Oct 13, 2014
commented on Pride: A Moving Real-Life Story Made Slick and Sappy
Just to reinforce the previous comments; this movie was among the best things I have seen in the past couple of years. The story is predictable, but how many people know this story from 1984 in the UK? Sometimes telling a story well makes for a good movie, and an uplifting movie about gay men from the 1980s, that is so rare. The reviewer definitely seems to be struggling to overcome the assumption that his job is to find a way to denigrate the movie. It's ok to like a movie, even if it is uplifting.
Jan 22, 2014
commented on Amy Thone Is Abnormally Talented
Tldr: a gay man who grew up during the onset of the AIDS plague is glad the next generation doesn’t experience the full trauma of that time and is also glad that there are still chances to get a sense of that time.
As a 50 year old gay man I am intimately familiar with the topic of The Normal Heart, I finally cried my way through a production of it a couple of years ago, and I’ll never see it again. I think the impact of AIDS on our society has never been adequately explored. The fact that I am married now is probably directly related to the fact that most of the gay men my age who were in New York died in the 80s. I’ll probably never completely reconcile my guilt about this.
There is a video (I’m to lazy to get the link, but you’ll get the point) that shows young eagles taking their first steps out of their nest. The brave, aggressive ones strike out for the edge of the cliff that the nest is on. One eaglet stays back in the nest, the next frames show a hawk coming and grabbing the aggressive eaglets that ventured out while the timid one survives. That ideal I think accurately portrays the reality for the majority of 45-55 year old gay men. The ones who are here today are the ones who found a way to stay behind and let others take the risks of trying to fly.
You can still see the impact of this today. At a “gay” event the 45-55 years olds are usually out numbered by the 60+ year olds. (That is my experience, I really don’t want to make this about what group suffered more; god knows that too many men period died too young.) There are just so many of my mini-generation that are gone. That the Kings’ English was ever considered a best film for a year speaks to the huge loss in creativity that we experienced.
Still I’m glad that 30 year old of today don’t really remember this time, and growing up and coming out with AIDS as a given threat was certainly no picnic. But I’m also glad that The Normal Heart and Angels in America are still around and being produced. I hope this generation of gay men and future generations see this to have some sense of the trauma that cauterized the older men.
Sep 6, 2013
commented on Why So Little on Slog Or In the Paper About Syria?
Sure oil consumption and climate change denial are much bigger global problems. I actually don't know that I think oil use is actually the underlying issue in Syria, as someone noted earlier Syria isn't actually a meaningful oil producer. Yes I understand that oil $ is a huge underlying factor in the ongoing middle east political trauma. But with all of that said, I don't think it actually helps figure out what to do in this case.
Because fundamentally this isn't going to be huge deal unless we take the McCain option and jump into the middle of this in a big way.
To me it seems likely that we are more watching something akin to the Lebanon drama of the 80s... It took years of internal turmoil, millions of refugees and over 100k killed before any way out of the mess was found. Was oil $ a problem sure, but I don't think there was a short term answer to that conflict that would have been obvious based on oil consumption and I think the same is true in Syria today.
Which leads back to the 3 options that I noted, oddly I think we are going to have these same three options repeatedly over the next decade in lots of places. It really would be worth someone trying to develop some criteria for deciding.
Sep 6, 2013
commented on Why So Little on Slog Or In the Paper About Syria?
It seems that there is in fact consensus that all options are lousy. That doesn't mean that the debate is stupid or useless. So it seems we have three broad options:
Do nothing (or rather continue trying to build some international consensus to do something):
Benefits to US, easy no risks taken, the (sad horrifying pick your adjective) story is not our responsibility.
The Rand Paul position
Actively support the rebels, bomb Assad, destroy his air force and train rebel fighters
The John McCain/Lindsay Graham position
Try and do something to discourage Assad from using chemical weapons and along the way make the rebel fight more equal.
The Obama position
If there has been another option presented here, I don't see it.
so which is the least bad option? I don't know but maybe we should try and agree on the goal in the meantime.
I actually end up in the middle position. The reality is that the US is the international police force. Yep it's hypocritical to some extent but sadly that happens and it isn't an argument for one of these options as far as I can tell.
