Thursday, May 20, 2004

Finally... some inspiration

Dear readers, you know that I am no huge fan of John Kerry. I think we could have chosen a much stronger candidate to run against Dubyamort in the fall (not naming any names *coff*HowardDean*coff*). I've spent the last few months trying to reconcile myself to working with the candidate we've been given, searching for *some* enthusiasm which will prompt me to start handing over money and time to the effort, above and beyond (OF COURSE) the vote that he will definitely get from me in November.

Today I hear that Kerry has settled on a campaign theme - "Let America Be America Again". It's derived from the title of the following Langston Hughes poem... and it says it all. This I can get behind.

Let America Be America Again
Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Grow Old Along with Me

Join me in commemorating (albeit a couple of days late) Monday, May 17th, 2004 - the day that the first completely legal same-sex marriages were performed in the U.S., in the state of Massachusetts. And in a really cool cosmic coincidence, it was also the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling that desegregated American schools. Can I get a Boo-ya?

An account from my friend Avi who was there for the momentous occasion:


The story...

At around 10, I decided to go watch the marriages. I had no idea that there would be something so big there, though I suspected there might be. I wanted to go to show solidarity and support, but also to witness history. It was practically banging on my door, I had to answer.

I got to City Hall at 10:30 and there was already a huge, growing crowd. Rainbow flags, signs, the works. The final count was 10,000 (according to The Boston Globe) and I believe it. Mass Ave was shut down from Central Square to Harvard Square to accomodate the supporters. There were about 50 Fred Phelps protesters, but they were largely ignored and went home before 12:01. At one point, our crowd starting chanting "God Loves Fags!" Even the presence of the TPF, the riot squad cops didn't dampen enthusiams. The TPF lined the aisle for the couples to come in and out of the hall. Cambridge police later replaced them (cops are the new ushers, you heard it here first.)

There was much rejoicing when couples went into City Hall, but nothing compared to the raucous response that greeted them when they came out. Cheers, claps, screams, rice, bubbles, songs. Pure happiness. The crowd was heterogeneous - gay, straight, male, female, old, young, white, black, Asian, Latino, all religions, students, job holders, everyone. Couples were often interracial, and more often than not, older, sometimes with children (one couple was a leather-daddy couple.) I had a good spot and I saw their faces. When they came out of the building to see the crowd awaiting them, their faces were awash with surprised pleasure.

We in the crowd serenaded them. "Chapel of Love" of course. Also we sang "This Land is Your Land", "God Bless America", "This Little Light of Mine", "The Star Spangled Banner" and probably others. It was the best gathering I've ever been too. It was pure happiness, not protest. There was so much love and support for the couples. When they left City Hall, the crowd shouted "Kiss! Kiss!" And especially warm reception was for Cambridge State Senator Jarrett Barrios and his husband. The crowd was practically screaming "Jarrett! Jarrett!" He's done a lot for us and he deserves it (he's also an incredible hottie.)

There were great signs last night. The best one simply said "YAY!" Whenever the crowd got too quiet, the man holding the sign thrust it into the air and shouted, "YAY!" The crowd responded in kind.

Cambridge City Hall is across the street from a YMCA. I'm just sayin'.

At around 1 am a man with a bullhorn (I guess the chief clerk) came out with a bullhorn and said that there were 150 more couples and City Hall would be open until 6 am. One man shouted in response "We're in no rush."

The crowd felt like friends. Everyone was so happy and pleasant. No anger anywhere, just unabashed joy. I was so glad to be there. I was also glad that I got to share it with friends (all of them straight, and two connected to one of the plaintiffs in the court case.) It was a magical, historical night. The anniversary of Brown v. The Board of Eduation. A start of a new era. Gay marriage is coming. It's a reality now.

I love Cambridge.

He's right. The horse is out of the barn. Let it run wild and free! Love is love is love... and now we're one step closer to realizing the promise that was made to all of our citizens in the Declaration of Independence.

On the same topic, my man Howard commented in a Boston Globe article. My favourite quote:

While it is true that the Bible (largely the Old Testament) condemns homosexuality in a few places, it equally condemns eating shellfish. Jesus never mentions homosexuality.

Perusing Leviticus (as I'm wont to do), I notice that it also condemns wearing clothes woven of two different kinds of material. I am SO going to hell.

Funny what people choose to take to heart, ain't it?

Monday, May 17, 2004

Everything old is new again

Okay, okay. After the outpouring of love for the original orange design (and the constant reminder of it everytime the buggy new software kicks the template back in time), I've decided to switch back with just a few modifications. This is the comment that sealed the decision (posted under the old system of course, due to the aforementioned bug):

This time it's my fault. I was looking at the new
new blog, dared to make a anonymous comment, and
now this. I'm willing to sacrifice my anonymity
for the sake of solving the problem.

I feel much more at home here, though, and it's
just like the good ol' days --- the orange and
yellow, the accessible sans-serif font, and
Kristina's not writing nearly enough. :o)


I will preserve the writer's anonymity while also copping to not writing nearly enough. *g* It's been a really busy couple of weeks, but all good. A few high points:

  • Got a groovy new haircut - bye-bye long locks!

  • Launched a huge new site at work and got a $100 gift cheque in recognition

  • Had lunch on a speedboat on Lake Washington last Friday

  • Attended Sophie's first t-ball practice. She's the only girl on her team, and they named themsleves the Red Foxes

  • Went in on a week's rental of a spacious beautiful house in Mazama, WA (located in the Methow Valley) with some friends at the Co-op auction

  • Continued to work on getting my massage space ready while waiting (not-so-patiently) for my license

Many thoughts that I will write about soon though. I've not said much about the continually worsening situation in Iraq, but I will. Oy. I will.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

A New 'Do

Blogger gave me some new tools to play with so here's a new look. I can't promise it won't change more than once, and it will take me a little bit to get all the kinks worked out, but so far so good.

I'll work to get comments enabled on all my old postings (in case anyone is so inclined) and will in some form move old comments over to this new system.

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Life in the Fast Lane

This morning it occurred to me that both the secret of my success and the seed of my eventual downfall can be found in my insane ability to multitask. At one point I found myself:

brushing my teeth
tying Nathan's shoes and
teaching him the words to Karma Chameleon

all at the same time.

This gurl just ain't right in the haid.