Thursday, June 30, 2005

Just Plain Cruel

Take Action: Urge Senators to remove unfair tax on domestic partner benefits

I just wrote about this situation in a comment on "Wave of Progress," below, but...

Imagine that you're gay. Imagine that you have a partner. Imagine that after years of wishing you could be married, you get married (in Massachusetts), or civilly-united (in Vermont or Connecticut) or domestic partnered (in California, if you want it to mean something, or in various urban locales, if you don't).

Alright, now imagine that not only has your locale become enlightened enough to offer you a legal way of uniting, but your company has decided to allow you to share the same benefits with your legal partner as a straight married couple. Wonderful, right? Well, yes--until you get hammered with an income tax bill that counts the full value of whatever benefits your company pays out for your partner as part of your income.

Right now, domestic partner benefits are taxed as income; benefits for spouses are not. Please click on the link at the top of this post to send a message to your Senator, and ask him or her to support a bill that would end this taxation and, in one small way, level the playing field.

2004 Redux

Since today is the end of the first half of 2005, I thought it also an appropriate time to post my revised top ten for 2004. It's on the sidebar, and also right here, with albums new to the list in bold:
1. Scissor Sisters: Scissor Sisters
2. Green Day: American Idiot
3. Arcade Fire: Funeral
4. Black Keys: Rubber Factory
5. Loretta Lynn: Van Lear Rose
6. Modest Mouse: Good News for People Who Love Bad News
7. Iron and Wine: Our Endless Numbered Days
8. Rilo Kiley: More Adventurous
9. Matt Pond PA: Emblems
10. Rufus Wainwright: Want Two

Wave of Progress

Spanish parliament legalizes gay marriage

Well, Spain has technically won the race to become the third nation to allow same-sex marriage. (Canada won't become the fourth until its Senate passes the law in July, though it's already legal almost everywhere up there anyhow.) Why can a Catholic country figure this out while our supposedly secular nation is bamboozled?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Pushing to the Borderline

Canada Parliament approves same sex marriage

If they'd just approve a winter mitigation program, such as a retractable roof over the country--or at least over a few select cities--I'd defect in a heartbeat.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


My Turn: I'm Not Willing to Settle for Crumbs

This piece by Kim Severson hit MSNBC at an interesting time, the same day that Same Sex America premiered on Showtime. Severson writes about how she wants to have a real wedding to her partner rather than driving to Massachusetts, lying to the clerk, and getting a license that is meaningless anywhere else. I'm with her there; I want what I can get in my town, whatever it is, and I want what I can get to get better quickly so I don't have to worry unduly about what happens if there's a car accident or a house fire or...

The point is, I want all the practical aspects of marriage: joint filing of taxes, a simple title on the house, no-questions-asked visitation at the hospital, and automatic inheritance. But now Severson, in tandem with Same Sex America's tearjerking portrayal of seven gay couples getting married, has gone and forced me to think about something I thought I didn't really care about. Given the option to have a quickie wedding, which is all I really thought I wanted, here's what she said:
The truth was, we didn't want to rush it. Isn't the whole point of getting married to have your brothers make stupid toasts and your mother cry and your friends swear to help keep you together when you're falling apart—to craft a public sharing of love? Marriage is not about driving to a place where you don't live or settling for a ceremony that will be recognized only there.

It's my wedding, damn it. I don't want the crumbs. I want the whole cake.
Craft a public sharing of love? That sounds kind of nice, and I don't mean in the orgy sense. Who doesn't want a big party and lots of gifts and a band?

OK, maybe not a band. And perhaps not the "stupid toasts." But the rest of this, well, I have to think about it.

Monday, June 27, 2005



I couldn't believe it when I saw it on Wonkette, but this line really does appear in David Souter's opinion in the file-sharing case:
Users seeking Top 40 songs, for example, or the latest release by Modest Mouse, are certain to be far more numerous than those seeking a free Decameron, and Grokster and StreamCast translated that demand into dollars.
Which raises just one question: How can I get a list of what Justice Souter has on his iPod?

