Rear Window Ethics Rear Window Ethics: April 2005

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Old Idea For American Energy Needs: Book Burning!

Yes! President Bush came out with a new energy plan for America today, citing dependence on foreign oil, ever-rising gas prices, nuclear power and refining on old military bases. What he didn't mention was a plan raised by Alabama lawmaker Gerald Allen – book burning!

That's right, Allen says homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle, and under his bill, public school libraries could no longer buy new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters.

Wait, you say. I thought the Republican party was the party of liberty and freedom? Didn't President Bush use those two words a total of 4,728 times in his second inaugural speech? What does Rep. Allen have to say for himself?
"I don't look at it as censorship. I look at it as protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children."
There you have it. I mean, as long as you put it that way, I don't think we really need to be reading Tennessee Williams plays, James Baldwin novels or Walt Whitman poetry. At least we'll still have Shakespeare, right?
"Allen originally wanted to ban even some Shakespeare. After criticism, he narrowed his bill to exempt the classics, although he still can't define what a classic is."
I see. Oh, and a classic? That's a book that probably wouldn't be around today if every book-burning maniac in the world had their way whenever they wanted. Just so you know, Mr. Allen.

Not to be deterred by semantics, Allen explained that he's fed up with literature that pushes the "homosexual agenda" on us, our freedom, and our liberty. Freedom, liberty, freedom. (Those words are starting to lose meaning the more people use them).
"It's not healthy for America, it doesn't fit what we stand for, and they will do whatever it takes to reach their goal."
Honestly, what the fuck do we stand for these days!? Freedom and liberty, right? What is that!? What the fuck are these people talking about!? When is everyone going to wake up!? When am I going to stop shouting questions using alternating punctuation!?

CBS Evening News: Alabama Bill Targets Gay Authors


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Congress v. Steroids II: Pomp in the Swamp

For the second time in months, the white knight of American governance has challenged the "bad boy" of professional sports: steroids. Yes, in a move that truly shows our government is devoted to the major issues facing Americans today, the House Government Reform Committee is once again spending its time admonishing professional sports leagues – clearly one of the greatest threats to our nation.
"Steroids and other illegal drugs have tarnished baseball for a generation of fans," said Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas.
Am I insane!? Is this the most ridiculous quote ever!? Yes, it's sad that Barry Bonds' and Mark McGuire's record-breaking home run feats will forever be tainted by steroid allegations, but is this honestly a critical issue we need to address right now? "Baseball isn't as good as it used to be, because of steroids. Let's investigate it." What shit.
"What kind of message are we sending our kids when professional sports leagues look the other way?" asked Rep. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican. "A new national standard modeled after the Olympic policy will remove all doubt on whether athletes are cheating and restore the faith and confidence of the American people."
How about we restore faith and confidence in the American people by GOVERNING, For God's sake, the Majority Leader in the House sending the message to kids that lobbyists will take care of you and your family if you do whatever they want. A raving, threat-making maniac may soon become America's chief diplomat to the UN. Our President is flying all over the country on the tax-payers' dime to promote a plan that almost no one wants. And of course, gas prices show no sign of descending so to further our addiction, we drill in Alaska and whisper sweet nothings to the Saudi royal family at Camp David. Talk about tarnishing stuff for generations.

Reuters: Anti-Steroid Rules Proposed for U.S. Pro Sports

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

DeLay Joins Social Security Tour

CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) -- President Bush is adding a helper to his Social Security road tour: House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who is facing allegations of ethical improprieties but is seen by the White House as crucial to pushing Bush's plans through Congress.

In Galveston, Texas, on Tuesday, Bush was discussing his proposal to add private investment accounts to Social Security. DeLay was scheduled to attend the event with the president and, along with a few other Republican members of Congress from Texas, fly back to Washington with him on Air Force One.
I don't quite understand this move by the Bush administration. This is either just a way of showing support for DeLay without expending any real effort, or it's a new phase in the administration's promotion of privatization.

Perhaps, with the photos of DeLay and the President pitching privatization, they're hoping for Americans to draw a visual conclusion: "Let us put your money in your own private accounts, or else this guy will use it to fly overseas on a luxurious trip with his family and lobbyist friends."

CNN: Bush adds DeLay to Social Security tour


Monday, April 25, 2005

Québécois Anthem Singer

My friend Nish found this clip of a memory-challenged Canadian singer at a hockey game who started and stopped the American anthem twice, then went to go grab crib notes for the lyrics and took a header on the ice.


Great stuff! Watch the video. Click on the link to the lower right of the story.


Thursday, April 21, 2005

Texas Bans Gay Foster Parents

Due to the state's heart-warming overabundance of foster families eager to take in abandoned children, the state of Texas House of Representatives passed a bill banning homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals from being foster parents.

What's that you say? There isn't an overabundance of foster families in the state of Texas, or really anywhere else in the nation? Impossible. If that were true, why would the Texas legislature knowingly exclude potential families who are loving and stable because of the parents' sexuality?

Oh, right, because they might turn those foster children gay, or worse, molest them because they're gay and gay people love themselves some molestin'!




Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Favorite Cities List

I was talking with Jocelyn yesterday as we walked around Chicago, and we started working up a list of our favorite major North American cities that we've been to. No hard feelings to those of you in my least favorite cities, but I'm just being honest.


