Friday, November 14, 2008

Now, no prejudice intended, but I always check with the Bible on these here things.

Business owners who were supporters of Proposition 8 in California are whining that their support of the measure has led to a boycott.

"I'm frustrated by what's going on," said Dave Leatherby, owner of the Leatherby Family Creamery in Sacramento, commenting on the protests and court battles.

"Let's move on. I always told my children that once a rule was made, you have to abide by it. I think it should be the same in this circumstance."

Leatherby and his family donated about $20,000 for the passage of Proposition 8. A devout Catholic and father of 10, Leatherby supported the measure for religious reasons. He said his business has been targeted by bloggers as a result, and that he is particularly confused because his business has participated in the annual gay pride Rainbow Festival.

The fact that Dave's confused should go without comment. Dave apparently believes that gay people should be proud of who they are, while believing at the same time that they shouldn't enjoy the same rights as other American citizens. Your hypocrisy, Dave. It's showing.

(Must be nice to have 20k to donate to a political campaign. Add this to the whining and the world's smallest violin just got a little smaller.)

"Protesting is a time-honored American tradition," said Ned Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference. Catholic leaders were active in the Yes on 8 campaign. "But it's unfortunate when it steps over into religious bigotry or harassment."

How dare you show prejudice against our bigotry!

Some Proposition 8 supporters say a minority of protesters have gone too far by targeting individuals. Opponents of the measure have called for a boycott of the California Musical Theatre after revelations that artistic director Scott Eckern, a Mormon, donated $1,000 to the Yes on 8 Campaign. Members of his church played a significant role in the campaign.

Artistic director for California Musical Theatre? Scott's lucky he is isn't dragged out of his office, thrown into the stocks and pelted with CDs of "Cats."

"It's disheartening that he is being singled out," said Lisa West, spokeswoman for the church in the Sacramento area. "We had hoped there would be more tolerance for different viewpoints."

See, it's just a matter of different points of view. Just because Lisa thinks that gay people are inhuman sinners going against God's will who will certainly be condemned to an eternity in hell screaming in agony and demons rend the boiling flesh from their bodies doesn't mean she isn't willing to sit down for coffee with them and hear what they have to say.

Although supporters of gay marriage believe the courts will come through for them and ultimately overturn this initiative on equal protection grounds, the supporters of Proposition 8 still seem defiant.

For now, Leatherby said, Proposition 8 should stand. "If they want to win me over," he said, "that's not how to do it."

Because appealling to your sense of humanity and Christian goodwill has gone so far up to this point, jerk. It's not our problem that you're a homophobic bigot. Deal.

Keith says it better than me:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm gone, man. Solid gone.

This may be a morbid post but what the hell. I've been working on a list of songs that I'd like played at my funeral. I'm still young and (hopefully) that day is far, far away but I think it's a good idea to do something like that while one is young and lucid. Or as lucid as I can get.

At one point this list grew to over a hundred songs. Unless the funeral turns out to be an all day affair that's obviously way too many tunes. I think 20 is a nice number. That's roughly an hour of music.

One way of thinking that really helped narrow it down was to pull out songs that I had on the list because I simply liked and keep the songs that more told a story about me. In that sense the songs run from my childhood until now. This is sort of the soundtrack of my life.

I would love to see you guys take a stab at your own soundtrack. Let me know if you do.

1) "The Bear Necessities," Phil Harris - The earliest song I remember loving. I had a toy record player and this on a 45 and I would play this, sing along and dance around my room for hours. My parents must of loved that.

2) "I Don't Want To Be The Lone Ranger", unknown - I have no idea where we got this song but my mom dressed my brother and me up like the Lone Ranger and Tonto and we lip-synced this tune for a talent show.

3) "Star Wars," John Williams - My folks rented a van and took me and my friends to wait an hour and a half in line to see the first Star Wars movie. From the moment this theme started and the title march scrolled it was an out-of-body experience that led to a lifetime love of film.

4) "Star Trek," Alexander Courage - I would watch reruns of this show when I got home from school. It burned into my psyche.

5) "Every Little Thing She Do Is Magic," The Police - In my grade school class everybody had a favorite band. Mine was The Police. I liked the reggae/ punk fusion and Sting's raspy voice.

6) "Great Balls of Fire," Jerry Lee Lewis - I started to appreciate that there was cool older music. This song stuck out because I remember loving to sing the part that goes "kiss me baby, Mmmmmmm, feels good."

7) "The Last Time," The Rolling Stones - So many great Stones tunes but this older one is one of my favorites.

8) "Goonies R' Good Enough," Cindy Lauper - I'm not going to apologize for this song. This movie has a soft spot in my heart then and now.

9) "Raider's March," John Williams - Friends dragged me to see this film. It looked way to commercial for me. I wound up loving it.

10) "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me," Culture Club - I don't even like this song but when I hear it I have flashbacks to making out with some pretty girl in my old VW Rabbit.

11) "El Shaddai," Amy Grant - Laugh if you want but for a time I had serious intentions of being a priest. I think being in love with Amy Grant might have had something to do with it. Teenagers aren't known for their clarity of thought.

12) "Pachabel's Canon," Pachabel - If there's a more perfect piece of music I haven't heard it.

13) "We Got The Beat," Go Gos - Loved the Go Gos and loved dancing to the Go Gos.

14) "Mighty Oregon," unknown - University of Oregon was probably the best time of my life.

