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.


Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Dickopath

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Your word for the day from the Manley-Webster dictionary:
dickopath, n. (from OE dick, a penis + Gr. pathos, suffering, feeling, emotion, sickness, calamity): a massively self-centered hypocrite with an offensive, grandiose ego who lacks any semblance of a conscience and who displays a pervasive disrespect for the rights and dignity of others; usually a chronic, self-serving liar, seeking to mislead, manipulate, or overpower friends and enemies alike for his own sadistic amusement or enrichment.
Cf. sociopath, narcissist, egomaniac, shithead.

(I just made this word up.  You're welcome.)





Friday, June 29, 2018

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Problems Only Southerners Understand



Some of this humorous video I can't relate to, but the very last line is the kicker. Wait for it.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: The Boys in the Band

It's June 26, a very gay day indeed: the anniversary of the Lawrence, Windsor, and Obergefell decisions.


Steve Hayes reviews the groundbreaking film version of the 1968 play, which portrays gay life as it was fifty years ago (OMG has it really been that long?):  before Stonewall happened, when the closet doors were still shut tight, "gay pride" hadn't been thought of, AIDS was nonexistent, and gay marriage was an entirely whimsical thought, as unreal and implausible as time travel.



As it happens, a summer revival of the play, with an all-gay cast, is running on Broadway now. I have no desire to go to New York, but I hope somebody films that production - it would be fascinating to see what the current generation does with it.

I was in high school and had only recently put the words homosexual and me together when I first heard of this film.  I think it played a single week in the city where I lived, but I would have sooner jumped off a cliff than go see it back then:  both for the fear of being seen and identified as "one of them" as well as the fear of actually meeting "a homosexual" - homo, homo, homo - I actually used to pray that God would never, ever let me meet one of those awful, horrible, depraved people, who would surely tempt me to sin, and ruin my salvation (already in tatters due to my constant, ever-failing battles with - oh woe is me! - the deep, dark, godless sin of masturbation).

Sounds so silly now, of course: but at the time, it was a deadly serious thing for a young, isolated gay boy who knew what he was and hated it with every breath.  That kind of fear and self-hatred is something straight people never go through - and I have yet to meet one who really "got it."  It does bad things to you inside.  Really bad.  Some guys didn't make it.  That could have been me, too.  Or you, perhaps.  But as my truckbuddy Frank remarked to me the other day, we managed to live thought all that, we are survivors - and that is surely something to be glad of.

I finally came out a decade later in college, and yes of course I had already shed all that fundamentalist crap - but between all that and the bullying in school, and the constant fear of being "found out" I was badly injured - as I know so many of my truckbuddies were too.  A stupid, awful, inhuman thing to put people though - for no good reason whatsoever.  I was about to rejoice that all that is history - but is it really?  We only had to deal with bullies in person back then - now there are cyberbullies and all sorts of public invective on the airwaves that wasn't possible in those days.

And the scars still hurt.  They will always hurt.  Like the pain of losing a loved one.  But life goes on, regardless of all your hurts, and in time you just learn to make the best of things.  Nobody gets through life unscathed, though some work really hard at hiding the fact.

One more note: when I finally got to see the video, say around 1985, and also found a copy of the play in a used book store, I was struck with how true to life it was, and still is - kudos to playwright Mart Crowley, a fellow Southerner, now 82 - a microcosm of the gay world that still rings true to me. I don't mean the clothes and the music and the slang, which are ever-changing, but the way gay people talk and act among themselves, when there's no need to "butch it up" or mind your manners or pretend to be straight - which for the men of my generation and before was, and still is down here in the provinces, our automatic default mode in public.

I saw the video again a few years ago, and while this time I didn't see the ending as being quite so bleak and depressing as I had the first time, I still thought the dialogue, the essential gayness of the characters was spot on.  Because human nature in general does not change, and by corollary, the sub-category of gay nature does not change, either - that's my view of things. (If human nature were not a constant, we would have changed into some other kind of critters long ago. But human nature is the same from age to age - just as is dog nature, cat nature, monkey nature, etc. - all capable of infinite outward variations, yet inwardly still the same.) But another thing that straight people don't get, unless they are very wise indeed, is that gayness is not only about who you sleep with - there's a nature, a character, a spirit, a whatever-you-call-it that comes with being gay, that is part of the package.

