Bailouts and Bigotry
It’s been a while, dear readers. I’m sorry I abandoned you during the last several weeks of political ups (Gobama!) and downs (never fear, my friends–true elitism laughs in the face of economic collapse). But I’m back, once again, to bitch about things completely beyond my control.
Someone should tell the millionaires that begging for money is totally pedestrian
First off, what the fuck is up with all these giant government bailouts? First it’s the banks and now it’s the auto industry? The bank bailout was pretty damn obnoxious, but I get that the nation’s financial institutions going under could cause serious fallout. But now the auto industry? I might’ve had some respect for those guys if they’d gone to Congress and said, “Hey man, if you guys give us some hard-earned taxpayer money we’ll stop making such shitty cars so people will, like, buy them and stuff.” But no. That’s not how it went. Instead, they flew to Washington in private fucking jets and said, “we’ll be better with money this time, we swear”. Douchenozzles.
The thing that really sucks is that the asshats who are in charge make so much money they never have to work another day in their lives, while the people who will get totally screwed by the death of the auto industry really need those paychecks. Lame. So lame. It seems to me that the least the CEOs of these companies could do is promise to resign if they get the bailouts. I mean, how much sense does it make to give a shitload of money to people who have managed to squander the money they already had?
I’m pretty sure the country is fucked either way…for a while at least. Which is precisely why I plan on spending my time hanging around the manor distilling moonshine and ordering around the servants. As long as the prices of hookers and coke don’t skyrocket, we should make it through the looming depression just fine.
Sometimes the will of the people is total bullshit
This Prop 8 shit is completely ridiculous. Last summer 18,000 couples went out and got married in California and now the state supreme court has to decide if they’re actually still married or not because the residents of California got to vote on it and–surprise, surprise–the majority of voters in California happen to be idiots. This is distressing on a number of levels.
First off, as a proponent of democracy, I feel like a total jackass for getting upset that the people got to vote and I think they shouldn’t have. As far as I know, the vote was pretty straight forward: the proposition was clearly articulated and there wasn’t much confusion about the intent of the law. In fact, the heading on the proposition said, “Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry”. No ambiguous wording. No misdirection. Those people knew exactly what they were voting for. So what’s the problem here? Shouldn’t the people of California get what they want? No. They really, really shouldn’t.
In my experience, people don’t know shit about fairness and equality. They also don’t know shit about the Constitution. If they did, maybe they’d realize that denying marriage rights to gay couples is fucking crazy–just like denying marriage rights to interracial couples was fucking crazy. The root of the problem, and I think, the best explanation for the success of Prop 8 is that conservatives managed to reframe the argument: they made it about semantics rather than equality. They’re not denying people rights, they’re affirming the definition of marriage. Never mind that this affirmation denies people rights.
None of the arguments against same-sex marriage are rooted in logic. Some opponents say that marriage is a privilege rather than a right, and therefore shouldn’t be guaranteed to everyone. That might work if the requirements for marriage extended beyond being heterosexual and of legal age. Some opponents say that marriage is for procreation, but that doesn’t work either because married couples aren’t required to have children (nor are you required to be married in order to reproduce), and there’s no law saying couples have to have fertility tests before they can get a marriage license. Hell, we even let post-menopausal women get married and we know they can’t get knocked up anymore. And then there’s the whole “but they can have their civil unions” argument. In the Brown v. the Board of Education decision in 1954, the Supreme Court determined that the whole concept of “separate but equal” was total bullshit. I don’t see how anyone can deny that this is the same shit all over again. Giving same-sex partnerships a separate name devalues those partnerships. There’s really no way around it. We can’t just introduce a completely new institution and expect people to see it as equal to the old one. It doesn’t work that way. If they’re equal then why do we need two different words for it?
Conservatives have been so successful in making this a semantic argument that so-called progressive politicians have bought into the hype. Even our supposedly (if you watch Fox News) uber-liberal president-elect Obama has stated publicly on several occasions that he supports equal rights for gay couples but doesn’t think the word “marriage” should be extended to same-sex unions. Even the good guys cower before the religious right from time to time.
Somehow people have come to believe that same-sex couples getting married somehow affects their own personal relationships. It doesn’t. That’s idiotic. Extending marriage rights to gay couples doesn’t affect straight people any more than letting black people drink out of the same water fountains as everyone else affected white people. So maybe the line for a marriage license at City Hall gets a little longer…it’s a small price to pay for living in a country where you can’t be discriminated against for being who you are.
So why shouldn’t the people of California have gotten a vote? Because opponents of same-sex marriage are basing their decision not on reason, but on personal preference. The law isn’t about your feelings, it’s about logic. When you can’t separate those two things, the consequences negatively impact the whole country. It emboldens the bigots and it allows people who cast votes with their hearts instead of their brains feel justified in doing so just because they happen to have won this time.
But it isn’t over yet. The California supreme court has agreed to hear arguments on Prop 8 again–turns out the initiative might not have been legal to begin with. So prepare yourself for the inevitable bitching about “activist judges” who “legislate from the bench” by people who have no concept of what judicial authority actually entails.