October 31, 2008

i am not a nazi

hey quenchistas!

long time reader, first time post-er. just some ideas poorly capitalized. enjoy!

i usually don't think that crazy conservatives who think i don't deserve to exist merit my time--i kind of just block them out. but today i was bored at work, so i thought i'd give them a chance. and now i'm seriously pissed.

so today i watched a video filmed at a Yes on Prop 8 rally in which a speaker roiled a crowd of fervent supporters of taking away marriage rights from same-sex couples in california that i was, in fact, a jesus-hating nazi bully. what hitler did to germany and the rest of europe, so i am doing to america. in the parlance of the bush and co., i represent an "existential threat."

at first, i didn't know whether to be amused or afraid. something so clearly ignorant can't be taken seriously, and any rational person who hears it would clearly see it for the craziness it is.

well, apparently not.

watching the reaction of the people in the crowd at this rally, they not only saw logic in the parallel between hitler and gay people, they were incensed by it. they were mad--furious that those gays were coming to exterminate them just like hitler did to the jews. and the gays. and the gypsies. and anyone else who thought differently from the party line.

i was blown away by the cognitive dissonance required to say that gay people and the nazis who sent them to concentration camps were, in fact, one and the same.

and then my inner nerd kicked in, and i remembered a classic episode of The Twilight Zone starring a young Dennis Hopper as a naive neo-Nazi struggling to convince the masses to take his message of hate seriously. he struggles, that is, until a mysterious stranger arrives to coach him in the ways of rabble rousing. this dark, face-less stranger advises Hopper that in order to get people motivated, they must feel threatened and afraid. and so in his next speech, hopper says that instead of good americans respecting racial minorities and women and immigrants, good patriotic americans need to understand that they are under siege from these insidious groups and must respond before they, the good god-fearing white christians, are wiped out. at the climax of his speech, Hopper yells, "Respect the minorities? Patriotism, my friends, has become the minority. Love of country has become the minority. WE ARE THE MINORITY!"

the similarities to the yes on prop 8 people and the republican campaign nationwide are startlingly familiar. comparisons to john mccain's ubiquitous "my friends" aside, i see the same perverse logic of straight, white, christian men that says that somehow, in spite of every cultural privilege they enjoy, they are nonetheless in the minority and oppressed by people like african-americans and gays and women who want control over their own bodies.

and so i become the jesus-hating nazi bully. never mind i go to church. never mind that all of my grandmother's family were murdered in concentration camps, and that if i had been alive in nazi germany, i'd suffer the same fate. never mind that i was the one who got pushed and shoved and hit and teased mercilessly throughout middle and high school by the same kind of people who attend yes on prop 8 rallies. my access to equal rights, my very existence represents a threat to their hegemony, and because they locate that threat in me and the people i love, i become the oppressor.

i am so not the oppressor. as someone who feels the burden of legitimizing myself every day of my life to the public at large, whose very existence is an acceptable topic of national debate, it's not just crazy--it's scary. truly, deeply, scary. we can't ignore the yes on prop 8 people and their ilk anymore, dismissing them as ignorant and unworthy of recognition, because it's that very ignorance and irrational, perverse hatred that makes them so dangerous.

oh, and that mysterious guy that taught dennis hopper how market his hate mongering friends as the minority? guess who he turns out to be. i'll give you a hint: according to the yes on prop 8 people, he and i have a lot in common....

October 29, 2008

Time to Vote.

Transgender? College student? Racial or ethnic minority? Disabled?

If you have faced or may face voting obstacles, check out this nifty fact sheet from the National Center for Transgender Equality: "Overcoming Voting Obstacles."

Then get out there and VOTE!

October 27, 2008

Same sex marriage means religious intolerance, apparently

“This vote on whether we stop the gay-marriage juggernaut in California is Armageddon,” said Charles W. Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries and an eminent evangelical voice, speaking to pastors in a video promoting Proposition 8. “We lose this, we are going to lose in a lot of other ways, including freedom of religion.”

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian lobby based in Washington, said in an interview, “It’s more important than the presidential election.”

We’ve picked bad presidents before, and we’ve survived as a nation,” said Mr. Perkins, who has made two trips to California in the last six weeks. “But we will not survive if we lose the institution of marriage.”

Wow. So giving people the freedom to marry the people they love means we'll lose freedom of religion? If it's against your religion, don't marry someone of the same sex. I can't even comprehend the rationale for this one.

And I find it hard to believe that same-sex marriage could have made America fuck up in Iraq, Afghanistan, and New Orleans, more so than Bush's administration.

October 17, 2008

Credit Cards!

So, in this time of financial turmoil...I'm trying to pick a credit card.

Does anyone have suggestions? What credit card do you have? What would you suggest looking for - or avoiding? What about credit cards that get you frequent-flyer miles or help save the universe?

I'd appreciate any advice! Thanks, Quench!