All these options suck, but at some point if we are the police force, not saying we should be just that we are, then you have to enforce whatever you perceive to be a fundamental violation. Force is always a crappy option...
We need better decision matrices here, and we need someone to lay out the risks and benefits of all three option. That would make this a much more useful debate.
Aug 15, 2013
commented on Mayor of a Different City
So basically you want to see Murray start running for Mayor of Seattle and not Mayor of Washington State. The central question should be what will and can he do/lead as Mayor? His campaign to date seems to be suggesting that the most important job of the Mayor is to build a working relationship with the State government. Isn't the evidence that effective Mayor's figure out how to move their agenda's based on what they can make happen in their city?
That is the discussion I want to see Murray and McGinn engage in. What do they see city government doing? I guess that is why I didn't vote for either of them in the primary... Now I am waiting to see if Ed can focus on what the Mayor actually does, not what the senate majority leader would do.
May 23, 2013
commented on Despite Having a Leg Up, Ed Murray Still Loses 36th District Dems
This race is fascinating and also sad. We have 4 candidates (sorry Kate I just don't see how you find a constituency) who are conceivably viable mayors for Seattle. The ability to differentiate these candidates isn't actually that dramatic. Unlike last time there is no Mallahan type candidate (Seattle electing a business exec who has no experience and wants to buy the race hmm nope...) who just doesn't quite make sense. Instead we have 4 varying shades of liberals.
McGinn has learned how to be a better Mayor after his very bad first year, and now has lots of status quo support. His big achilles heel plays to the weakest of the 3 options, Bruce Harrell.
Sadly Bruce doesn't really seem to want to campaign and doesn't have much of message other than being the diversity candidate.
Then Steinbrueck who seems to think his name really means something, and that opposition to an arena is important.
Finally we have Murray, who seems to want to run on the i can get stuff done platform. But Ed is sort of infamous for his bad temper and just got run over by Toms in the senate which derailed a lot of seemingly straight-forward liberal legislation.
So we have 4 liberal candidates who each have a couple of obvious flaws and no real strong agenda. I think anyone who really thinks it is obvious which one these will finally find a coherent message is probably over-confident. So far the key looks like it will be GOTV because noone really cares, they all seem sort of meh ok... that is probably McGinn's best hope. GOTV got him elected last time... and none of the others have actually ever had to really push to GOTV certainly not in the last decade.
so yeah fascinating and sad, I wanted a better dialog for the election.
Apr 24, 2013
commented on The Business of Audacity
I really was looking forward to the Wonder coffee and sports bar opening. Because Jackson st and this entire neighborhood (where I live) needs some interesting things to liven it up. Unfortunately, this place has a really odd vibe that Charles basically captured. The problem: compare this review, which reads like a restaurant review with the name of the establishment.
Right this is absolutely not a sports bar and it really isn't much of a coffee bar, it is an Ethiopian restaurant trying to throw those other pieces on. This review sadly affirms this.
It is an interesting place, but as a restaurant, it is ok, not vastly different than the other Ethiopian places in the area.
The lack of anything like a sports bar continues...
Apr 17, 2013
commented on The Senate Republicans' Billion-Dollar Lie
Doesn't it seem likely that the entire Toms takeover is going to come down to him bargaining for other bills that he will pass in return for agreeing to a slightly revised version of the House budget? It just seems to me we are waiting for the negotiations to find out what bills Litzow, Toms and Sheldon demand be passed to gain their grudging acceptance of something like the house and Inslee proposal. My guess is Litzow really wants principals to be able to fire teachers (mutual consent), and toms wants the permanent repeal of I-732.
In any case I think that is the end game that is being set up. And that endgame is what this entire senate takeover is all about.
So the only reason to care about the senate budget is to guess which parts they see as their must haves in the negotiations.
Feb 11, 2013
commented on Tonight in Non-David-Shields-Related Events
What kind of absurd statement is: "You shouldn't need any introduction to Alexie." Or maybe the question is: why be insufferably smug and pretentious when trying to tell people about events?
Maybe I am just grumpy today, but I do hate the implicit message that I am an out of touch idiot because I have different touchstones than you do.