No, I don't mean effeminacy, necessarily - oh stop it, Mary - I have known (in both senses of the word) bricklayers, truck drivers, doctors, lawyers, football players, and Marines, none of whom had a touch of nelly queen about them, though they probably thought I had more than a touch, sometime or other.  But there's a certain beingness, for want of a better word, that I recognize in other gay men, butch or femme, or somewhere in between.  I mean a certain ambiance, if you will, a certain way of encountering the world and looking at it.  A certain attitude and rhythm of being that is neither straight-guy nor straight-girl but something else again - a third mode of being that partakes of both the others, but is itself, by itself, complete, and not merely an imitation of the other two:  something else again.  Something that is neither good nor bad but just IS - and is no strange thing, but simply belongs here in this world, like any other part of nature, human or otherwise.  We just are.  No explanation or justification needed.

At least that's how it seems to me, but I'm afraid I have neither the vocabulary nor the patience to write out a full exegesis of gaiety at this time.  Instead, why don't you fellas just go watch the video again, and I dare you to come back and tell me you don't see yourself in at least one of the characters, or several, or maybe all!  At least, you'll be reminded of one important thing - it's so so so important in this preachy, self-righteous, broomstick-up-the-ass modern world to be able to laugh at ourselves.  That too is an essential part of the human condition, and one we disown at our peril.


PS - I don't presume to speak for all the other letters of LGBTQIXYZ and whatever - they can certainly speak for themselves if they please.  I can only speak of what pertains to my existence and experience on this planet.  And of course my existence, my beingness, does not in any way preclude theirs.  I really, really don't want to run anybody else's life; I simply want everybody else to leave me the hell alone and let me get on with mine, on my own terms, and not those of some puritans of the left or the right.


Monday, June 25, 2018

Becoming Donald Trump



Rep. Maxine Waters (D.-Calif.) told a crowd of supporters in Los Angeles on Saturday to mob and harass members of the Trump administration:
Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.
Now Waters may have done some good things along the road, but this is stupidity in action. It is childish demagoguery, inciting hatred and possibly riot, and inviting a terrible backlash. It is completely un-American, uncivilized, and dumb beyond words. It is just what you might expect out of Donald Trump, only this time it comes from a voice on the left.

The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer's editorial board has this to say:
It might seem satisfying to liberals to see members of Donald Trump's administration fleeing from restaurants after being shamed by patrons or booted by the owner. That happened to three of Trump's people last week, including press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was asked to leave the Red Hen in Lexington, Va., by its owner Friday night. Earlier, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Trump adviser Stephen Miller were shouted out of Washington restaurants. . . .

But such behavior shouldn't feel satisfying, and it's not necessary. It's liberals trying to beat Donald Trump by becoming Donald Trump.

It wasn't long ago that these same Democrats fretted about Trump's crassness and willingness to demean anyone who dared disagree with him. They and we worried that his bullying would do more harm to political discourse, and that's exactly what's happening, as nastiness has bled from the political fringe into the political mainstream.

Certainly, that's been encouraged by members and supporters of the Trump administration, who regularly ridicule the press and political opponents. All the more reason to punch back, say progressives, who contend that the only way to defeat Trump is to fight bile with bile. But that's not true, as liberals themselves showed last week by getting Trump to back down from his policy of separating immigrant children from parents at the border. How'd they do it? By shining a light on injustice, by flooding social media, by swaying public opinion and eventually Republicans in Washington with the force and volume of their voices.

The same approach, by the way, helped save Obamacare last year from Republicans in Congress.

Adding a dollop of shame at some restaurants last week didn't add to the progressive victory. It was self-indulgence, and it gives license to similar behavior. It's not a great leap from disrupting the meal of White House officials or members of Congress to doing the same to any Republican who wears a MAGA hat or Democrat who wears a Planned Parenthood t-shirt. Are we ready for restaurant owners and other businesses to decline service for all manners of firmly held convictions? Are we ready for all the shouting that's ahead?

