C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Waitin' for the Weekend

GOP Crowd Boos Gay Soldier

Andrew Sullivan:
The Christianists were once in the Democratic party, engaged in an endless and bitter but integrating coalition with economic liberals and secular progressives. And this helped soften the hard edges, even when they were dictating policy. Today, the GOP is controlled entirely by the religious right, and its manner of thinking has altered to a purely religious one. Policies dependent on circumstances are now doctrines (no tax hikes ever) unable to be altered. Foreign policy is dictated by Christianist dogma (on, for example, Israel) rather than prudential advancement of national interests. As the society has moved on, the GOP has become more noticeable for its white-knuckled resistance to all such change.

Today's GOP, for example, favors repeal of the repeal of DADT, a constitutional amendment to ban all relationship rights for gay couples, criminalization of all abortion including cases of rape and incest, the undermining of evolution in education, disbelief in climate change, support for torture, cheers for the death penalty, and a global Judeo-Christian war against Islam. Yes, reality in a changing, more individualized world, is stacked against them. But that doesn't mean reactionaryism doesn't have traction. Closing the EPA is a radical stance, compared with, say, Nixon's environmental policies. Calling the very term gay the "work of Satan," as Bachmann has, is not the spirit of Reagan in the Briggs Initiative. Embracing torture 20 years after Reagan signed the UN Convention against it is another grim development. The expulsion of all pro-choice Republicans from the party is another. Yes, Dick Cheney has a gay daughter. Like Mead, I thought that would make a difference. But the GOP subsequently stripped his daughter of any rights (even private contracts) in her relationship in Virginia, launched successful efforts in a majority of states to ban recognition of gay relationships in state constitutions - and the Bush administration backed the Federal Marriage Amendment. . . .

Compare the GOP with the Tories they once shadowed. The Tories were prepared to raise some taxes to cut the debt. They have pioneered and embraced conservative environmentalism. They are backing full marriage equality for gays. They leave abortion and the death penalty to the individual consciences of legislators, without taking a party position. But they are also emphatically in favor of private enterprise, and a prudent foreign policy - and are cutting spending in ways that the GOP has only ever aired theoretically. This is what conservatism used to be. And like Mead, I am old enough to remember it.
And in another post, Sullivan says:
I have not faced the consequences of war up-close and have nothing but awe for those who have. But my own, much more cloistered experience as a war supporter is similar. I will never think of America the same way after the Bush-Cheney administration. They ripped the scales off my eyes; they proved that America isn't, in the end, different; that its core moral principles, such as the prohibition of torture, are nostrums to be tossed aside at the whim of a few very scared and incompetent men; that the rule of law ends when it comes to presidential power, when he can simply order dipshit lawyers to say black is white; when no regret is ever truly expressed about the tens of thousands of Iraqis who died under US occupation; when the architects of these strategic and moral disasters are given legal immunity and peddle books on talkshows defending and bragging of their own awful legacy.

It has sickened me - the lack of morality, the lack of accountability, the constant recourse to mass amnesia. And in a man like Perry, you see all the characteristics of this belligerent, diplomatically autistic, aggressively stupid, and fundamentalist psyche. The dragon we thought we had slain is stalking the land again.
And after thinking over the booing of this gay soldier, Sullivan gets angry:
But somehow the fact that these indignities were heaped on a man risking his life to serve this country, a man ballsy enough to make that video, a man in the uniform of the United States . . . well, it tells me a couple of things. It tells me that these Republicans don't actually deep down care for the troops, if that means gay troops. Their constant posturing military patriotism has its limits.

The shocking silence on the stage - the fact that no one challenged this outrage - also tells me that this kind of slur is not regarded as a big deal. When it came to it, even Santorum couldn't sanction firing all those servicemembers who are now proudly out. But that's because he was forced to focus not on his own Thomist abstractions, but on an actual person. Throughout Republican debates, gays are discussed as if we are never in the audience, never actually part of the society, never fully part of families, never worthy of even a scintilla of respect. When you boo a servicemember solely because he's gay, you are saying he is beneath contempt, that nothing he does or has done can counterweigh the vileness of his sexual orientation.

And then I think of all those gay servicemembers who have died for this country, or been wounded in battle, or been on tours year after year . . . and the fury builds.