15) "Otis Redding Live At Montrey Pops Festival," Otis Redding - Technically more than one song so sue me. I vividly remember listening to this in a college dorm room the first time I smoked a blunt.

16) "No Woman, No Cry," Bob Marley - The first time I heard this song I took it to mean if you don't have a woman in your life you won't be shedding any tears. Only later did I realize he was trying to comfort his wife in the song. I like my interpretation better.

17) "Groovy Kind Of Love," Phil Collins - Our song so shut up. :-)

18) "La Valse D'Amelie," Yann Tiersen - This movie is too wonderful to describe. You either live your life alone or you share your life with others.

19) "Mosh," Eminem - I really thought we the kids would save us from Bush in 2004. They did. Just a couple of years later is all.

20) "Everlong," Foo Fighters - The acoustic version of this song gets to what it means to love someone. "Breathe out, so I can breathe you in. Hold you in."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Many wars and feuds did Conan fight. Honor and fear were heaped upon his name and, in time, he became a king by his own hand.

The very cool West Coast Walker was kind enough to tag me with the Superior Scribbler Award.. It means a lot coming from Matt because between you, me and the wall, I harbor no doubt he's quite a bit smarter than me. But let's keep that on the QT.

Superior Scribbler Rules and Responsibilities:*The Rules: Every Superior Scribbler will name 5 other Super Scribblers.If you are named you must link to the author & the name of the blog that gave you the award. Then you must display the adorable award and link to THIS POST, which explains the award. The same post also allows you to add your link. Then they will have a record of all the people who are Super Scribblers!

My Nominees:

Pissed Off Patricia who hasn't seemed so pissed off lately but actually happy and hopeful. Maybe she should change her name to "Joyful Patricia."

Ubermilf who with great consistency makes me laugh with her unique take on the crazy world of parenting, being a milf and shirtless ranting.

Swinebread who doesn't blog as much as he used to because of the whole having a newborn at home thing but still provides my regular fix of comic book news.

Lockwood who has a wonderful dry sense of humor that I assume comes from the fact he resides in the rainiest state in the union.

Enigma who live-blogs all the important political events. An achievement dwarfed by the fact that she seems to be sober when doing so.

You do not *vote* pirates off the seas. You engage them, rake, and scuttle them.

On this Veteran's Day my thoughts are of my wonderful father and his service in the U.S. Navy. He had a story that he loved to tell and I loved to hear of his time in the service. I want to share that story.

Unlike his own father who had served in the Navy during World War 2, my father had the fortune of serving at a relatively peaceful time in our nation's history. Shortly after Naval Boot Camp he was assigned to a destroyer escort where he spent a lot of time peeling potatoes, painting stuff, etc. You get the picture.

The Crossing the Line ceremony has been around as long as their have ships sailing the seas. Essentially it's a ceremony in which seasoned sailors (Shellbacks) initiate those sailors who are crossing the equator for the first time (Polly-wogs.)

The whole thing actually takes a couple of days and is fairly structured. On the evening before the ceremony the Shellback enlisted servicemen "take over" the ship from the officers, who essentially step aside for a couple of days. That evening the Wogs are allowed a sort of mild uprising before they are hazed during the ceremony the next day.

The ceremony itself varies but it usually involves things like beatings, crawling through tubes of rotten garbage, dips in the ocean, kissing the fattest guy on the ship's belly when it's covered in grease, etc. It ends with King Neptune bestowing the title of "Shellback" on the Polly-wogs and a beauty contest involving sailors dressed as women.

On my father's crossing he was part of a particularly large class of Wogs totalling over 60 sailors. They were blessed with a group of Shellbacks who were real son's of bitches. These guys spent the days as the ship approached the equator telling the Wogs in excruciating detail how this Crossing the Line ceremony was going to be the most notorious ever. The beatings were going to be especially brutal and the garbage especially gross.

Dad and his fellow Wogs did what any rational sailors would do under these circumstances: they revolted. On the evening before ceremony they attacked the Shellbacks and locked them up. My dad was part of a group of five guys that took on a radio operator that was a real bear of a man. As dad described the fight their were guys getting thrown around the room as they all tried to hold this giant down.

Eventually they took the ship. They through the giant tube of garbage overboard, elected their own "officers" and partied in their skivvies. As the ship crossed the equator it wasn't under the flag of the United States but instead under a hastily painted Polly-wog flag. My dad was a pirate.

Of course they had to let the Shellbacks out and the hazing took place anyway, under conditions twice as brutal as promised. As my father would tell this story some forty years after it had taken place his eyes would light up at the memory. In his eyes it was worth it.

Upon completion of the ceremony my father was given a certificate that looked exactly like the one below. This certificate hung in his office above his degree in electrical engineering which tells you the importance to which dad held this event. Because while service and duty are important, sometimes we have to be pirates. Even if it's only for a day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mr. Magee, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

I assume everybody is up to speed on the Harry Reid/ Joe Lieberman melodrama of last week. It won't come as any surprise that I come down on the side of those that want to have Holy Joe lose his chairmanships, be expeled from the party and then summarily tomatoed to his knees in the public square. But that doesn't even come close to expressing how I really feel.

When I think about the possibility that the slimy traitorous little weasel Lieberman might retain those chairmanships when loyal, true-blue Democrat Hillary Clinton doesn't chair any committees of her own, I'm filled with a Hulkian rage giving me the strength to tear a toaster in two with my bare hands.

Seniority be damned. Give his committees to Hillary. She's more than earned them and she won't be stabbing us in the back.