This is the path we're careening down, in Washington and across our country. Instead of extending grace to those with whom we disagree, we're increasingly deciding they are unworthy of it. We're following the lead of our president, whether we agree or disagree with him. We're losing.
Your Head Trucker agrees. What everybody needs to keep in mind is that just because you've been oppressed or victimized, that does NOT mean you can do no wrong. Every human being on the face of this planet--and yes I mean women, blacks, gays, "liberals," "progressives," "conservatives," and all the other subdivisions of the species, real or imaginary--is capable of wrongdoing at every point in life--it takes constant attention and self-scrutiny to stay on the path of goodness and human decency. We step off the upward path, the path of peace and civility, at our great peril.

Even if you are the sort of person who just doesn't give a flip about decency and fair play and the Golden Rule--do you really want to start this kind of stupid shit?  Because it will surely become in a very short time a game of tit for tat.  How about the first time a howling mob gathers around a member of your particular subcommunity or affiliation, and drives them out of a public venue--or worse yet, starts beating on them, as mobs are wont to do? How will you feel then, bucko?  Hah?

What goes around, comes around.  Count on it.

Don't go there. Just don't fucking go there. We are Americans, we may disagree loud and long in the political arena--but we leave it there. We don't harass the other side in the ordinary streets and shops of private life. We don't check party IDs at the door of any business. We don't persecute people for their politics. That's a filthy thing to do, and so was booting Sarah Sanders from a restaurant on political grounds.  That's not the America I love and believe in.  Waters spoke like an ignorant, self-centered, short-sighted rabble-rouser.

Just like Donald Trump, in fact.  How ugly, ugly, ugly.

We are all standing at the brink of a deep, fiery pit.  Do we really have to jump into it?


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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sunday Drive: Somewhere Over the Rainbow

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Do dreams ever really come true?  The other day, my truckbuddy Frank posted a video of gay people of a certain age--ahem--reading aloud the letters they would write to their 18-year-old selves, if they could.  Which is all very nice, full of uplifting, inspiring Reader's-Digest-happy-ending thoughts.  Lovely.

But I can't write that kind of letter.  What I would have to tell my 18-year-old self would only scare the hell out of him.  And nobody else wants to hear that kind of truth.  It's practically un-American.

It's true that some things for gay people have gotten much better.  Others, not so much.  Plus ca change, you know?  And then there's just the implacable force of circumstance here and there in the course of my particular life, which no advice would change: boulders in the stream.  Too many boulders make a dam and block the flow of things:  an insuperable obstacle.

In many cases, it's just best that you don't know what's coming to pass.  The only advice I could possibly give anyone is to hope for the best, plan for the worst, ride out the storms when they come as best you can - for they will come, and they will be fierce.  Nevertheless, be kind, very kind, always, though it's often easier said than done.  Play the hand you're dealt.  Don't whine.  Could always be worse.  Bloom where you are planted.  Better to fail at something than to never even try.

So what if other people have lives in glorious technicolor, and you have only one not-so-brilliant hue?  All those colors come at a high price:  from those to whom much is given, much is expected.  Be content with what you do have and enjoy it.  Nobody has a perfect life, though many pretend otherwise, and nobody has The Answer to anything, so trust your own experience and common sense.  You are your own best moral compass, so stick to your guns.

And then there are those I've loved and lost--as someone, sometime has said, "Grief is the price you pay for love."  Well, that's exactly right, isn't it?  The hibiscus blossoms in the bright sunshine outside my window last only a day - one must treasure their blazing beauty, glory in them, while they last, and be content with that.  If they wither and fade, is that failure--or simply what is meant to be?  What has to be.  Quien sabe?

The cycles of day and night, the passing seasons of the year, the flowers, the leaves, the rippling brook, the fleeting clouds in the sky, sun and moon and scintillating stars all proclaim with one accord a certain sad but lovely truth to the eye of wisdom.  What that message is, I leave to my truckbuddies to decide.

