Posted by: Harold Knight | 01/21/2013

“Our journey is not complete. . .”

(Note: this post is not an indication that I have forsaken the writing about Palestine that I am doing. I simply had to say this today.)

RainbowEvery gay American born before about 1955 must have—like me—wept at the words we heard today in President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address:

Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law–-for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. . .

Until today I would never have dared to hope for such words on such an occasion. For those of us who grew up before Stonewall (1969), we are now not only “out of the closet,” we are now (almost) into the fabric of society. We have carried the burden of being “other” for long enough, for too long. I cannot express the physical sense of relief I feel—to say nothing of the mental and spiritual sense approaching ecstasy.

I had to buy flowers—I treat myself to flowers regularly on special occasions or when I need cheering up. I bought the gaudiest, loudest, most blatantly (perhaps even artificially) colorful bunch Kroger had for sale.

I intended to have a full-sized picture of them at the top of this post and simply the President’s words. As I put the flowers in the vase, I remembered the picture on TV of Antonin Scalia sitting behind President Obama.

I left the vase of nearly dried up and dead roses I bought a week ago behind my colorful bouquet.

Remember, our journey is not complete. Antonin Scalia has already announced in public that there is no question how the Supreme Court must decide the California Proposition 8 case: the writers of the Constitution did not have gay marriage in mind, so it is un-Constitutional. The California proposition stands. That a Supreme Court justice can announce his views on a case before it is even heard is unconscionable. That Antonin Scalia is the most influential member of the court means our journey may not be completed any time soon. The dead yellow roses are very much in the picture.

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Responses

  1. He’s still evolving isn’t he? 😉

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  2. He certainly hasn’t “evolved” on other matters. His political agenda is not yet accomplished. He won’t stop until not only are corporations people and every one in this country carries a gun, but Roe v. Wade is overturned and gays go to prison. He is, as I have said before, the most dangerous man in America.,

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    • EVERYTHING YOU SAY BELOW IS TRUE, EXCEPT FOR ONE THING: SCALIA REALLY IS THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA. HE WROTE THE “CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE” DECISION, AMONG MANY OTHERS. HE IS ONE OF NINE PEOPLE IN WASHINGTON WHO CAN, IN FACT, WAVE A MAGIC WAND AND HAVE HIS WAY–HE HAS ONLY TO CONVINCE 4 OTHER PEOPLE, NOT 5,000. — HAROLD

      America has to wake up to the fact that an election places not one man, but over 5,000 officials in DC — and Barack Obama does not control them, in fact you could more easily support the contrary argument. Five thousand appointees in the executive branch — not to mention the elected Democrats and career civil servants and bureaucrats of various ilk who align with the Dems are pulling at his coat tails and the trillions of dollars in power and influence it represents every time his party shoves it’s hand up his butt and wags his jaws on television.

      How much independent decision making power do you think your “most dangerous man in America” really gets as the executive of the formerly greatest superpower on Earth, really, Harold, on a day to day basis? Do you really think he gets to wave a wand and say, “I hereby declare peace on earth and goodwill toward all — we can go home now, and God bless,” and the waters will part before him?

      I was Democratic State Committee in Oregon before I moved back to the Boston area, and this is what I see: I see that we have two parties in this country, and each one is a parliamentary system that is unregulated by the Constitution. Over the generations, each is fought over by coalitions — right now the GOP is dominated by spats between the tea party and Ron Paulistas and various libertarian types who are mauling the remnants of old traditional GOP which had pretty much successfully subsumed the Goldwater insurgency and Rockefeller liberals of our generation. And the Dems are still reeling from the influx of Deaniacs and Progressives of recent years and is trying to figure out how to mend their big tent without suffering splatters and schisms and various sorts of disillusionment beyond what’s already happened because they are so afraid of transparency their afraid to teach squat to the newcomers about political pragmatics.

      These two parliamentary systems with their internal struggles for the hearts and minds for the more conservative and more liberal bullhorns and institutionalized tickets for the seats at the media table have gone on for a century, unquestioned, as the only two parties in the country, while internally they’ve been hotbeds of schismatic multiple parties duking it out in unconstitutional, non-transparent, unobserved mayhem behind closed doors, and the press and folks like you and most folks don’t even bother to understand it because most folks figure political parties are for other folks.

      But the elections are referendums for the better teams. It’s like they open up only the MVP voting at the end of the season, but all the candidate selection, the feeder teams, the vetting of candidates, the picking of support teams — campaign management — the setting of platforms and strategy — all of that happens before voters are involved. Because the object is to set the agenda and then sell it.

      We’ve gotten very good at that in the last century, you see. Read Howard Zinn. 😉 Sit down over a cup of coffee and talk to me about the convergence of Tolkien’s subcreative fiction and modern transmedia and the “reality engineering”‘ of political campaigns — or selling a movie or a video game. It’s all the same tech. And I was VP of Marketing for an entertainment marketing company, as well as campaign manager for a mayoral race for a city with a half million population, so believe me I know in depth what I’m talking about.

      Obama is not the decider, any more than Bush was. He talks more eloquently though — isn’t he a good preacher? But those 5,000 men and women in the background and the thousands upon thousands more who work for them are a heavy load of inertia with a mind of its own.

      I have hope for change because I know people in the administration who are working for positive change, deeper in this administration than the last. But the ship of state is ponderously slow and the ship — and spaceship earth — have taken a lot of hits in the last decade, cumulatively. You can not expect everyone to be singing glad songs.

      You can expect some to be working against the tide, ideally more than are taking advantage for their own sole benefit. Given that yardstick, I judge this administration working at a higher standard overall than the last. Only overall.

      So, given that standard of judgement, do you want to sit and piss and moan, or praise the good and castigate the sinners — in detail? That should be your goal. Find the people doing the good work and uphold their good efforts and find the people who are throwing down the weak and giving comfort to the greedy and expose them.

      But if you put Obama on the spot, you are only leaving the good without support and the bad in shelter from the light of examination.

      He is only a symbol for most purposes. Don’t let his position distract you.

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