What I say:
  Your Head Trucker would like to see this country move further towards a social democracy, but he has some conservative tendencies too. I distrust all "isms," political or religious, because in the long run, they all tend towards a doctrinaire stance that blinds people to simple truths. And the truth is that life is infinitely variable, and that general rules do not suit particular cases, as the old maxim has it. Nor does any one individual, or party, or religion, have a monopoly on truth. Your Head Trucker believes in good manners, personal responsibility, beautiful traditions, and human kindness - and for a better elaboration, I refer you this passage by the late novelist and scholar E. M. Forster from Two Cheers for Democracy - it's cool, he's family.

It is perhaps possible that if I were one of Her Britannic Majesty's subjects, I might on some occasion or other vote for a Tory candidate, though I think it more likely I would tend towards the other parties over there. And perhaps on some remote occasion I might even be persuaded to vote for a Conservative candidate in Canada, though the present Prime Minister, Harper, has the nauseating smell of Bush all over him. I would much rather have voted for the late Jack Layton, for sure.

But hear me - no gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender American can possibly vote for the Republican Party in this country, not unless they are contemptible ass-kissers, or just too stupid for words. A Jew voting for Hitler is no outlandish comparison.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Obama to U.N.: Stand Up for the Gays

(begin at the 4:45 mark)

In his speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York yesterday, President Obama urged that all countries respect the rights and dignity of gay people:
And to make sure our societies reach their potential, we must allow our citizens to reach theirs. No country can afford the corruption that plagues the world like a cancer. Together, we must harness the power of open societies and open economies. That’s why we’ve partnered with countries from across the globe to launch a new partnership on open government that helps ensure accountability and helps to empower citizens. No country should deny people their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but also no country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere.

Wow. Powerful words.  Thank you, Mr. President.

My Trip Down the Pink Carpet

My Trip Down the Pink Carpet
Book and DVD available thru TLA, click the pic

Hey guys, this might be old news to some of you, but if you haven't yet seen Leslie Jordan's one-man show, you sit right down and watch it tonight.  You will love it, I guaran-damn-tee you will - it's that funny, and honest, and sooo true to life about growing up gay in the South.

What's not funny is, when I first came across the film, my first thought was, what a sweet old man.  Then come to find out - he was born the same year I was.

Shit.  Oh well, don't miss it guys, it's a hoot and a holler.  Here's a brief trailer that gives you only a slight taste of Leslie's over-the-top comic talents:

While I'm on the subject of one-man shows, I can also recommend the late Charles Nelson Reilly's Life of Reilly, which also has a lot of laughs, but deals with some darker true-life material too.

Your Head Trucker hates to admit it, but way back in the mid-seventies, when he was doing all those game shows, I had no idea that Reilly was gay - Paul Lynde, yes, Reilly no. I mean, he smoked a pipe, for God's sake!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tories Light-Years Ahead of Republicans on Marriage

Prime Minister Cameron with Deputy Prime Minister Clegg, whom Cameron jokingly introduced at as "my own civil partner" at a Gay Pride reception held at 10 Downing Street last year

Gays in the United Kingdom have been able to form civil partnerships since 2005, entitling them to practically all the rights and benefits of marriage without the name. However, the law prohibits religious readings, symbols, music, or prayers, and civil partnership ceremonies cannot take place in houses of worship.

This week, the coalition government headed by Conservative Party leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg have announced a definite plan to open civil marriage to gays next year, as in Canada and the nine other countries around the world that have equalized their marriage laws.

Andrew Sullivan, an expatriate Briton who has written and campaigned for equal marriage for more than twenty years, has this to say about developments in his native land, and here:
What a contrast. In the U.S. GOP, gays are the spawn of Satan, and a leading candidate runs a business designed to “cure” them. In Britain, the Conservative-Liberal Coalition government has just announced it is moving ahead with legislation for full marriage equality. . . .

When Virtually Normal came out in 1995, I didn’t dare hope that this day would come — or that it would come from the Conservative party in Britain, which now has more openly gay members of parliament than the more liberal opposition. And it is, of course, a conservative position: promoting family, responsibility, and civil equality in response to an emerging social reality — large numbers of openly gay citizens. In this sense, the GOP is not in any way “conservative.” It is better understood as a religious movement with radically reactionary political objectives, like undoing much of the New Deal.

One day, it may recover, and candidacies like Jon Huntsman’s show the way forward. But not yet. And perhaps not for a very long time. When a party becomes a religion, and when policies become doctrines, change is very hard.

