"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
Mitt Romney once celebrated gay pride weekend when he was running to be the governor of liberal Massachusetts, but now he is running for the Republican nomination for president, and so he does not like to talk about his shameful history of tolerance (or at least willingness to pander to a potential constituency). But at a recent New Hampshire town hall, Sam Stein reports, the audience peppered Romney with questions about AIDS funding and gay marriage, and Romney did not seem thrilled. Still, he has a great proposal to completely defuse the entire gay marriage debate in a way that will surely please everyone.
“What I would support is letting people who are of the same gender form, if you will, partnership agreements,” he replied. “If they want to have a partnership with someone else and have, as a result of that, such things as hospital visitation rights and similar benefits of that nature.”
Partnership agreements! (If you will!) How will these “partnership agreements” differ from civil unions? Well, “civil unions” were the separate-and-unequal legal compromise invented to grant gay couples certain rights without allowing them to make the magical word “marriage” all gay, but even that compromise is too much for the anti-gay religious right, so Mitt Romney invented some other third thing that sounds even less marriage-y.
Romney’s history with gay marriage has been a bit all-over-the-place (he opposed marriage and civil unions, then strategically supported civil unions, then backed a gay marriage ban), but one thing that has always remained constant is his skill at employing emotion-free corporate language to describe your human romantic pairing choices.
Mitt Romney tolerates your decision to pursue a same-gender personal merger, non-heterosexual citizen. Romney, his female contractual partner, and their independent subsidiary offspring enjoy friendship-based personal contact with many similarly romantically situated entities. Please consider contributing your support as an American representative democracy shareholder to his campaign.
Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @pareeneMore Alex Pareene.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)