San Francisco



Not So Much:

Los Angeles
New York


Monday, April 18, 2005

Boat Rides

While shooting 8 hours a day for a week in New Haven I didn't post at all last week. Now I'm in Chicago visiting family, so I'll leave you with one simple thought:

What is it that impels people to wave while on a boat? It happens even on the dinkiest of boats. I mean, we're on a little sight-seeing fairy floating down the Chicago River, and EVERY bridge we pass under fills them with the need to wave to the people on land as if they've just spent the last three months crossing the Atlantic toward Plymouth Rock and the sight of terrestrial natives is miraculous.

I was just happy to see the city's architecture, ride down the river, and not get a shower of Dave Mathews Band sewage in the process. Forget waving.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Wal-Mart Dating?

It seems that in addition to undermining the social and economic fabric of our nation, Wal-Mart has become interested in steamrolling over yet another niche market: the dating service.

According to Amy Wyatt, spokeswoman for the retailer's international operations, Wal-Mart's been running its "Singles Shopping" campaign in all of its 91 stores in Germany.

Here's how its works.

On Friday nights, singles looking for romance, mindless flirting or just a new friend head over to their neighborhood Wal-Mart where they're given a big bright red bow to attach to their shopping cart or shopping basket.

Then it's up to the willing participants to approach one another and take it from there.

But if that's too intimidating, Wal-Mart has set up "flirting points" around the stores stacked with "romantic" merchandise, such as chocolates, wine and cheese, to help with that first awkward step.
Wal-Mart says publicly that its "Singles Shopping" campaign is simply about bringing people together -- with each other, and of course with low low prices. I can't help but wonder, however, whether the concept of dating at Wal-Mart was brought about by all of those single employees working extra overtime without pay. That seems like the only way you could really think, "Hey, if you're interested, why don't you swing by Wal-Mart this friday so we can get to know each other? I have to stock some items while I'm there, but it will be fun!" is a good pickup line.

Then again, with everything a Super Wal-Mart has to offer, you could very well go on a date, while working un-paid, and get your girl's car fixed, her groceries bought, her pictures developed, not to mention the gift possibilities of jewelry, flowers, music, books, and any other item that damnable floating smiley face decides to slash prices on.

CNN: Singles Night at Wal-Mart


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Bishop Denies Saying Jesus Was Possibly Gay

AP: Concord, N.H. - The first openly gay Episcopal bishop said Tuesday he is being falsely accused of suggesting Jesus might have been homosexual.

The allegations arose from Web log comments posted after Bishop V. Gene Robinson's remarks at a Feb. 13 forum on sexual issues at Christ Church in Hamilton, Mass.

"(Jesus) lived a very untraditional lifestyle," Robinson told The Associated Press. "Which is not to say that I in any way asserted that he was gay, or anything about his sexual orientation."

He went on to say:

"Interestingly enough, in this day of traditional family values and so on," Robinson says in one of the recordings, "this man that we follow ... was single as far as we know; who traveled with a bunch of men, although there were lots of women around; who had a disciple who was known as 'the one whom Jesus loved'; who said my family is not my mother and father, my family are those who do the will of God — none of us like those harsh words. That's who Jesus is, that's who he was, at least in his earthly life."
Sounds like some blogger has been reading a little too much Terence McNally. All the bishop said corresponds with biblical scripture, yet this blogger is imagining scenes from McNally's Corpus Christi, where the gay character "Joshua" leads a group of gay disciples, setting themes from the New Testament in early 1980s Texas.

In posting this, I don't want to have to explain myself like Robinson did. I know some of you apparently know exactly what Christ meant in all of his teachings and precisely what the Bible implies concerning everything in our lives. But for those of us that didn't receive the heaven-sent set of appendices and footnotes clarifying biblical interpretation, I think the bishop's comments are valid and interesting.


Sunday, April 03, 2005

An Open Letter To My Lost Wallet


I know you're out there. I imagine you sitting back, bloated to capacity with my important cards and dry cleaning receipts, openly mocking me. I've never lost you before, and I find it hard to believe that I have suddenly done so after so many years together. Granted, I was past a certain level of inebriation on the fateful night that I (think I) lost you, but that certainly does not excuse the fact that you've disappeared without so much as a fare-thee-well.

I've turned my entire apartment upside down looking for you because I know, deep in my heart, that I couldn't have left you anywhere out of the ordinary. Forget that my memory is foggy about whether I actually put you back in my pocket after buying those delicious pastries at the all-night bakery down the street; I cannot seem to surrender the belief that you're simply in some uncharted crevice of my room awaiting your retrieval.

But what if you aren't? What if you're currently held hostage by a thief or some overly-curious pastry aficionado practicing the age-old law of "finders keepers"?. Then I would have to commend you for your bravery in protecting the precious information you hold within your pockets. That's right, I've been checking my online credit card statements and so far you have proved yourself a worthy ally against those who would do me financial harm. If this is the case, you need only hold out another day or so before I forfeit my remaining hope of your recovery and void your precious cargo -- your own cyanide pill for use when captured by the enemy.

All the same, it's proving quite difficult to disregard my motherly intuition that you are somewhere just out of sight, chuckling to yourself every time I make a frantic attempt to locate you. I don't know whether this is just your way of enjoying an extended vacation from my pocket or whether you are truly in danger somewhere. I fear that I'll take the drastic measure noted above, only to discover you a day later in a crushing Romeo and Juliet-esque tragedy.

You have your ultimatum. Show yourself within the next 36 hours, or be made impotent by a series of phone calls to certain financial institutions. The choice is yours.

- Your agitated (former?) owner.