Marines Now Recruiting Gays

I am not making this up.  And in Tulsa, Oklafuckinghoma.  Believe it or not.  The NYT reports:
The Marines were the service most opposed to ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, but they were the only one of five invited branches of the military to turn up with their recruiting table and chin-up bar at the center Tuesday morning. Although Marines pride themselves on being the most testosterone-fueled of the services, they also ferociously promote their view of themselves as the best. With the law now changed, the Marines appear determined to prove that they will be better than the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard in recruiting gay, lesbian and bisexual service members.

Still, judging by the traffic at the gay rights center on Tuesday, there will not be an immediate flood of gay and lesbian Marine applicants. By 3 p.m., more than four hours after the Marines had set up their booth opposite the center’s AIDS quilt, only three women had wandered in, none ideal recruits. The local television crews who had come to watch the action — or inaction, as it turned out — easily outnumbered them. . . .

By 5 p.m. the Marines had packed up their booth and chin-up bar and headed out, with plans to come back later to attend a panel discussion. It was all uncharted territory. As Sergeant Henry had said the day before of the new world the Marines now inhabit, “At first it’s going to be kind of shock and awe.”

But like a good Marine, he was with the program: “My take is, if they can make it through our boot camp, which is the toughest boot camp in the world, then they ought to have the opportunity to wear the uniform.”

Lord have mercy, sometimes it makes your Head Trucker's head spin with all these amazing changes going on in the world. But I admire the Marines. Every one of them I've, um, known has been a perfect gentleman, and that's a fact.

Click here for a map and list of countries that now admit gay troops to their militaries.

Rachel covers the end of DADT with some newly-out troops.  Keep a hanky handy while you watch.

And MSNBC interviewed several former and currrent gay servicemembers on their reactions to repeal:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DADT Is History

I have lived to see this day. Thank you, Mr. President.

Associated Press:  As ban ends, Navy officer, partner wed in Vt.:

Just as the formal repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy took effect, Navy Lt. Gary Ross and his partner were married before a small group of family and friends.

The two men, who'd been together 11 years, decided to marry in Vermont in part because the state is in the Eastern time zone. That way, they were able to recite their vows at the stroke of midnight — at the first possible moment after the ban ended. "I think it was a beautiful ceremony. The emotions really hit me...but it's finally official," Ross said early Tuesday.

Hours before the change, the American military was also making final preparations for the historic policy shift. The Pentagon announced that it was already accepting applications from openly gay candidates, although officials said they would wait a day before reviewing them.

Ross, 33, and Dan Swezy, a 49-year-old civilian, traveled from their home in Tucson, Ariz., so they could get married in Vermont, the first state to allow gays to enter into civil unions and one of six that have legalized same-sex marriage.

Ross wore his dress uniform for the double-ring ceremony that began at 11:45 p.m. Monday at Duxbury's Moose Meadow Lodge, a log cabin bed-and-breakfast perched on a hillside about 15 miles northwest of Montpelier. The lodge says it hosted the state's first gay wedding in 2009.

Justice of the Peace Greg Trulson proclaimed the marriage at exactly midnight.
Congratulations to the happy couple.

But just to remind you that there are still some folks who would gleefully kick your gay, married, military ass right back into the closet and nail the door shut, if only they got the chance:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Drive: Over the Rainbow

In response to a fan's request, Oklahoma gal Kristin Chenoweth sings it flawlessly - a cappella:

The little lady also put her voice to good use this week talking with Joy Behar about being Christian and pro-gay:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Carter on Reagan

Rachel asks former president Jimmy Carter, a devout evangelical Christian himself, about his views of his successor's legacy:

A Single Man

A clip of Colin Firth's moving performance in the 2009 movie, based on a story by Christopher Isherwood, that resonates deeply with your Head Trucker:

Rob Tisinai:
“The service is just for family.”

This is the life our worst opponents want for us. What they want our culture to go back to. What they consider the proper order of things. They might object, perhaps with truth, that they don’t wish on us this trauma and grief.They merely want us to be celibate, to avoid temptation, to stifle our chances for a loving partner.

But if we refuse to do that, we certainly shouldn’t expect to be family.

Friday, September 16, 2011

"A Black Eye for the South"

Country singer Chely Wright, who is proudly gay, married, Southern, and Christian, tells it like it is regarding the anti-gay politics in North Carolina:

Waitin' for the Weekend

Find out what's worth waiting for here (NSFW)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Colorful Queens

No, not what you're thinking.  A couple of short compilations about the RMS Queen Mary and her sister ship RMS Queen Elizabeth, with some great color photographs of the fabulous interiors interspersed with black and white footage of a day and time when people acted like ladies and gentlemen in public, and dressed accordingly.

