The Stranger

File:Seattle Pride.jpgKelley gave me a gift of a three month old free newspaper. “I think you’ll like this, there is some pretty radical stuff on gender identity in it,” he said. Oh God, not more “My transition struggle” articles. Nothing I don’t know, haven’t seen before so many times. Gosh. Thanks. It is from Seattle, that not-quite Canadian city in the rain where the ripoff of Forbrydelsen was set.

I have not seen anything in Britain like the Stranger. We have magazines with articles as serious, but not a free paper. The trans stuff is nothing I have not read before: the heartwarming story of a couple who fell in love, got married, and when the husband transitioned to female it brought them closer together, and the story of a couple, one M-F TS, whose partner transitioned F-M while they were together.

This is the Marriage Issue. There are articles on legal marriages: one is an interracial marriage- unremarkable except that it was illegal until 1967 in eighteen US states. Here, my friend whose wife was black notices the racism, but has rarely had serious problems with it. This shows that we reinvent marriage, often. One woman held one of many, many kinds of party which I don’t go to- in this case, a sex party- and a married woman did various things then told her husband all about it on the phone. For some people, marriage makes perfect sense. A gay man writes of a married couple who both came on to him: he thinks the husband was gay and had married as a cure. He was disgusted, but as a writer stayed around to see how sad it would get.

When his father told an eight year old that he wanted to arrange his marriage with a baby, the son thought of dropping the baby he was cradling, to end it. When, later, he came out as gay, his father threatened to kill him. He says the most traditional marriages are arranged marriages- common in white society in the 19th century- and that is not what “traditional marriage” defenders are defending.

File:Lesbian married couple.jpgThere is a marriage which has got better, with less conflict and greater happiness, since on the husband’s suggestion the wife has dominated him. It works for them, and it is simply between them- why should others regulate their relationship? Outside the bedroom it comes across as the husband seeming “gentlemanly and attentive”. Another marriage is sexless, effectively, the couple are house-sharers.

Mitt Romney’s great grandfather had four wives, and he joked once that “marriage should be between a man and a woman and a woman and a woman”. Good to see a man sticking with the faith of his ancestors. And finally there is a traditional religious marriage: a couple married by their church, with four sons and a suburban lifestyle, who happen to be gay.

Through this publication I have learned the term “zoobiquity”, bringing together doctors and vets to treat diseases shared by different species. There is a review of the top ten: I have never understood the musical snobberies of cool people around pop music- I like Classical music, and all not-classical music is either fun or not-fun- and the reviewer hates Carly Rae Jepsen. I heard “Call me maybe” with my friend’s thirteen year-old granddaughter in March, and I liked her playing on the leading note creating anticipation. Not just C would be smiling to herself and thinking, “Call me, maybe”.

Believe in America!

I believe in America. I’ve seen it on satellite photos and heard Aaron Copland’s music. People whom I trust say they have been there. Apart from a vacuous slogan, the man most likely to come second in November has some vacuous beliefs.

I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own politics and prejudices.

File:Mitt Romney by Gage Skidmore 3.jpgMr Romney’s own website shows that he has worked hard to oppose marriage equality. This is not a religious freedom issue. Conservatives do not have to call the union of two women a “marriage”. They do not have to make friends with those women, or let them attend their church. But they do not have the right to prevent us from celebrating and naming our unions. Your freedom to swing your fist ends at my face, and it really irks me when you start to whine that your fist hurts after hitting me. And I am perplexed that he would so badly misunderstand what judges do.

I am glad he is standing, though. Were it not for that, I would not have heard about temple garments. I have had other moments of shocked derision because the serious press is paying attention to Mormonism.

File:Newt Gingrich by Gage Skidmore 6.jpgShocked derision is my constant reaction more generally. Newt wants a moonbase by 2020, and his supporters cheered: why bother? You’re on another planet already. I have heard various excuses for this. The President as an embodiment of the Nation has to pretend to be an ordinary man. The constitution, as a way of getting Government out of the faces of citizens, elects second raters.

What does Newt have to say about marriage equality?

[gay marriage is] a perfect example of what I mean by the rise of paganism. The effort to create alternatives to marriage between a man and a woman are perfectly natural pagan behaviors

Sounds reasonable. I like paganism, I have liked pagans I have met, I like their spirituality, and generally pagans are keener on equal marriage than Southern Baptists because pagans are more sane. Unfortunately, Newt continued:

but they are a fundamental violation of our civilization.

Oh. So. Two perfectly nice ordinary groups of Americans, mostly friendly and pleasant enough, are named as Enemies of Civilisation. The Enemy Within. We don’t have the Commie threat any more (many of those damn commies were homosexuals) so Newt has to make do with homosexuals and pagans. Oops, don’t forget Muslims:

Remember, the Organization of Islamic Countries is dedicated to preventing anyone, anywhere in the world from commenting negatively about Islam, so they would literally eliminate our free speech and there were clearly conversations held that implied that the U.S. Justice Department would begin to enforce censorship against American citizens to protect radical Islam

I seem to remember a good news story from the Republican primaries. Wasn’t there an out gay Republican candidate? Someone more centrist and moderate? Oh yes, Fred Karger. How’s he doing, then? He has not secured a single delegate. And what does he think of the people getting involved in politics?

It’s great that we can express our political ideologies by dressing up as colonial revolutionaries and yelling about economic policies we don’t understand. But were the Tea Party and Occupy movements populist statements reflecting democratic dialogue, or did they serve only to undermine perfectly capable “establishment” candidates?

Leave it to the professionals, in other words. After all, they have done brilliantly so far…

Picture credits: Mitt. Newt. Fred.180px-David_Cameron_official

Good patriotic Americans might think that, considering I have never been West of Reykjavik, I should not involve myself in their private grief. But the Leader of the Free World affects us all, and my country has been to war twice, on his say-so, in the last ten years.

Ask you what provocation I have had?
The strong antipathy of Good to Bad.

The Googling to find this stuff took minutes. It is easy to find monstrous and vile things that these men say.