular, and all politics are local. She'll be re-elected easily.
Unless Texans come to their senses, or Georgians stop smoking whatever they're smoking, the Republicans are going to scare the voters into another squeaker.

You never get an argument from me that the educational system of the U.S. is screwing students; just look at election results.

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ah, Ike. Where are you when we need you?

The first Republican president of my memory was Eisenhower. My first presidential vote was for Kennedy, the second for Goldwater, and the third for Nixon. I pulled for two out of three. Actually, I pulled for only one, the other two were desperate votes.

What surprises me now is the near 180 degree shift of the Republicans. Often I voted for Republicans because I thought they would take care of my money with the same caution I thought they gave to the care of their own money.

Not anymore.

Gov. Schwarzenegger wants to sell a massive amount of bonds to spend on the "infrastructure" of the state. Borrowing is OK, but at what cost? How much of the state's budget will be shunted to pay the debt of these bonds? There are calls now for a reduction in state pensions. How will future legislators pay for my pension as well as those bond debts?

These guys sold their souls for a national tax cut in 2000. I don't think they've found religion in the interim.

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

False Security

The members of the California legislature are rushing to pass some bills which are designed to make penalties for crimes against children more draconian.

Protection of children is certainly a high priority, but this facet of protection is probably not very effective. Establishing harsh penalties has not ever had much of a deterrant effect on any other crime. There is not much evidence that it will be any more effective in preventing crimes against children.

This is yet another way of lawmakers responding emotionally to a problem. We should be trying to figure out how to prevent these crimes, not how to punish more severely.

Until programs designed to deal with whatever makes an individual feel driven to commit a crime against a child, no parent should feel the safety of the child is guaranteed.

Sphere: Related Content

March 1, 2006

Reading some posts on Gay Patriot makes me wonder why these people spend so much time insulting others who have differing opinions. It's rather juvenile, isn't it? Maybe not. But it's more conducive to meaningful exchange if one is not smarting from a jab or trying to create a mot to show how clever one is at the expense of the idea.

Sphere: Related Content