Everybody hurts, everybody heals

TTers weigh in on the voices of Katrina and why we need gay marriage, and end with a little much-needed levity.

Published September 9, 2005 3:08PM (EDT)

White House

Tempests in teapots: Share your local controversies

Disasters: Natural and otherwise

Hopkins - 02:25 p.m. Pacific Time - Sept. 2, 2005 - #1718 of 3370

Actually, what has amazed me is how the people interviewed on TV are so articulate in the face of such overwhelming odds against their survival. I see young kids telling the press exactly what is happening to them and what hasn't been done and what needs to be done in a way I'd never be able to muster after going through so much. I see older people able to express the anger they feel being left behind. I hear a woman in labor talking with astonishing clarity about what she's been through, wondering what is going to happen to her. I see fathers on the street holding their young babies up to the cameras indicting us all for our neglect.

It seems as if it's been a long long time since we've heard the voices of the African-American working poor in such a sustained manner. I want to keep hearing from them after the news adrenaline rush has stopped: we need to hear those honest voices cutting through all the b.s. until we finally are able to listen and take action.

Private Life

What are you doing right now: 32 Flavors and then some

Meera Hyphenated - 11:41 a.m. Pacific Time - Sept. 7, 2005 - #8475 of 8701

Sending a letter to our fair gov-nuh.

Dear sir:

I write to you regarding the marriage equality bill on which you are voting in the near future. While I personally am not involved in a same-sex relationship (I have been married to my husband for over seven years and have two sons), this issue is near and dear to my heart, as my mother and her partner have been together for almost as long. I would be writing to you, however, even if they weren't. Marriage equality means marriage equality. When there is inequality that affects anyone, it also affects me. And it affects you.

I don't usually quote the Bible, but I did find this in 1 Corinthians 12:25-26, and it seemed to illustrate what I mean.

"There should be no schism in the body; but the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it."

When one group of people in a community is not granted equality, the entire community suffers for it. And when that group of people is then freed, then the entire community can breathe easier.

I beg you to please honor diversity of sex, gender, class, and race. Not just for my mother and her partner -- not just for gays and lesbians in California -- but because when there is true marriage equality, then all people will be free of the damage that inequality causes within a community.

Thank you.

Private Life

What is this OT of which you speak?

bookseller - 08:12 a.m. Pacific Time - Sept. 7, 2005 - #6153 of 6223

Someone say something funny

Two stories from a friend, acquired over the past week:

The first concerns a family vacation to England taken when he was about 11. They went to Brighton, a famed seaside resort, but he was not permitted to swim because a large tanker filled with -- this is so English -- tapioca had recently foundered, spilling its contents into the ocean and turning the Brighton seacoast into, essentially, a gigantic vat of pudding.

The second involves his conviction, formed over years of living in Southeast Asia, that you can persuade enormous poisonous snakes to go away by singing "Hello, Dolly." He claims that the lyrics are not necessary (nor is a Louis Amrstrong imitation): "La, la, la" sung in tune will work just fine. He has not tested his theory on either other songs from the "Hello Dolly" score or, indeed, other classics of musical theater. Anyway, so he's in the mountains of Borneo with half a dozen other round-eye journalists and four or five native schleppers (that would be the technical term) when there, in the middle of their narrow mountain path, is a huge and very poisonous snake. Everybody freaks, but Eric persuades them, the entire group, to sing "Hello Dolly." And, indeed, the snake slithers away.

I just love this image of a dozen terrified people, pale and gibbering with fear, croaking out "Well hello, Dolly, it's so nice to have you back where you belong ..."

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