100 Percent Gross

Lord of the Pigs? - The New York Times violates its ethics code to cheap-shot director Peter Jackson. By Jack Shafer

I'm glad someone else noticed how unfair today's article in the New York Times was to Peter Jackson. In an anonymous quote, a source says, "Peter Jackson is an incredible filmmaker who did the impossible on Lord of the Rings. ... But there's a certain piggishness involved here. New Line already gave him enough money to rebuild Baghdad, but it's still not enough for him." Now, as I indicated below, I believe there are circumstances when it's important for journalists to use anonymous sources--when those sources would lose their jobs for talking to a reporter and anonymity allows them to reveal information that would otherwise remain concealed from the public. But, as Shafer notes, that's not what we get here. Instead, anonymity allows someone to get a cute little quote about Jackson into circulation without having to face the consequences of saying such a thing about one of Hollywood's power players. That's not fair.

Shafer goes on:
You could argue—on the record, of course—that Jackson suffers from piggishness. After all, his Rings deal is for 20 percent of total gross revenues, and he's collected $200 million to date, according to the Times. But why should it be piggish for Jackson to ask a court to determine whether New Line swindled him but not piggish for the well-lined pockets of New Line—which has reaped $4 billion in total revenues for the series—to lust for the disputed loot?
Why indeed? New Line took a huge risk on Jackson's trilogy--but it has paid off, and more handsomely than the company could ever have expected, with Oscars and extended editions and record-setting weekend grosses. Why isn't there a blind quote discussing how greedy New Line is for wanting to hold back money from its rainmaker?

SCOTUS, Part Two

Supreme Court rejects reporters' appeals

Looks like Matthew Cooper and Judith Miller may be headed to jail. This is a travesty--that they should be threatened for refusing to reveal their sources, especially while Robert Novak, who started this whole mess, faces no such threat. I'm all for finding out who leaked Valerie Plame's CIA status, but surely if Cooper and Miller could find the information, so can Patrick Fitzgerald. Right?

SCOTUS, Part One

Supreme Court bars Ten Commandments at courthouses

Well, this is an auspicious beginning to a day that could see the retirement of a Supreme Court Justice. In the ultimate Sandra Day O'Connor decision, written by David Souter, the court ruled, 5-4, that a particular display of the Ten Commandments is unconstitutional while leaving room for displays in a historical context. Perhaps O'Connor should appoint herself the sole arbiter of such matters? She apparently wants to see every case come before the high court; I'm sure the other four on either side would have been happy to produce a more thorough and precedent-setting ruling.

UPDATE: Looks like it was actually Breyer who wanted to see every last case come before the Court, not O'Connor--he's the one who switched sides to make the Texas display legal. Also looks like this nine will take the field again next season. Is it too much to hope that Rehnquist will stay on the bench and not feel forced to retire until a Democrat can choose his successor?

Sunday, June 26, 2005


Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade

Here's a little irony to start your week: While I was celebrating gay pride weekend by ogling Seth Cohen on DVD, my brother called--from the gay pride parade. My very straight brother.

I hope he can still bear to speak to me after watching...

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Cruel and Unusual

I'm glad Bob Herbert has turned his attention to the ugly attempt by Jeb Bush to smear Michael Schiavo. In case you hadn't heard, Bush wants Schiavo investigated to find out if he called 911 quickly enough after his wife collapsed. Can this be anything but retribution for Michael's success in finally carrying out his wife's wishes--against the wishes of Jeb and his horde of religious supporters?Whatever term is used, the governor's continued pursuit of Mr. Schiavo in the absence of any evidence that he has done anything wrong is a clear example of government power being used as a club to punish someone for political reasons. The unwarranted harassment of an ordinary citizen by the most powerful political figure in his state is an affront to the very idea of freedom that Mr. Bush and his brother in the White House are so fond of preaching.Jeb's actions are despicable. If he ever ends up on a national ticket, I hope the whole Schiavo affair keeps he and his running mate from winning. In a fair world, every politician who voted to intervene in the case would lose his or her job as well.