But here I am, somehow in the autumn of my years, but blessed to live another shining summer of life.  In place of a letter, here is my salute to the always hopeful, ever-festive, gaily flourishing, fearless midsummer month of June--exquisitely sung by the late Eva Cassidy, whose life was much too short:






Friday, June 22, 2018

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Today's Quote: I Really Don't Care

Today, Melania Trump made a surprise visit to Texas to see immigrant children who have been separated from their parents. Fine. Good. A nice gesture.

But she wore this jacket:

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I really don't get it. Do U?


Today's Quote: What Kind of Country Are We?

Time cover, issue of July 2, 2018. Click to enlarge.

Karl Vick of Time magazine poses the question:
Presidents have many jobs, and one is telling us who we are.

For the first 240 years of U.S. history, at least, our most revered chief executives reliably articulated a set of high-minded, humanist values that bound together a diverse nation by naming what we aspired to: democracy, humanity, equality. The Enlightenment ideals Thomas Jefferson etched onto the Declaration of Independence were given voice by Presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama.

Donald Trump doesn’t talk like that. In the 18 months since his Inauguration, Trump has mentioned “democracy” fewer than 100 times, “equality” only 12 times and “human rights” just 10 times. . . .

A week after his return from the June 12 summit with North Korea’s dictator, family separation dominated the national conversation like no other political story since former FBI chief James Comey was shown the door. A steadily building wave of revulsion washed over the political spectrum, from MSNBC to the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal to Franklin Graham and into the White House living quarters, when a spokeswoman for the First Lady said she called for “a country that governs with heart.”

Which leaves us facing a question: What kind of country are we? The world has been nervously asking that since November 2016. And while Trump ultimately capitulated on the forced separation of children, his new order suggested that families would be detained not only together, but perhaps indefinitely. For many Americans, the forced separation of immigrant families left them looking into the void from which the brutal policy emerged: the dark space left by the words Trump does say. . . .

What values does America’s billionaire President embrace in place of the Founders’? A kind of gimlet-eyed competition. Trump purports to run the country as a business, the most meaningful metric being exports vs. imports: if you have more than your counterpart, you’re a winner, and the other guy a loser. But even in the bloodless world of accounting, “goodwill” has a place on the ledger (the left side; it’s an asset) and the U.S. may be writing down a loss. Its economy is strong. The people pitching up at its borders surely count as proof of that.

It was Alexis de Tocqueville, the French observer of the early American character, who recognized the danger of placing too much value on business, law and order at the expense of the higher values. Warning of the country’s obsession with material gain and the enforcement of order necessary to pursue it, he wrote, “A nation that asks nothing of its government but the maintenance of order is already a slave at heart.”

Which is why the test posed with Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy is as much about our future as it is about the tragedy of the families separated by its implementation. Trump may have backed down on the specific practice of family separation, but the larger question remains. In the balance between the integrity of the U.S. border with Mexico and a parent’s love for a child, where will we come down?

“Without a Border, you don’t have a Country,” the President wrote on June 19. Everyone knows that. The question is, what kind of country?

The photographer who took the photograph of the child explains the background of her story:




What I say: If this misled, misguided country does not repent and shed the cruel, uncaring, unjust evil twining about its heart, and quickly, it may be in store for a terrible retribution at the hands of Fate. For as everyone knows: What goes around, comes around.


Those who yearn for a truly "Christian nation" had best examine their own hearts and heed these words of warning:

Matthew 25:31-46 King James Version (KJV):
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.



Monday, June 18, 2018

Today's Quote: Laura Bush

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Former First Lady Laura Bush, in an op-ed for the Washington Post, emphasis mine:

I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart. Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso. These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history.

Americans pride ourselves on being a moral nation, on being the nation that sends humanitarian relief to places devastated by natural disasters or famine or war. We pride ourselves on believing that people should be seen for the content of their character, not the color of their skin. We pride ourselves on acceptance. If we are truly that country, then it is our obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents — and to stop separating parents and children in the first place.




