Monday, June 29, 2009

Iran So Far Away

Watching the post-election events in Iran has been a very emotional experience for me. My heart breaks for the people in the street who were brutalized, beaten, gassed, shot and murdered by their own government And, I'm so, so sad for their families and friends. I'm afraid for those who have been rounded up and imprisoned. But, I'm also deeply moved by the bravery of those fighting in the streets against injustice and corruption. I understand the rage generated by a stolen election, and I stand in awe at their raw courage.

The images that made it out of Iran tell the story of a people desperate for change. And, I can't help but to think of the incredible joy that I felt watching the era of the Bush / Cheney regime come to a close on the day of President Obama's inauguration. My only wish now for the people of Iran is that they soon know that same feeling of joy. And, I believe that they will.

I think it's obvious that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will soon be completely irrelevant. His smirky arrogance, his uneducated simple-mindedness, and his belligerant love of power worked well during the Bush years. Ahmadinejad and Bush needed each other. Bush needed a scary Axis of Evil to entertain the USA-chanting masses, and Ahmadinejad needed a Crusading Western Empire to keep his power flowing. And the common good-hearted people of both countries were caught in the middle.

But, now Bush is gone, and against the wishes of the dwindling GOP, President Obama has refused to step into the required role. Obama's brilliant speech in Cairo left Ahmadinejad standing alone. And the people of Iran voted to accept Obama's invitation to a better world. Unfortunately, their voices were denied by system-wide election rigging. And then, they took to the streets.

I don't know exactly how the story will play out. But, I do know that Obama's promise of change in the world is coming to pass, and I know that eventually the people of Iran will know hope. Until then, I will hope for them.

This past Saturday, I had the honor of witnessing some from the Iranian-American community here in Atlanta, stand up in solidarity with the people in their homeland. It was a very moving experience. Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to take part, but I've joined the local Facebook group and next time, I'm so there.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Sanctity of Marriage Warriors

1. I am the Lord, thy God.
2. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
3. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
4. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, thy God, in vain.
5. Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.
6. Honor thy father and thy mother.
7. Thou shalt not kill.
8. Thou shall not commit adultery.
9. Thou shalt not steal.
10. Thou shall not covet.

And, yet nothing about the great evil of homosexuals getting married. Not one word about the gays in the highest and most sacred rules of the Judeo-Christian tradition? The same Judeo-Christian tradition that we hear about non-fucking-stop from those folks who are tirelessly defending the word marriage from being "re-defined" to allow federal recognition of the lives and commitments of same-sex couples?

Let's take a look at some of that tireless work that's being done to save traditional opposite marriage, shall we? Due to limits of time and space, we'll only be able to delve into the past 2 weeks. For more information on the Sanctity of Marriage warriors, please click on any of the following adulterous hypocrites: Marion Barry, David Vitter, Newt Gingrich, Larry Craig, Randall Tobias, Mark Foley, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Bowers, Vito Fossella, Connie Mack....

Senator John Ensign

In 1998, the born-again Christian and Nevada Republican Representative John Ensign, was the among the first in Congress to condemn Bill Clinton's adulterous affair with Monica Lewinsky. He called on President to quit because "he has no credibility left." In 2004, Senator Ensign was a passionate supporter of the Federal Marriage Amendment, which if passed would've added an amendment to the Constitution of the United States banning states from recognizing same-sex marriages. He stated:

"Marriage is the cornerstone on which our society was founded. For those who say that the Constitution is so sacred that we cannot or should not adopt the Federal Marriage Amendment, I would simply point out that marriage, and the sanctity of that institution, predates the American Constitution and the founding of our nation."

On June 16th, Senator Ensign admitted publicly that he had an adulterous affair with a female campaign staffer from December 2007 to August 2008. While the affair took place, Senator Ensign doubled his mistress' salary - which was apparently being paid by the Republican Political Action Committee.

Governor Mark Sanford

Yesterday, South Carolina Governor and ardent defender of traditional marriage, Mark Sanford, admitted to abandoning his post as governor and secretly flying to Argentina to be with his mistress. His admission ends nearly a week of speculation as to the Governor's whereabouts. His adulterous affair has lasted nearly a year, so far. Incidentally, his trip to Argentina preempted Father's Day weekend, so his four children were unable to celebrate the fruits of traditional marriage with their father. Also incidentally, the Governor (and father of the year) voted to ban gay and lesbian people from adopting unwanted children. Um, yeah. And, while reporters dig to see if this Sanctity of Marriage warrior paid for his secret Argentine rendezvous with South Carolina taxpayer money, let's take a look at Governor Sanford's very recent cameo on the Joe Scarborough morning show....

*** UPDATE *** As it turns out...Governor Mark Sanfor, Defender of Traditional Opposite Marriage and Decliner of President Obama's Irresponsible to the Taxpayers Stimulus Plan, did in fact use taxpayer money to fund his adulterous affair in Argentina - according to the New York Times. I wonder how relieved Governor Sanford was to hear of Michael Jackson's news dominating death.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another World

"Another World" - Antony and the Johnsons

Thursday, June 18, 2009

On The Beach

This past weekend, we were finally able to make it to the High Museum of Art, here in Atlanta. It's an impressive museum space, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, and it houses a significant collection of 19th and 20th century American and European art, African-American art, and some outstanding contemporary and modern pieces. The High (as it's often called here), has a partnership with the Louvre and is currently exhibiting Claude Monet's "Water Lilies," which was fairly interesting.

But, I was really intrigued and moved by an exhibit of Richard Misrach's photography series, "On The Beach." Each photo was huge, in some cases measuring 6 x 10 feet, and the detail captured in each was just extraordinary. The photos are of people in the ocean, and/or on the beach in various positions and postures - but photographed from an almost omniscient spot high above.

As Misrach explains, "The photographs that appear in On the Beach were made between January 2002 and November 2005. My thinking was influenced by the events of 9/11, as well as by the 1950s Cold War novel and film, On the Beach. I was drawn to the fragility and grace of the human figure in the landscape. For me, the work is both a celebration of our survival and an elegy. Paradise has become an uneasy dwelling place; the sublime sea frames our vulnerability, the precarious nature of life itself."

Truly fantastic.