That includes Melissa Bean, my Congresswoman, whose campaign called me last night to ask if I'd volunteer. But of course I'll march in a Fourth of July parade for a woman who voted for the flag-burning amendment, the bankruptcy bill, and the end of the estate tax! I realize my district isn't as liberal as I am, but if you want to have a (D) next to your name, sometimes you have to vote like one.

In any case, here's hoping the public notices Bush's obsession with the Schiavo case and punishes him for what Herbert calls "uniquely grotesque" exploitation of the case for political purposes. Jeb deserves nothing less.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


What's Their Real Problem With Gay Marriage? (It's the Gay Part)

This article from last weekend's New York Times Magazine offers an interesting take on why anti-gay advocates believe in and fight for the things they do. It's thought-provoking; reading it, and seeing how the issue of gay marriage has galvanized the right, it's hard not to wonder if the belief that progress is inevitable--what I consider progress, that is--is foolhardy. The people in this article and those like them are not changing their minds anytime soon. The author, Russell Shorto, concludes the piece with an anecdote that shows how far apart the two sides are:
That means changing hearts. How difficult that will be was illustrated by a single vignette. When I met Polyak [a lesbian mother of two], she told me how, when she first testified before a legislative committee, an anti-gay-marriage activist, a woman, confronted her with bitter language, asking her why she was ''doing this'' to the woman's children and grandchildren. Polyak said the encounter left her shaken. A few days later, as I sat in Evalena Gray's Christmas-lighted basement office, she told me a story of how during the same testimony she approached a blond lesbian and talked to her about the effect that gay marriage would have on her grandchildren. ''Then I hugged her neck,'' she said, ''and I said, 'We love you.' I was kind of consoling her to some extent, out of compassion.''

I realized I was hearing about the same encounter from both sides. What was expressed as love was received as something close to hate. That's a hard gap to bridge.
It's difficult for me to even take Gray at her word--who hugs a neck?--and I cannot comprehend how she can believe that her actions--striving to prevent Polyak and her partner from having any legal protection for either their relationship or their two children--are based on love.

If that's hard for me to fathom, though, I suppose Gray would have just as hard a time understanding that this isn't a lifestyle choice on my part, or Polyak's. But she should know that the stats she marshals, which purport to show that homosexuality is linked to cancer and alcoholism and mental illness and suicide, are the fault of people like her, whose hatred for gays, even if she believes it's love, leads to lives of shame and sadness.

Reading this article is almost enough to make me want to go to this weekend's Gay Pride parade, because I am proud--proud that I've come out to my friends, my family, and my coworkers, proud that I've made a stable life with someone I love in spite of both the normal difficulty of doing so and the special difficulties that being gay sprinkles on like so many nuts on a sundae. If I weren't spending the weekend at Ravinia, living that stable life, I'd go to the parade, but somehow just being living proof that Evalena Gray's worldview is wrong seems like pride parade enough to me.

Home Sweet Home

A Marquee Matchup

This article on the pending Loews-AMC merger notes the possible reason why there have been 17 straight down weeks at the box office:
One thing keeping moviegoers at home is the comfort of their home theaters, Harrigan said. As more consumers invest in flashy home-viewing systems equipped with big-screen TVs, they decide they'd rather watch a movie from their couch.

"People still want to go to movies, but HDTV and DVR and DVDs have siphoned off customers somewhat," Harrigan said.
I'd like to point out that it's not just the big TV and surround sound that keep us home. We went to see Revenge of the Sith again last weekend (before it leaves the digital projector) and found the moviegoing experience, well, not all that pleasant. Even in a nearly-empty theatre, there were the sounds of people loudly munching on popcorn over the dialogue, the awful smell of the clearly unwashed foursome in front of us, and a woman behind us explaining every little thing on the screen to her six-year-old after he asked--in a screech--"What was that?"

