Friday, August 31, 2007

One More Blow For Freedom Of Conscience

Two out of fifty. Does that sound like good odds to you? Well, when you're fighting an uphill battle for simple human rights, and you're fighting your own government(s) for them, two out of fifty is a pretty good start.

Yesterday, Iowa became the second American state to allow same-sex marriage. And if you didn't know it already, Massachusetts (yup, home of "Banned in Boston!") was the first.

Slowly but surely, The You Ess of Eh is becoming the country they say they want the rest of the countries in the world to be -- a country where people are free to be themselves, to live as they wish to live without undue imposition by restrictive rules and regulations, where each person may live by the dictates of his own conscience without fear of being persecuted by those who disapprove.

Of course, this decision was immediately protested by idiots. Some of them are elected idiots. The governor-who-would-be-president, Mitt Romney, said: "The ruling in Iowa today is another example of an activist court and unelected judges trying to redefine marriage and disregard the will of the people as expressed through Iowa's Defense of Marriage Act. This once again highlights the need for a Federal Marriage Amendment to protect the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman." Apparently, he doesn't like the idea of "unelected" or "activist" decision-makers. Someone really oughta clue him in that most voters are unelected; and a good number of them are also (or have been) activists at something or other. He is showing supreme contempt for his own constituents, and he wants to be president? Oh...right...

And I dunno where he gets his information, but usually the will of the people is not to have narrow-focus political hacks make all their decisions for them. Most people want to make those decisions for themselves, thankyouverymuch. Tradition be damned. Some traditions really need to be disposed of while wearing a hazmat suit. It also used to be tradition that you had to be white, male, and a property owner in order to vote. No one else was deemed suitable to have a say in the running of the country. And yes, it was entrenched in law.

Then, earlier today, the judge in the case stayed his ruling, pending an appeal. But one couple managed to get their vows in before the stay. That, I think, will be that. There will be some more backing and forthing, some toing and froing, some gnashing and wailing, some kicking and stomping, and some prognostications of dire social consequences. And then life will go on. More gay couples will marry without causing any deaths or disasters. Jerry Falwell will provide air conditioning in hell. And in about ten years the next generation will be scratching their heads and wondering what all the fuss was about.

To those who oppose same-sex marriage, I say this: Prove to me that someone else's lifestyle will directly cause your death, and that you can save your own life only by opposing their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and maybe I'll listen. Until then, shut up and mind your own business.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Is It Just Me?

Or does it seem to anyone else that the "fashion" these days is to make oneself look as unappealing as possible?

Example: I saw a large (sphere-shaped) young (late teens to early twenties) woman get on the bus yesterday. She was wearing camo cargo pants with that string-thing up the leg seam whereby you can shorten the legs; and she had shortened them to about mid-calf. No socks. Plaid flats (I hear they're the newest hot item). So far, so good. The bottom half of her, save for that the pants were too tight (I could see how stressed the seams were), actually wasn't so bad. But the top half of her? Well, the top half of her was encased in a too-skimpy-for-support black lacy underthing that wrapped itself around her nipples and cut off circulation to the rest of her breasts, making it look like she was triple-endowed. That was covered (and I use that word rather loosely) with another lacy underthing (pink, this time) that in another lifetime was probably one of those tops that women used to wear under sheer blouses to disguise the fact that they were also wearing bras (I know -- go figure). The spaghetti straps of the pink thing were twisted around the spaghetti straps of the black thing, and, small as the black thing was, the pink thing failed to completely cover it. Then the pink thing shrink-wrapped itself almost to her navel. The camo pants rose up almost to her navel. The bare skin between them boasted two small tattoos and a navel pierce. I don't remember what her hair looked like. I don't even remember if she had hair, I was so rivetted by the possibility that she was about to burst out of her clothes at any moment.

I was chalking this vision up to the possibility that she had recently gained a lot of weight and maybe had no other clothing that she could wear, when yet another young woman got on the bus with the same sort of outfit. Except that this second young woman looked like she hadn't had a decent meal in her entire life. Again with the string-up-the-leg pants that were too tight. The skimpy underthing worn over but not quite covering a skimpy under-underthing of a contrasting color. And everything too tight.

So I looked around me, and for young women, this seems to be the norm -- clothing way too tight and way too skimpy, contrasting colors to make the layers stand out, and even on the Twiggy-looking ones, serious emphasis on making everything look like it's seventeen sizes too small.

Oh, yeah...protruding bellies. What's with the "pregnant" look? What's with cincking the waistband in so tight that it creates a roll over the top even when it's obvious that there is next to no body fat? Why does every young woman want to look like Bibb in a spandex girdle?

And then there are the young men. Every time I see a guy with his crotch around his knees, I check my belt to make sure it's still done up and securing my pants around my hips. The point of men's clothing these days seems to be to balance the waistband of the pants on the widest part of the ass without having them actually depend from the hips or fall down. Maybe I should be buying stock in Crazy Glue. That's the only way I can figure out that these guys are walking around with both hands free to hold other things. Like that joint and the can of beer.

Pantslegs are long enough to be bridal trains, and they get frayed and torn by being dragged on the ground behind the heels. Shoelaces are undone, trailing right along with the pantslegs. I have stopped warning guys that they're about to trip and break their necks. They just nod to everyone around them in amusement and continue scuffing right along.

But the shirts they wear are large enough to be tents. And they are worn open, usually over a sports team singlet with arm holes that dip to where the waistband would be if the pants actually came up to the waist. It's like the guys are using all the extra material that the girls have discarded.

I read a brief news item the other day which indicated that the birth rate around the world is down from previous years.

I'm not surprised.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Summertime...And The Livin' Is...Hectic

I'm still here. Not on the computer so much. Incredibly good weather and a season full of fascinating diversions have cut 'way back on my blogging time.

That, and my persistent case of tendonitis (or so my doctor called it, after twisting and prodding it for about five minutes). I now know what caused the pain/strain, though -- it was that twelve plus hours of navigating a crowded fairground with a six-foot long staff, using my elbow as the fulcrum for manouvering the staff. I figured that out the next time I tried to use the staff, and my elbow screamed at me to put the damned thing down. *sigh* Guess I'm not gonna do any quarter-staff or sword fighting for awhile... you were. Enjoy the rest of the summer. I'll be back later.