Friday, June 15, 2018

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Catching Up with the Pork Boys: Spring 2018

In this episode, we find M.P. rapidly returning to full culinary strength for a scrumptious Easter dinner; with the coming of spring, he renews his interest in the lawn and garden; and finally, we celebrate my birthday in full festive style.  Click on any photo to enlarge.

Our Easter hors d'oeuvres began with rainbow-hued Easter-egg cookies - M.P.'s gay improvisation  on "melting moment" cookies, a kind of shortbread.

But that was not all - he made our old favorite deviled eggs in all the colors of the rainbow, too!  And at left, you see a platter of finger sandwiches (homemade pimiento cheese filling), while at top right is a bowl of tasty tandoori meatballs.

Continued below the jump . . .


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Today's Chuckle

M.P. found this, and I just have to share it with y'all:



Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sunday Drive: Begin the Beguine

From 1938, Artie Shaw and his orchestra performing what your Head Trucker thinks is the best big-band tune ever:  Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine":




But what is the beguine? The inimitable Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell may give you a clue in their delightful interpretation from Broadway Melody of 1940:




Saturday, June 9, 2018

Trooping the Colour 2018

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Highlights from the ceremonies to mark the Queen's Official Birthday today in London - always a magnificent spectacle.




Friday, June 8, 2018

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Supreme Court Rules, 7-2, for Colorado Baker

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The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 on Monday in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for two gay men, as the New York Times reports:
The court’s decision was narrow, and it left open the larger question of whether a business can discriminate against gay men and lesbians based on rights protected by the First Amendment.

The court passed on an opportunity to either bolster the right to same-sex marriage or explain how far the government can go in regulating businesses run on religious principles. Instead, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s majority opinion turned on the argument that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which originally ruled against the baker, had been shown to be hostile to religion because of the remarks of one of its members.

At the same time, Justice Kennedy strongly reaffirmed protections for gay rights.

“The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts,” he wrote, “all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”
Read the full ruling here.

There was some confusion of thought among the learned justices, it seems. This dizzying schematic diagram shows their various opinions, dissents, and concurrences.

The gay couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, appeared on CNN yesterday:



Baker Phillips appeared on the Today show yesterday:




What I say:  First, the ruling applies only to this particular case, and turns on the technicality of some careless remarks by members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when they were considering the baker's case.  So nothing is settled yet, and there is no reason to get excited one way or the other.

Second, as shown by the divisions among the justices themselves, the larger question is a thorny one, and it will be difficult to weigh the competing claims of religious belief and sexual orientation in order to come up with a rule of law that will satisfy everyone, one that all reasonable people of good will can in good conscience support.  As Justice Kennedy said in the majority opinion,
any decision in favor of the baker would have to be sufficiently constrained, lest all purveyors of goods and services who object to gay marriages for moral and religious reasons in effect be allowed to put up signs saying “no goods or services will be sold if they will be used for gay marriages,” something that would impose a serious stigma on gay persons.
I well recall in the legally segregated South of my childhood that every restaurant, cafe, motel, and ice cream stand had a prominent sign behind the cash register:  We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.  As a kid, I thought nothing of it; only much later, as an adult in the post-civil rights era, did I realize that the message was code for "We don't serve Negroes, so don't even ask."

Of course it would be ridiculous, not to say unconscionable, for any business today to deny service to anyone on account of race, or religion, or ethnicity, or for almost any other reason except being drunk and disorderly, or unable to pay.  And in fact, I would venture to say that most business owners of any kind are too eager to get some greenbacks in the till to worry about such things.  As long as your credit card is good and you don't break up the furniture, you're good to go in our consumer nation, right?

And the laws should rightly penalize any business that discriminates against a paying customer for no good reason:  whether you are selling lettuce or light bulbs, cars or candy, hamburgers, hotel rooms, or helicopter rides, your personal beliefs and opinions about the customer are irrelevant, and you treat everyone the same, selling the same goods or services to all comers (the exception being certain sales prohibited by law, such as selling booze to minors, etc.)  This is a settled principle in our modern society, and rightly so.