I'm giving up the ability to control the volume, choose the start time, and pause to go to the bathroom for that? I don't think so. Blame the patrons for your problems, theatre owners--the ones who scare away everyone else.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Two Years Later

The Irresistible Banality of Same-Sex Marriage
How opponents of marriage for gays will be bored into submission

I think this article is appropriate today, when George W. Bush has renewed his call for an amendment banning gay marriage. Author Kenji Yoshino suggests that the ultimate victory of gay marriage advocates will be the result not of well-reasoned argument but of the sheer banality of seeing gay couple after gay couple get hitched, whether with or without the blessing of the law. He says that while those making the logical arguments pursue gay marriage as an ideal goal of a fair society, the writers of wedding manuals see it as a fait accompli: see photograph after photograph of same-sex couples feeding each other cake is to feel an argument being won without being made. It is to feel that same-sex marriage is happening, is happening everywhere, and is possessed of an absolved necessity.
Speaking of a fait accompli bring us to the title of this post, and to yet another mundane fact of life: As of today, it's been two years since I crossed the threshold and began sharing a home with the person I hope the law will someday allow me to marry. While there exist no pictures of us feeding each other, cake or otherwise, I think a few snapshots of us cooking together or asleep on the couch during the third quarter of a basketball game would be enough to convince anyone that our "marriage" is just as mundane and unthreatening as theirs. Hopefully two more years, or two years beyond that, will prove Yoshino right.

Attack of the Clone

I realize this is no longer timely, but I didn't have access to a computer yesterday when it occurred to me. I believe that Jango Fett, or one of his clones, has leaped out of the Star Wars universe and into ours, where he recently won the U.S. Open. See for yourself:

Pardon My French...

Brain Areas Shut Off During Female Orgasm

...but this article gives new meaning to the phrase "fucking your brains out."

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Too Much of a Good Thing

While home sick on Tuesday, I watched three episodes of The O.C. on DVD. I think that explains why Adam Brody (my minor crush on whom helps explain my interest in watching the show on DVD, though I've become quite taken with the characters and story now) reprised his role as Seth Cohen in my dream last night. It does not explain what he ended up saying to me.

You see, Seth and I became fast friends in my dream, quite like Seth and Ryan on the show. We were at the beach, playing frisbee with Summer and Marissa and having a great time. Then we decided it would be fun to bury people in the sand. When it got to be my turn, I was buried up to my chest.

At this point, with me trapped under a lot of sand, the dream took a horrible and abrupt turn. Seth turned away from me and started talking quietly with Summer. Then he turned around again, looked me dead in the eyes, and said, "I hate you, Richard."

And then I woke up.

This is an embarrassing dream, I know. But I can't get it out of my head! Why, Seth, why? Why do you hate me when I love you and your show? And what does this dream say about me?

One Year

No, it's not my blog-iversary. Continuing with this week's self-obsessed theme--and, by the way, I'm now the NUMBER ONE RESULT for my own name if you search for me on Yahoo!--June 16 marks the one-year anniversary of the start of my assault on the upper echelon of the Amazon reviewer ranks. 82 reviews and 545 helpful votes later, I've climbed into the top 3,500, peaking at 3,372 the other day. Who knew there were 40 people in the world interested in my thoughts on The Namesake or 15 who would click a button in response to my review of Diana DeGarmo? Not I. But if you're interested in my thoughts on Kinsey or the new Kathleen Edwards album, click above and take a gander--and if you enjoy the review, feel free to help me on my way to the top 1,000!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Schiavo Autopsy Shows Massive Brain Damage

More facts were released today that will change the minds of none of the people who didn't already believe what they prove. Such is the state of our nation.

