Editor’s note: Good things happen to me when I least expect them. While interviewing Jim Morrison about the second season of his political show For & Against and his life in New York as a former penis contest winner, I slipped the idea of doing a political column on Grateful Grapefruit between the lines. He instantly said yes and couldn’t have been more excited about it. What followed was a long email swapping about details, format etc.
Now, I know politics is not what you would expect from Grateful Grapefruit. However, I’ve had enough of this bullshit. In a world where our lives are connected no matter where we live and friendships are built from the distance, I’ve had enough of the ridiculous US policy on equal marriage rights. I know it may sound tedious talking about the US in a mostly Eruope centered blog like Grateful Grapefruit, but unfortunately US politics today reach further than the borders of the States. I’ve felt like I had to do something for quite some time and now I found the perfect partner in crime.
In the first edition of his political column, FULL STOP, Jim discusses parallels between Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan and tell us what gets better. oh, and London 2012 – do you remember what that was?
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jim Morrison.
The classical introductory question: Would you eat lab-grown meat?
Local. Natural. Organic. Sustainable. Artisanal. Blah blah Blah. Ok, truth be told I’m in favor of all those things, but it can get out of control. A lot of people are completely turned off or disgusted by “in-vitro”…lab-grown…meat, be they red-meat red state carnivore republican types or blue state hipster newly minted upstate farmers raising only the most pure, natural pigs for slaughter and plates in trendy Brooklyn smokehouses. But you know what? The history of human-kind cannot be separated from our development of technology and the things we make..synthesize…with that technology. A hand-held hammer is no less natural than an air powered nail gun. Technology, science is IN our nature. So as long as it’s not filled with nasty chemicals, toxins or devoid of nutrition, how is it any different? Well I’ll tell you….it’s different because no poor animal had to die so you can have your artery clogging steak. I, for one, don’t consume mammals. One, I think the beef, pork and sheep industry is incredibly inefficient and highly destructive to the environment. Birds are basically dinosaurs, and while i recognize the problems with those industries being just as awful, i’ll claim refuge in that inconsistency by clinging to mammal “usness” and dinosaur “themness.” And i’m working on it. So, since i think killing mammals is bad, and in vireo meat means no killing mammals. Sign me up. And if we get a whole bunch of environmental benefits from not destroying the earth and wasting resources through factory animal farms, even better.
Which LGBT issue needs more attention now – marriage equality or workplace rights?
Tough question. I won’t duck it by saying both. Yes, both are important. But I think ENDA (the Employment Non Discrimination Act) is actually more important. Don’t get me wrong. I support the fight for marriage equality. I happen to think the Constitution demands no less. Throw in the immigration implications for bi-mational couples and marriage equality becomes even more important for so many people. But the possibility of getting fired from your job, literally your source of food and housing, that’s major. And it’s till the case in many many places in the US and around the globe. Being able to get married is great, but doesn’t mean much if you’re on the street and hungry b/c you lost your job. Moreover, I worry about the distressing side-effects of putting too much emphasis on the marriage equality fight. Again, I don’t mean to disparage that fight or the activist heroes in those trenches, but when we put so much emphasis on seeking admission to this hetero institution it seems like we’re adopting their rules and mores more and more, rather than destabilizing the institution with our queer perspective and critique. How do I mean? Example: when that silly gossip news broke that Anderson Cooper’s boyfriend was photographed kissing another guy, there were so so so many gay people posting incredibly hetero-normative comments like “poor Anderson, he doesn’t deserve that”, “that nasty cheating boyfriend, show him the door” etc etc…. without ever stopping to wonder that maybe they had an open relationship, maybe that was a guy they both have threesomes with. Maybe Anderson set the date up. Who knows. A queer perspective would inform that the possibilities of their relationship were pretty much endless and theirs to define, outside someone else’s over-arching moralistic imperatives. In my optimistic moments I hope the fight for marriage equality will be more of us making marriage a bit more like us…queer… rather than it making us a lot more like them.
How did London 2012 do?
If we really believed in and adhered to the Olympic values in the Olympic charter, the Olympics would look a lot different. Yes, there were many more women this time around, for example, but did you happen to see all the offensive pics of the “women of beach volleyball”? totally gross. i did an opinion video about this for my show actually. And seriously there are only 15 women on the IOC board….out of 130something. And men have about 30 more events than women. And why are we even allowing nations who discriminate against women, gay people or any groups, to participate. We boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan (total aside: if only they had succeeded in propping up their secular puppet government…which included women i hasten to add, the world would be a very very different place today. Blowback sure sucks.) Are we gonna boycott the Sochi games in 2014 b/c the Soviets….I mean Russians…have disallowed an LGBT Pride House? Why not? Anyway, London. what about the Saudi women athletes you might ask…big deal, no? Well they don’t even live in Saudi Arabia. So like the self-serving omissions of Britain’s ugly rapacious imperial past from the frenetic and confusing opening ceremony, things aren’t always what they seem. We’ve got a long way still to go. Don’t even get me started on the fawning over the “royals” garbage.
Can we expect Paul Ryan to be at least comparably hysterically ridiculous as Sarah Palin?
Less hilarious, but just as scary…. Which is kind of more scary because the danger is harder for uninformed people to see. His devotion to the sociopath Ayn Rand’s nasty objectivist philosophy is distressing. Suddenly Sarah Palin barely being able to read seems comparatively fun. There have been a bunch of stories about it and Ayn Rand which has been good to see. Paul Ryan is far more dangerous than Palin. But most Americans already associate him with his plan to privatize Medicare, something a large majority of Americans oppose. This will hurt Romney in a state like Florida, in which prior to the Ryan pick, Romney probably had an edge over Obama. Not anymore. I went to high school with guys like Paul Ryan: rich upper class pretend intellectual white guys toting around their copies of Ayn Rand. Totally douchey and gross. But mix in his tax cuts for the rich anti gay, anti women, anti choice, anti immigrant policies and it stops being funny. Thankfully not only will the Ryan pick not save a failing and incompetent Romney campaign, it will likely hurt it. Romney chameleons and flip flops constantly on policies….so much that he doesn’t really stand for much at all. Ryan is pretty easy to pin down, and Americans don’t like what they see. Oh and he’s also a complete liar. (look up his opposition to stimulus spending while simultaneously requesting money for his district and then lying about it. classy)
What’s getting better?
The obvious answer is also totally true: Gay and queer sexual identities are indeed more accepted today than even five years ago. And that’s a good thing. It is easier to be “out” and able to live our lives proudly and openly. A lot of that has to do with all the old bigots slowly dying off…but not all of it. There has been a real success in telling our stories, simple stories of lives and love that are hard to dismiss. But enough of that
What I’m really excited about are:
The photographs from Mars. I get seriously pissed off at people….usually lefties like me, no less….who say things like “why do we waste money on space exploration? it’s criminal. we should spend it here on jobs, or schools or poverty reduction….” yada yada yada. Science and space exploration some of the coolest and most important things humans do and we need more. Being human means seeking knowledge for knowledge’s sake alone. Amazing. Besides, you idiot, all that money wasted you gripe about isn’t stuffed into the space craft and blasted off to Mars, it’s spent right here on Earth….creating jobs, ideas, inventions, putting some scientist’s kid through college so that she’ll invent cold fusion one day b/c her mom was a kick-ass scientist that sent a fucking robot to Mars and inspired her.
So yeah. Those photographs from the Curiosity are not only getting better. They’re making US better.