However, when the goods sold are not essentially the same for all customers, personal preferences notwithstanding (a shirt is a shirt is a shirt; a cup of coffee likewise, and so on, and so on), then perhaps there is room for discussion--and especially, it seems to me, when communication is involved, or artistic talent (for at bottom, Art is always Communication of some sort, whatever else it may be).  And if communication is involved, then the First Amendment, which we all revere, comes into play--and if that guarantees our freedom to speak our minds as we will, does it not also strongly imply the right not to speak what we do not will?  Forced speech is not free speech, is it?

Let us get down to cases:

  • Suppose that you are a printer, and someone wants you to print up a thousand copies of a flyer for a KKK rally, something you find utterly abhorrent.  Should the law require you to fill that order?
  • Or, say, you are a sign maker, and a very good one too, the old-fashioned kind who uses actual paint and brushes:  if someone comes into your shop and asks for a sign saying "Death to Jews," must you (a Gentile, as it happens, with no anti-Semitic feelings) paint it or face the penalties of law?
  • Or again, if you are a seamstress specializing in custom-decorated clothing, and a biker brings you his leather jacket wanting "Fuck the Police" embroidered in great big letters on the back, should the law compel you to fulfill his request?

We could multiply examples ad infinitum here, but I think the point is clear enough:  if you are in the business of selling communication in one form or another, should the law protect your scruples, whether based on religious beliefs or not--or force you to violate your conscience, and ruin you if you fail to comply?  We are not talking here of great corporations selling housewares or hardware or trips to Tahiti, or the Moon--we are talking of individuals and small business owners whose livelihood is at stake.  People who are just trying to make a living and get by, like everyone else.  People who are, in the vast majority of cases, not bothering you or working against you, and not even thinking about you until you interfere with them.

Make no mistake: I sympathize strongly with Charlie and David. As my truckbuddies know from reading my story, I take a passionate, very personal interest in marriage equality, but not, I hope, an unreasonable one.  Today we have liberty, we have justice, we have the right to marry, something almost inconceivable forty years ago when I came out.  Let us rejoice in this magnificent turn of history, and not lose sight of the main thing:  our common humanity.  Let us not forget that we live in society with others, who also have a right to liberty and equal dignity under the law.  The search for a wise, humane balance of competing rights and liberties is and has been the eternal question of American democracy from the very beginning.

Frankly, your Head Trucker is inclined to side with the baker.  In the grand scheme of the universe, a cake is a silly little thing, a trivial thing, a ridiculous thing: here today and eaten tomorrow. If I were in the market for a wedding cake, I would certainly much rather take my business to someone who would bake it gladly and gratefully, rather than force another person to do it against his will and in violation of his conscience, which would do me and you and all of us no good at all, breeding resentment and even hatred. As history has shown times without number, in all ages and climes and countries, it is but one little step to go from oppressed to oppressor.

Of course, others may disagree with me, including some of my truckbuddies.  But we must all find a way to get along peaceably--as we always have, eventually, in our history, usually through the high art of compromise. How shall we decide such things, and where should the line be drawn?  And when I say "we," I mean straight and gay, religious and atheist, all the many colors of the human rainbow:  for every story has two sides, if not more, and every voice must have its say.  Is that not the first principle of democracy?

The Supreme Court has passed on the question, for now.  So come, let us reason together.



Sunday, June 3, 2018

Sunday Drive: In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening

A delightful duet with big-band gal Margaret Whiting and studly jazzman John Pizzarelli, singing the Hoagy Carmichael-Johnny Mercer classic -- which is a bit of wishful thinking for your Head Trucker.  We awoke Saturday morning to find the a/c had conked out overnight, on a day when the mercury boiled up to 101!  Whew.  Why do these things always happen on a weekend?




By the way -- did you know that Whiting outlived her fourth and last husband, Jack Wrangler, star of Kansas City Trucking Co., 22 years her junior?

Go figure.


Friday, June 1, 2018

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