But just to be clear, Terri Schiavo's autopsy showed that she was BLIND. So when Dr. Frist--the Senate Majority leader--said that her physicians had diagnosed her condition incorrectly because she was responding to visual stimuli, he was not only way out of the bounds of his medical training, but completely wrong.

Not that this will change anything:
Regardless of the autopsy findings, the Schindlers continue to believe their daughter was not in a persistent vegetative state, their lawyer, David Gibbs III, said after Thogmartin's report. He said they plan to discuss the autopsy with other medical experts and may take some unspecified legal action.
I'm sure they will find tons of success in the courts. It's worked so well for them in the past!

I guess I shouldn't be so surprised or sickened by all of this. I learned in this article that "Americans shelled out $48 billion on lotteries in fiscal 2004, according to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries. That means the average American spent more on lottery tickets than on reading materials or movie tickets." Admittedly, winning the lottery would have more life-changing impact than reading a book or seeing a movie. But $48 billion? Imagine if all that money were spent on movies and books!

Considering the spending it would replace, Vin Diesel and Rick Warren would probably be zillionaires.

All Around the World

Conservative gays threaten to 'out' party members

Looks like America isn't the only country with an outing campaign--and the one in Spain is being pushed not by a fringe blogger but by the gay wing of the country's quasi-equivalent to the Republicans. Imagine if the Log Cabin Republicans made a similar threat! Imagine if Jim Kolbe, the only "out" gay Republican in the U.S. House, threatened to bring a few of his closeted colleagues into the spotlight! It would be an ugly thing, but if the far right drumbeat against gay rights continues, the time may come when outing moves from the fringe to the mainstream in this country, too.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Double Time

Yahoo! Search Results for Richard Nelson

Yes, that's right--my journey is nearly complete. Just try searching Yahoo for my name! The number two result is the very site you're reading. If I just mention myself a few more times, I could be number one!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Triple Play

Yahoo! Search Results for Richard Nelson

And then there were two. I've got the number three result on Yahoo for my name!

Masters Program

Puzzles: The Old College Try

This eight-part puzzle from the New York Times is actually quite fun, if you're into that sort of thing. The answer to the question, "Why is a university like a sudden flash of understanding?" is kind of corny, but discovering it is still worthwhile. Let me know how long it takes you to finish part 6--that damned circuit drove me batty last night!


"Meet Read The Press" Watch

I hate to admit this, because Tim Russert's Meet the Press is required Sunday morning viewing in our house, but Arianna Huffington has a point today as she lambasts the show for its use of quotes. This weekend's episode--which was, to be fair, doomed from the start by the presence of Democratic Senator/blatherer Joe Biden and crackpot Republican Congressman/vigilante Curt Weldon--featured more text than many magazines. Huffington notes what I kept saying--if Tim wants to show us what Hillary or Howard Dean had to say, show us the video! Stop reading screen after screen of text, turning the show into a Tim-abuster rather than the forum for back-and-forth discussion and insightful questioning we all tune in to watch.

Oh well. The whole show was about Iraq--from which Weldon and Biden just returned--and in the meantime Congressman Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican, was announcing over on ABC that he's going to put forward legislation this week that would set a timetable for getting the hell out of the desert. Meanwhile Lindsey Graham, Republican Senator from South Carolina, was on CBS admitting that the Bush administration doesn't know what's going on and suggesting we need to "adjust" our strategy. With Bush suffering the worst approval ratings of his presidency and an election looming in 2006, we may be watching the first rats abandon the sinking ship. Good riddance.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

High Five

Yahoo! Search Results for Richard Nelson

Writing about myself has only made me MORE popular, at least according to Yahoo! I'm now ranked fifth when you search for my name. Maybe if I do this four more times, I'll be first...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Deep Six

Yahoo! Search Results for Richard Nelson

I was checking the site's visitor log just now, and I saw that someone had come here by performing a search on my name. Now, some of you out there might expect that if you had a Web site, it would be the top hit for your name, right? But my name is INSANELY common. Yahoo returns more than 7 million results!

