Letters for March 18, 2004
Love and marriage
Could we just get over the whole gay marriage thing? When the issue first came up, I was against gay marriage. I had a very good reason: I was against lesbian marriage because two gals skipping down the isle in frilly white dresses just looks stupid. Gay marriage was OK with me because I love a man in a tux—two men, even better. So there I was, firm in my belief that gay marriage just shouldn’t happen until one day when a fundamentalist Christian fellow asked me to share my thoughts on gay marriage and how it was an abomination and all. Then and there, faced with all his sanctimonious gobbledy gook, my reason was actually more sensible!
But wait a minute, what was I thinking? Who am I to tell someone they can’t marry the person they love because the ceremony doesn’t fit my sense of sensibility! It was just like that time in the ‘80s when I tried to get the restaurant I worked at to refuse to serve people wearing parachute pants and muscle tees. I was wrong then, and I am wrong now. So, I turned to the poor confused gentleman being strangled by his bow tie and said, “Actually sir, I’m not against gay marriage, I’m against ugly weddings.”
And please don’t talk to me about marriage being a sacred institution; we as a society have already decided that marriage is anything but sacred! Half of all marriages end in divorce. The American institution of marriage is disposable, exploitable and in some cases, nothing more than a punch line.
Remember shows like which gold-digging bimbo wants to marry a lying jackass, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Joe Millionaire, and of course, my personal favorite, My Big, Fat, Obnoxious Fiancé. The coveted marriage certificate is nothing more than an exercise in paperwork. Real marriage exists in the hearts of those who are married. Real marriage is a bond between two people who love each other and who have publicly declared their commitment to each other. Judged by this standard, gay people have always been as married as their straight counterparts. To deny someone the right to have a marriage certificate (which has tax, insurance and legal benefits) based solely on their sexual orientation is discrimination. How stupid is it that two drunken strangers can meet and be legally married within an hour, and two people who love each other and have spent years building a life together can’t?
Tragic attack in Spain
One thing has been made abundantly clear by the terrorist attacks in Spain that killed more than 200 people: the world is much less safe than before we attacked Afghanistan and Iraq. Isn’t this what was predicted by those who were not paralyzed by fear or kicking out blindly in retaliation?
The logical result of our military actions is the rage, grief and anger of the victims, directed at those who are perceived to be the cause of the destruction, loss of life and misery. Even though almost 90 percent of Spaniards opposed the invasion, their government became part of the “Coalition” of the bribed and bullied. Terrorism can’t be overcome by making war on innocent people and occupying and pillaging their countries; our actions only turn people who have no hope for the future into terrorists. If our government would only practice a policy of kindness and tolerance instead of full spectrum dominance, it is probable that we would cease to create new terrorists.
The years of living dangerously
2000: Surplus is huge; we’ll slash taxes.
2001: Well, guess it’s a recession. To fix that, we’ll slash taxes.
2002: Surplus done gone, deficits are rising. Good jobs leaving town faster than you can say “imminent threat.” But, we got the Senate; it’s our due. More tax cuts.
2003: The debt’s gone up to $7 trillion since we bought off the Supreme Court. We’re spending like drunken sailors, but who cares? Deficits don’t matter. We’ll just tell them we’ll create 1.7 million jobs with another tax cut.
2004: So the 1.7 million jobs didn’t happen. So 2.3 million jobs are gone. So what if we created a huge new drug entitlement program knowing it was $134 billion greater than we told America; taxpayer dollars we’ll use to pay off our campaign contributors. So what if they’ve got $29 billion in unfunded mandates. A billion a week to Iraq. It doesn’t matter. Hell, they don’t even realize Saddam had nothing to do with 9-11. They can be sold on anything. We’ll even tell them they can get manufacturing jobs assembling burgers, and they’ll still vote Republican. The suckers. Hey, for kicks, let’s tell ’em we’ll make the tax cuts permanent!
Eric M. Hitchcock