The Unbearable Blogness of Steven
Thoughts on culture and current events
Thursday, March 11, 2004
Same-Sex Marriage 

Is there an activity that is less of a threat to our "moral fabric" than marriage between people of the same sex? NO! Yet Bush and the goons at the American Family Association are all warm about it destroying our way of life. (See also nogaymarriage.com)

They would like you to believe that same-sex marriage is just another step in the decline of our moral and religious values--a decline that drives the Internet porn industry, child sexual abuse, rape, murder, the alarming rise in "liberal" media, and bare breasts during the Super Bowl. Please.

Bush would like you to believe that a few irrational homos and a bunch of irresponsible judges are creating a crisis that can only be dealt with by constitutional amendment. All right-thinking people, he says, know that marriage is ONLY something men and women can do with each other. The American public, though, is really a lot more tolerant on this issue than the RE-PUB-LICK-CANS would like you to believe. AFA had to remove an online poll they conducted, when the overwhelming support for a constitutional amendment, which they hoped to show to Congress, did not materialize.

Here is why there should be no legislation about gay marriage, and furthermore, why it should be perfectly legal:

  • Marriages are "civil" arrangements anyway. You can have all the ministers, priests, and shamen you want to conduct your wedding, but you ain't married until you have that license from the state that says it's legal.

  • Virtually all objections to gay marriage are on religious grounds, which makes a constitutional amendment or any other legislation a de facto establishment of religion, and therefore UNconstitutional. I don't care if there are 5 million religions with scripture that says it's wrong. If there is just one religion that says it's OK, then the government oversteps its bounds by creating any prohibitiion.

  • What your religion does is fine with me, but your religion can't tell my religion what to do.
  • I thought the RE-PUB-LICK-CANS were all about states rights? How can they say the federal government has any roll here?

  • FREEDOM! What two consenting adults do with their lives is nobody else's business.
  • What values can possibly be threatened by same-sex marriage? (To steal a little from Bill Maher) Love? Honesty? Fidelity? Monogramy?

  • I can't help but think that part of the conservative objection is purely financial: business execs don't want to pay partner benefits to all those gay couples out there.

Whew! Glad I got that off my chest. Now, get out there and marry to your heart's content!

posted by Steven Harris @  8:09 AM Comments-[ comments.]

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

I just watched Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris on DVD. It is a beautifully filmed movie. I greatly admire Tarkovsky's nerve to include such long and contemplative shots in a science fiction film. Solaris really takes its time to develop its themes, casting a loving eye across natural landscapes, taking in all the subtle nuances of a person's facial expressions, letting the soundtrack wash over us gently. Loved it.

The film has many themes and addresses many topics. One of the overarching points I get from the movie is that when we attack nature, we kill that within us that is most human. I look forward to seeing Steven Soderbergh's version, but I have grave doubts about whether it will have the same depth and subtlety.

posted by Steven Harris @  8:48 AM Comments-[ comments.]

Monday, March 08, 2004
The Da Vinci Code 

I just started reading this book and already, only 20 pages into it, I can say that it has given me great pleasure...laughing out loud at the incredibly bad writing! What a bunch of overblown melodrama. Some of the dialogue is so bad, I just have to make annotations on the ebook version I am reading:

"The prospect of death is strong motivation."
"So, my pupil, tell me what I must know."
(Sounds like something out of an Austin Powers movie.)

"Inside a house of the Lord," the Teacher exclaimed. "How they mock us!"
"As they have for centuries."
(I think I heard better dialogue on "The Highlander" televsion show.)

"Interpol, Langdon thought. Of course. He had forgotten that the seemingly innocuous request of all European hotels to see a passport at check-in was more than a quaint formality--it was the law."
(Just like buckling up when you drive your car! ;) )

"My French stinks, Langdon thought, but my zodiac iconography is pretty good. Taurus was always the bull. Astrology was a symbolic constant all over the world."
(Gee wiz, Mr. Langdon, you sure are smart!)

At this rate, I may never finish the book for all the notation I'm doing. This stuff really cries out for a Dan Brown/Da Vinci Code BAD WRITING contest. Please, somebody, start one soon.

posted by Steven Harris @  11:45 AM Comments-[ comments.]

The Road to Mecca 

Just saw "The Road to Mecca" by South African playwright Athol Fugard, done by the Clarence Brown Theatre at the University of Tennessee. It is an incredibly textured played. Each character has numerous positive and negative characteristics. And the play takes up many significant social issues--abortion, apartheid/racism, religious intolerance, feminism--without actually being "about" those issues. Most of the drama of the play falls along two axes: faith--freedom and love--trust.

It must be a very strenuous play for the two main female characters. They are on stage and speaking virtually throughout. The CBT production was done with South African accents (though none of the actors is from there). They did an admirable job--not 100 per cent convincing throughout--but better than many English accents we've heard at CBT recently.

posted by Steven Harris @  8:00 AM Comments-[ comments.]

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