And out of all those results, this site is number six. Six. SIX!

Even weirder: When you do the same search on Google--which owns Blogger, which hosts this site--I'm nowhere to be found, not in the first six results and not in the first six pages. Any theories as to why Yahoo likes me so much?

This may well be my proudest achievement.

Getting High

FCC speeds up digital-TV deadlines

This is great news! The faster y'all catch up and get HDTVs, the faster the networks will offer ALL their programming in that format. Right now it's piecemeal--Leno's in HD, Letterman isn't, the Masters is high-definition while the Memorial is a grainy mess--but the sooner people buy TVs that can handle the improved quality, the sooner everything will be filmed that way.

A bit of advice: If you're going to buy a new TV, make sure it's at least HD-ready. DO NOT BUY AN EDTV! Enhanced-definition is a code word for "cheaper version that cannot handle the improved quality of HD." This won't just impact TV; in two years the "DVD-quality" of EDTV will have been surpassed by HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, which are capable of the same quality images as high definition television, and in three or four that will be the standard. For everything. And none of it will look as good on your instantly-outdated EDTV.

One more thing: DO NOT BUY A TV WITH A 4:3 ASPECT RATIO! You will be throwing your money down the drain. In five years, there won't be any programs on TV that don't film in HD--and all HD filming is in 16:9, or widescreen, format. This is also approximately the format that lots of movies are shot in--meaning that when you watch a widescreen movie on DVD (or HD-DVD, soon), there are no black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. (That's not strictly true, actually; some movies are filmed in 2.35:1, whereas 16:9 is about 1.78:1, so The Lord of the Rings, for example, has small black bars. But nothing like what you'd get on a normal TV, where the image would only fill half the screen.)

By the way, if you want more reason to buy widescreen, look at your monitor. Really--look at it. Does it fill your field of vision? Position yourself so you feel like it fills your view from top to bottom--and notice that there's a lot of space on both sides that you can see quite clearly. That's because we see the world in "widescreen." Look in the mirror--are your eyes shaped more like a square or a wide rectangle?

I hope you're convinced. The sooner you buy your new HDTV, the sooner I'll be able to take full advantage of mine!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Bitch is Back

Katherine Harris to Run for Senate in 2006

This is going to be a big-money race now! Glad I don't live in Florida...

In case you've forgotten:
Harris, who is serving her second term in Congress, is considered a top fundraiser and is a popular figure among Republicans. But she is also despised by some Democrats for her role in overseeing the recount that ultimately gave Florida and the White House to George W. Bush over Al Gore. And her entry into the race could galvanize Democratic voters and contributors.
"Galvanize." You think?

Big Day

Cold White Peas

Today's a big day for music, as this NYT editorial laments. New albums from Coldplay, the White Stripes, and the Black Eyed Peas are expected to goose the industry's numbers and make up for a whole slew of crappy months of music sales.

I'll be buying two of the three at lunch (nothing could make me pay money to listen to retreads of "Let's Get It Started"), but then I buy two or three albums every week or two. I'm making my way alphabetically through all the albums I've purchased that were released in 2005 and despite a nearly uninterrupted work day, I only made it to E yesterday! So here's a pair of questions for people to answer: Will you be buying any of these three new releases? And what was the last new album you bought?

Monday, June 06, 2005


Digital fine tunes TV programming

This article is interesting in its own right--TV over the internet, high definition programming, video on your mobile phone, la-dee-da--but what I find most fascinating is the ending:
In fact, even with today’s relative abundance, most people stick to only a few channels.

This doesn’t surprise Barry Schwartz, a Swarthmore professor and author of “The Paradox of Choice.” He fears that people may stick to a small group of selections that don’t challenge any of their assumptions.

