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Of Crash, Human Connection & the Conversation on Gay Marriage

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:20 pm - June 13, 2006.
Filed under: Gay America,Gay Marriage,LA Stories,Movies/Film & TV

Last Monday, I noted that I had been in “ sour mood of late.” As the week progressed and my mood improved, I realized that in the words of Jimmy Buffett, it was “my own damn fault.” Had I been true to myself, I would not have felt as bad as I did in the early part of the week.

Suffice it to say that while my heart warned me against doing something, I followed instead what, for lack of better term, I will call, the “ethos of West Hollywood.” While my actions brought me some momentary satisfaction, they did not provide the connection I truly sought. I would have been better off had I handled my date differently — or just stayed at home alone and read a book or watched a DVD.

Indeed, it seemed synchronistic that the first DVD I picked up after that date was Crash, a movie I greatly enjoyed even though the flick, in Cathy Seipp‘s words, portrays “the rich screenwriter’s view of L.A rather than the real L.A.” (Cathy has more on Crash here in her most excellent Oscar preview column.) Despite its misleading portrayal of LA, I like the movie because it reminds us “of the sustaining power of human relationships” and “asks us to look beyond the surface of each individual, for many of us are more complicated that we at first appear.

What hit home for me last weekend was Don Cheadle‘s opening voice-over:

In L.A. nobody touches you; we’re always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much that we crash into each other just so we can feel something.

It seemed that in that in the gay world, when we long for that touch, we “crash into each other” by hooking up, often without the expectation of the connection lasting longer than its ostensible purpose. And for some, that may be satisfying, for others, it doesn’t provide the “touch” we really seek.

I do think gay men (indeed, men in general) use casual sex as a means to feel something without dealing with the difficulties of genuine connection — and genuine emotion. Another reason why the conversation on gay marriage is of paramount importance.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

Poor Joe Wilson

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:15 pm - June 13, 2006.
Filed under: Bush-hatred,National Politics

This dishonest Democrat won’t have his wish fulfilled; Karl Rove will not be “‘frogmarched’ out of the White House in handcuffs.” Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald informed counsel to the top White House political aide, the man the far left most loves to hate (after the president himself), that he won’t be charged in the CIA leak case. (Via Powerline).

I guess it’s some consolation that he did get two standing ovations this past weekend at the YearlyKos convention.

Suing for Freedom in Arlington, Virginia

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:36 am - June 13, 2006.
Filed under: Freedom,Gay America,General

If I still lived in Arlington, Virginia, I would never go to Bono Film and Video to duplicate any personal video recordings I had. Indeed, I would encourage my friends to avoid this business. Tim Bono, the owner of the firm, has a policy not to “duplicate material that’s obscene or violates his Christian and ethical values.

Recently, when a woman came in and asked him to duplicate her films “Gay and Proud” and “Second Largest Minority,” he refused, given their gay content. Upset, she “complained to Arlington County’s Human Rights Commission, which told him that his refusal violated the county’s ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation.” Now, he’s suing, claiming “his constitutional rights are being violated.

I agree with him. I don’t happen to like the way he exercises his freedom, but it’s his business and he should be free to run it as he pleases — and duplicate whatever tapes he likes. Or refuse to duplicate those he doesn’t. Personally, I don’t think it makes good business sense to refuse to duplicate such tapes as it would mean turning away clients. But, like I said, it’s his business, not mine. Just as he should be free to choose his clients, we should be free not to patronize his business.

Just as Mr. Bono should be free not to duplicate gay-themed videos, another individual would similarly be free to set up a Film and Video Company which refused to duplicate Christian-themed videos. Would the Arlington Human Rights Commission have paid attention to a Christian complaining that a gay owner of such a company refused to duplicate tapes promoting the ex-gay movement?

The issue here is freedom. It’s too bad that some who believe gay people should be free to live our lives as we choose wish to deprive others of the freedom to live their lives in a manner which we might find offensive.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

UPDATE: Thanks for Raj, who in the first comment alerted me that the Independent Gay Forum covered this story last month. It appears that the Competitive Enterprise institute Blog broke this story on April 28. Calling this Liberal Authoritarianism, the Independent Gay Forum’s Stephen H. Miller writes:

As gay people, we often protest against what some see as manifestations of creeping,Taliban-like theocracy from the right. But in the case of Tim Bono, just who is insisting on imposing their values on everyone?

In short, it is not in our own long-term interests, which are grounded in liberty and respect for individual autonomy, to use the state to force others to reproduce content of which they disapprove.

I agree.