I've never been on a big ship but I would have loved to sail in one of these beauties.  My dad returned from the war in the Queen Elizabeth (though she was painted battleship gray, with all her luxurious fittings replaced by miles of triple-decker bunk beds for the troops).  When I was a little kid, my mom and I used to talk about sailing to Europe on one of the great liners one day, but it never came to pass.

Yes, I know they've been reincarnated several times now, but it wouldn't be the same at this point. Some things you should do for the first time when you're young, or not at all. Oh well.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: China Seas

Steve Hayes reviews the 1935 MGM classic:
Clark Gable and Jean Harlow team up once again and make the sparks fly in Tay Garnett's action packed adventure CHINA SEAS (1935). Wallace Beery, Rosalind Russell, Lewis Stone, C. Aubrey Smith and a cast of thousands join them for a trip through typhoon winds and pirate waters. Produced by MGM boy wonder Irving Thalberg , it's loaded with top flight production values, endless excitement and all the glamour MGM was famous for. CHINA SEAS is one voyage you won't want to miss!

It Gets Better: Barney Frank

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Ugly Americans

Got no health insurance?  Then DIE, motherfucker.  That's the American way!

Monday, September 12, 2011

3rd Ave. El

A quirky little art film made not long before the eighty-year-old railway was demolished in 1955.  A reminder that the familiar world is always passing away, and the new is always rushing at us.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

That Horrible Day - Ten Years On

1. Remembering Mark Bingham and the passengers on Flight 93:

2. Andrew Sullivan, "Did Osama Win on 9/11?":
It took months for this initial trauma to ebb, years for my psyche to regain its equilibrium. And it took me close to a decade to realize just how slickly Osama bin Laden had done his evil work, how insidiously his despicable performance art had reached into my mind and altered it, how carefully he had set the trap and how guilelessly I—we—had walked right into it.

We need to understand that 9/11 worked. It worked as a tactic to induce American self-destruction, even if it failed spectacularly as a strategy to advance Al Qaeda—and its heretical message of suicidal warfare—across the globe. It worked because this was not just another terror attack. The emblems were clear: the looming towers of Western capitalism in New York, the cradle of Western democracy in Washington. When the third plane crashed into the Pentagon and the fourth (United 93) was brought down by its passengers, the drama didn’t cease. We saw the symbol of America’s military preeminence lying with its side opened like a tin can. And we imagined the panic and courage in the air over Pennsylvania as people just like us finally found their bearings and fought back. . . .

The simplicity of the plot made it even scarier. On that day the West’s own airplanes, which had taken off peacefully, were transformed into makeshift weapons of mass destruction; the only actual weapons deployed were a handful of box cutters you could find in any office-supply store. The rest was merely human will and the advantage of surprise. More to the point, the people murdered that day, charred in the remains of the towers or jumping from windows in the sky only to thud onto the pavement below, had only that morning been just like us: settled complacently in airline seats or beginning their day at the office. At some point some of them must have looked out a window—in the plane or the World Trade Center—and saw what seemed like the apocalypse coming. There are times when I think of those people who saw, in their final seconds of life, the nose of an airplane hurtling toward them at inhuman speed. Their terror ended quickly. Ours had just begun.

3. Part I of a documentary about the "Saint of 9/11," the gay Franciscan priest and beloved FDNY chaplain, Father Mychal Judge. You can watch the rest of this deeply moving film on YouTube.

Sunday Drive: Stourhead in Summer

A pause that refreshes the soul: the lovely gardens and lake at the Stourhead estate in the county of Wiltshire, England. View it in full screen for the best effect.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fly the Flag Tomorrow

Just a thought.

Waitin' for the Weekend

Delayed due to technical difficulties. Do not adjust your shorts set.

Nick Ayler

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"But I Had Mom and Dad"

Dan Savage is not without his flaws, but he is an articulate spokesman and brilliant performer when speaking on heartfelt topics like the need to reach gay youth through the It Gets Better Project. Earlier this year, Dan spoke at the Kessler Theater in Dallas on parents, religion, bullying, and LGBT kids (some parts NSFW):

He also spoke at Rhodes College in Memphis:

Continued after the jump . . .