“I worry about 250 million separate islands,” he says. Schwartz does concede that when you have millions of options to choose from, you’re more likely to find ones that really appeal to you. But even then, you won’t necessarily be more satisfied.

“Whatever you watch,” he says, “you’ll know that there’s something else on that’s good, and regret you’re not watching it.”
Now, I love Barry Schwartz. I think The Paradox of Choice should be required reading. But how many articles can he appear in over the course of a year? Just two days ago, here he was in the Washington Post, discussing mortgage options:
"You create a kind of paralysis," said Barry Schwartz, professor of psychology at Swarthmore College and author of the 2004 book, "The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less." People find it harder to choose when many options are available, and after they do, they are apt to second-guess themselves, he said.

"It's easy to regret the decisions they've made," Schwartz said. "They think they should have achieved perfection."
It appears that Schwartz has written the perfect book for our times--and that plenty of journalists have been reading and/or hearing about it. Have you read it yet?

Friday, June 03, 2005

Class Act

Shaq offers to pay for Mikan’s funeral

When I saw Shaq make this offer last night (following the Heat's win over the Pistons to go up 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals), I was taken aback. A night's sleep has done nothing to lessen the shock. To respect the history of the game enough to get to know George Mikan is one thing. To then help his family through a difficult time by taking part of your massive salary and paying for his funeral is beyond the call of duty. If you don't think so, ask yourself: Would Kobe do it?

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Another swing of the pocketbook

I feel bad for Ford. I'd never buy one of their cars--reliability being a key component of my car-buying algorithm--but I'm tempted to go out and buy a Volvo (owned by Ford) just to thumb my nose at the American Family Association, which has launched a boycott of Ford because the company affirms and promotes "the homosexual lifestyle."

Their site,, makes a compelling case--Ford does have a pretty strong record on gay rights. (The site includes links to "offensive photos" of a pride parade--to please those of us visiting the site out of indignation rather than agreement?--along with information regarding just about every pro-gay action Ford or one of its subsidiaries has ever taken.)

In a perfect world, this would never happen in the first place. But the next best thing would be for a few of the other major automakers--GM, Daimler Chrysler, Toyota, and Honda, maybe?--to create their own Web sites touting their strong records on gay rights. If these backward-thinking homophobes want a boycott, let them boycott all the car makers. Let them walk to church!

UPDATE: You can send a message to Ford telling them you support their policies by clicking here. It's not buying a car, but it's something!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Radio Silence

How thoroughly has American Idol permeated the culture? At lunch today, I heard songs by Kelly Clarkson (season one's winner), Kimberley Locke (season two's third-place finisher), and Diana DeGarmo (season three's runner-up). Also the Gavin DeGraw song that Bo Bice sang during the season four competition. Idols filled a quarter of the noon-hour playlist at the restaurant. Am I wrong in thinking this is either unusual or disturbing?

The End is the Beginning is The End

Six Feet Under returns on Monday for its final season, and HBO2 is running a marathon every night to catch people up who missed season four. As we dive into a final helping of the Fishers, I thought the final lines from last season were worth repeating. If I live a hundred years, I don't know if I'll ever be as emotionally touched by a scene on TV as I was by this one:

Nathaniel (David's dead father): "You're missing the point."
David: "There is no point. That's the point. Isn't it?"
Nathaniel: "Don't give me this phony, existential bullshit. I expect better from you. The point is right in front of your face."
David: "Well, I'm sorry but I don't see it."
Nathaniel: "You're not even grateful, are you?"
David: "Grateful? For the worst fucking experience of my life?"
Nathaniel: "You hold onto your pain like it means something. Like it's worth something. Well let me tell you something. It's not worth shit. Let it go. (aside with eyes pointed skyward) Infinite possibilities and all he can do is whine."
David: "Well, what am I supposed to do?"
Nathaniel: "What do you think? You can do anything, you lucky bastard. You're alive. What's a little pain compared to that?"
David: "It can't be that simple."
Nathaniel: "What if it is?"