Post of the Week

Post of the Week

Published May 5, 2000 7:07PM (EDT)

Gay Politics (II)

Paul Johnson - 02:24 pm PST - May 1, 2000 - #6210 of 6541

As for the March, it's a different world than in 1993, with Clinton just elected. There's not the same sense of urgency as it was when AIDS research was underfunded and Clinton had just gotten the right hook over gays in the military. Right now it's a moment of hope (Vermont) and trepidation (Prop. 22) for the future at least for me and my friends.
We hope for a cure for AIDS, we hope for job protection, we hope to one day get married. Who knows how many people showed up (but it was a hell of a lot more than 200,000, I've covered enough rallies in my day to be able to judge a crowd) but I would have been empowered with 50,000 people or five strangers willing to admit gay is good. It was certainly an overwhelming white crowd. It's quite possible the speakers were more diverse than the audience. I know where I can find my fellow brothers, it's still not easy to be black and gay (and if I read another story in the Washington Post about how unradical it is to be gay, I'll send him to live in the rough side of Yonkers New York and see how it feels like to be called a fag every day on your way to work), many, many gay rights groups from the progressives to the conversatives and all the way back round, have trouble reaching across the racial divide. Usually you guys say something that just pisses us off. Like the anti-affirmative action wing of the gay journalist association, which comes to my mind immediately.
I can just say this, for a weekend, DC was a gay metropolis and every passing boy and girl held the prospect of liberation for love and happiness yes of course but also for freedom. With all of our voices we will tear down the walls and cielings that hold us back. And it's an empowering thought. Look at us, we're so everyday and outrageous, smart and dumb, musclebound and tubby, they can't stop us forever.
Even the men and women who stayed home and fumed was a sign of progress because 20 years ago there were no cranky men and women complaining about the lack of open process and kvetching about the Human Rights Campaign and it's marketing-oriented approach to gay rights. It's a different world. Somehow you all have to make some sort of peace with the HRC. Lobbyists of all stripes leave a bad taste in our mouth, but they are on our side, right?
I just feel for the boys I couldn't convince to come, because they were still afraid to be out. I wanted to hold their hand (okay one boy in particular but so what) on the Washington Mall and let them know it's okay, no one will hurt you, no one will call you a fag. We are a force to be reckoned with. I would have said that to him even a million people just showed up or just one boy.

Diary of a flight attendant

Home and Away
George Dallah - 07:39 pm PST - Apr 25, 2000 - #38 of 39

Who says the airlines encourage drinking? Certainly the flight attendants don't. I'd much rather have an unruly sober person on board than an unruly drunkard. Sober people generally don't try kicking out windows at 35,000 feet, and generally make "jokes" about having bombs and guns in their carry-ons much less frequently than inebriated individuals.
I should state up front that I admit a lot of nervous flyers have a tipple to calm their nerves, and there are those (myself included) that can't sleep on airplanes no matter how long the flight a drink or two will help us to nod off.
Sure there is alcohol available, but perhaps the airlines are remiss in thinking that all adults are responsible life-forms.
Some airlines state upfront somewhere (inflight magazine) that alcohol as a dehydrating effect (as does caffeinne laced beverages) and that the best thing to drink is water.
I can tell you that a lot of flight attendants would like to see a drink limit for passengers, but then we get into a war with "management" who want to keep the flying masses a point. Charter flights are the WORST. Scheduled flights are generally smoother with fewer alcohol related problems.

Stupid things that bother you...

Mothers Who Think
Anjali - 11:07 am PST - May 1, 2000 - #4769 of 4875

I apologize for going off topic but have to vent.
Stupid thing that bothers me: fundamentalist bigots and their apologists. You know, where someone repeatedly makes statements about another group of people (or even her own) that are expounded as absolute truths with no possibility for disagreement but doesn't give any evidence to prove her point other than personal experience. What, you're omniscient? Gee, and I was so sure the coming of the Messiah would be accompanied by some sort of advertising campaign.
Oh and for all you apologists: "She's just being provocative", yes, yes she is. In a Mein Kampf sort of way. Provocative does not necessarily mean intellectual. If it was, then every bar fight would be Socratic discourse. Some of her best friends are black? She's black? You're black? Is she best friends with every black on the planet? Is she the only black person on the planet? Are you the only black person on the planet? No? Then it might be a little difficult for her to speak for them all now, dontcha think? Oh, that's right I forgot, she's omniscient. She's just being tongue in cheek? Hey I've got no problem with that. Only you might want to tell her, because she doesn't seem to think so. In fact, she might want to take some lessons in how to give off that "I'm saying this with a glint in my eye" vibe. Little things like tone, body language, mannerisms and emoticons go that extra mile in convincing her audience that, no she's really not saying that the only good homosexual is a dead homosexual. The "she's a member of a historically oppressed group X, so she can't really be a bigot against Y" line? She can be, and she is. The two can be mutually exclusive. Sad but true.
Oh and my favourite "if you're upset, it's because you sense that she's right and you're not mature enough to/don't want to deal with the truth". No, I'm upset because she's insisting she's right without proving it. See, if I insist that JFK Jr. didn't die in a plane crash but is alive and well and living in Winnipeg to everyone I know but don't back it up with any evidence, I'm annoying at best and unbalanced at worst. Which is she?
I know that anecdotes are observations, and hypotheses are derived from observation and hypotheses can turn out to be true. You feel free to cite all the anecdotes you want. But don't you call them absolute truths, especially in the face of contradictory anecdotes. I know where's there's smoke there's a good chance there's fire. I also know it might just be dry ice.
I believe its quite possible that the Jews control the planet and are trying to enslave its other inhabitants, Mexicans are stupider than Taiwanese, and women lack the necessary intelligence to be software engineers. I have no problem with you expounding that theory. But before you get to state it as an absolute truth, I better see some hard evidence that stands up to critical scrutiny (and that critical scrutiny better involve a discussion of correlation vs. causation and had better eliminate other potential explanations for observed phenomena, such as oh, I don't know how about poverty, systemic discrimination, different environmental factors), not pure anecdotal evidence, not "some of my best friends are ___________ so I know", and definitely not "I'm older, richer and more experienced/popular/famous than you missy, so I am right". Fabio is older, richer and more experienced/popular/famous than I am. I'm not going to agree with everything he says either.

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