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jesus Was No Bartender

Found at Joe.My.God:  Jesus did not turn water into wine at the wedding of Cana, you ignoramuses:

Which reminds me of a favorite joke my late husband told me:  There are three things Baptists don't recognize.  They don't recognize the Pope, they don't recognize the Jews, and they don't recognize another Baptist in the liquor store.

This video is no parody, guys, but totally for real. And I am surrounded by this kind of thinking (if you can call it that) here.  Of course, it doesn't stop with the grape juice fetish.  Miss Thing Rev. Grice also says The Wizard of Oz is "one of the most God-hating movies that there is," and not because there's a witch in it:

(He hates the movie, but he sure knows all the lyrics and all the steps, don't he? And has the dialogue down by heart.)

Now don't go sending nasty notes to that preacher, he's very small fry and not at all exceptional in his views for this part of the world. I post these vids just to show you boys up there in the blue state wonderland how common and ordinary this approach to life and this concept of Christianity is for millions of people. They are not all bug-eyed, jackbooted fascists, but rather are sadly ignorant of the facts of history and science and even grammar; and are sadly a majority of everyday working people who just don't know any better - but think they know all that matters.

Even more unfortunately, the folks who crowd the fundamentalist churches on Sunday are used for political gain by the real thugs, the slick, smooth, sophisticated ones, who are hellbent now, it seems, on making a theocracy out of a democracy, and all for the ultimate gain of the wealthy.

What's truly incomprehensible is why all you ever hear about on the news shows or in the blogosphere are the firebrand politicans and preachers, and never the sensible, rational ones. Which is why so many people on the liberal end of the spectrum - a majority of the young, I think, and a lot of the middle-aged - now equate all of Christianity with fundamentalism. And that's just not so. This is exactly the same logical fallacy - yes, I mean you, smug reader, with all your college degrees and friend lists and that vaunted "cultural awareness" you are so proud of, whatever that means - it's the exact same stupid thinking as my fellow Texans commit when they assert that all Muslims are terrorists.

Twisted thinking is not the exclusive property of the Right; nor is snobbery or tribalism.  We liberals and gays are human beings just like they are, and subject to the very same human failings.  Which is very important to remember:  we are all one human family, and nobody gets it right all the time.  Not even you or I.

But whether you are a believer or not, you should at least recognize that there is a Christianity that does not depend upon ignorance or literal interpretation of scripture. As witness this very fine sermon, "Brush with Grace," by the Rev. Buddy Stallings - a Mississippi transplant whose accent I love, natch - vicar at St. Bart's Episcopal in Manhattan.  You can read the sermon there, but I strongly suggest you click on the first little round button to the right of the text and listen to it instead.  You might just like what you hear:  a thoughtful, even humorous, Christian message that does not require switching off your brain first.

The ex-roommate and I were discussing this very point the other night:  why do you never hear from the rational, kind-hearted, well-balanced people?  As he said, maybe the Democrats and the Episcopalians (and all the other decent folks of every political and religious persuasion) are just too nice to raise their voices, make themselves heard.  They are rarely to be found screaming their message on street corners for the TV news cameras, so they just aren't covered.

Instead, all we hear are the ranting, foaming extremists.  Which is a great pity, your Head Trucker thinks.  Because that silence of the decent gives the foamers enormous power.

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

See also a poem called "Hangman" that your Head Trucker just ran across.

The Mayflower, 1930

A happy little house that would still be totally livable today, from the Monkey Wards home catalog of 1930, found at Antique Home Style.  I'd take plan B, eliminate the dining nook, add a screened porch off the kitchen, and a half-bath in the back bedroom; otherwise, it would work for me just like it is.  Click to enlarge:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Reading and Writing, Who Needs 'Em?

Antique example of unnecessary brain-strain from the paleo-human era

The problem with what I think of as modern people - which is pretty much any college graduate under 40, and quite a few older than that, across all points of the political spectrum - is that they are largely ignorant and are happy to remain just that way.  Oh yes, they know a great deal about TV shows and popular music and video games, and who's hot and who's not, and the precise number of carbs and calories in a rice cake, and whether Lindsay Lohan is in or out of jail this week, what arugula is, and even the airfares to Quito or Katmandu.  And of course they can work all sorts of ingenious tricks with the fab gadget of the moment, singlehandedly, even while doing pilates and six other things at the same time.

They are also, with few exceptions, quick - very quick - to let you know how stupid and backwards you are, you skanky holdover from the barbaric twentieth century, as well as arrogantly proud to be the last, best gift of the universe to planet Earth; and they think any idea thought up in the last 15 minutes is for the best, in this the best of all possible worlds - as long as it was thought up by somebody cool at this particular moment.  If you were cool this morning, or yesterday, or last week, sorry - that just doesn't cut it.  Better yet if you are going to be cool 15 minutes from now.  In coolness, as in sex, anticipation is ninety percent of the pleasure, you know?

Of course, this tendency to think that you and all of your (very cool) friends are the smartest, prettiest, most wonderful things ever seen under the sun - excepting only Lady Gaga, and she's already used up 10 of her 15 minutes - is part of human nature, and is an old, old story. 

It's also part of the natural effect that unmerited wealth brings to young people.  History books, not to mention what used to be called literature, are dripping with accounts of conceited young fops making perfect asses of themselves.  And yes, most - I don't say all, but most - people in this country, measured by the standards of living of all the world before the mid-twentieth century, are now rich kids, no matter what their actual income may be in dollars.  And behaving in the cavalier, self-absorbed fashion that rich kids have always done, while complaining loudly and long how unhappy they are.  Which is what happens when you don't have to work too very hard to survive.

Continued after the jump . . .

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Very Long Engagement

On Netflix last night I came across a great documentary you fellas would probably like as much as I did.  Edie & Thea:  A Very Long Engagement is a love story spanning nearly half a century that does end happily ever after - what I suppose we all wish for but not all of us find.  Very well-told too, with lots of anecdotes and snapshots from across the decades.

The couple married in Toronto in 2007; but after Thea died in 2009, the feds hit her widow with a $363,000 tax bill on the proceeds of Thea's estate - relying on the Defense of Marriage Act -  a tax which straight married couples are exempt from.  Do you hear me, guys?  Whiny little pinheads who write articles about "Oh, the government should just get out of the marriage business," etc., are not dealing with the realities of life.  Marriage matters, a hell of a lot - in this and all kinds of ways.

Do you realize that no matter how long you have been together, if your partner dies without a proper will, you have no right to anything he owned?  Not so much as a teacup or a shirt button.  His parents or sibs or children can walk right into your house and haul everything away, and if the place was in his name, they can change the locks on the doors, set your ass right on the street - and not a fucking thing you can do about it.

And even if he did make a will and leave you something - be it a house, a car, money in the bank, whatever - because you are not legally married, all of that is counted as income to you, and subject to ordinary income tax just like your paycheck.  If your partner is killed in an accident or a crime, you can't sue the guilty party for damages.  In most states, if your partner was a schoolteacher or civil service worker, you can't collect from his state pension, nor can you always count on pension benefits from private employers, either.  And you certainly can't collect his Social Security or veteran's benefits.  Yet.

Now Edie is suing the feds for discrimination; Obama's Justice Department last February announced it would no longer defend DOMA in court, calling it unconstitutional.  So the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, a creation of House Republicans, is pressing on with the defense in this case.   The way the court rules will no doubt set a big precedent for future same-sex marriage cases on the federal level.

In the meantime, go watch Edie & Thea, which was filmed before Thea died.  A really great love story.  And yes, you will need a few kleenex before it's over.

Sunday Drive: A Man I'll Never Be

A favorite ballad from my college days, now more than thirty years ago.  Where does the time go?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Waitin' for the Weekend

Designing the Future, 1958

Click to enlarge these:

'House You'll Live in Tomorrow...'
Um, so how much do these people spend on Windex, huh?

1957 ... Plastic-House--1
If the house is rockin', don't come knockin'.

Who needs interior doors when you've got plastic curtains, right?

limitless electricity
Title of this pic is "Limitless Electricity." Got your home fusion pile set up yet?

shopping by TV
Imagine how many sales clerks it would take to show all those home-shopping customers the goods, one by one.

Here's a well-made short film by Chevrolet from 1958, which focuses on more than just car styling:  the "American Look," as they call it, was being applied to everything in sight at that time.   It's not your Head Trucker's favorite style, by any means - my taste was old-fashioned even way back then - but those of you who get off on the Jetson-y "populuxe" will no doubt cream in your jeans over this thirty-minute look at the subject, which goes by surprisingly quickly.  Lots more I could say on the topic, but I'll just let you fellas make up your own minds about it.  This is an interesting reminder of styles and tastes and concepts from a half-century ago - as well as how things got designed before we had computers to make it easy.  Enjoy.

Bonus: After the jump, here's a real heartbreaker for you from the same period.  Sigh. 

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