"Once a pastor came to our church and he preached a sermon about how God had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah to teach a lesson about gay people. Not just that gays were sick and wrong themselves, but that everyone around them were hurt by their presence. That He was willing to wipe out everybody to punish the gays. This really got to me. I thought that not only was I sick and wrong, but that God would punish the people around me. It had never occurred to me that I would wound people by my simply existing. And it seemed kind of true. We were poor, we lived in a town that was fairly depressed at the time, my mother was in the hospital... and it seemed to me like evidence that God really is hurting everyone because I'm gay. I didn't want to be the person that nobody would want, and I didn't want to be the person that would hurt other people. So I walked down to the bridge and climbed the center arch, the highest point, and got ready to jump."
I was listening to the radio yesterday morning and I heard your interview with Beth McDonald. I have been thinking about it a lot since then and I feel compelled to share my thoughts with you. I was saddened and frustrated with your comments regarding people of faith and their perpetuation of bulling. As someone who loves the Lord and does not support gay marriage I can honestly say I was heartbroken to hear about the young man that took his own life after being humiliated by people who should have known better. I think you need to be aware of your own prejuduces and how they might play into your thinking. At best I think your comments were hypocritical.
If your message is that we should not judge people based on their sexual preferance, how do you justify judging entire groups of people for any other reason (including their faith)? There is no part of me that took any pleasure in what happened to that young man and I know for a fact that is true of many other people who disagree with your viewpoint. Please be aware that your words are powerful and people are listening to you.
To that end, to imply that I would somehow encourage my children to mock, hurt, or intimidate another person for any reason is completely unfounded and offensive. Being a follower of Christ is, above all things, a recognition that we are imperfect, fallible and in desperate need of a savior. We cannot believe that we are better or more worthy than other people. I have never in my life know someone who loved the Lord who wished ill will on other people and certainly not death "so that [we] can perpetuate [our own] agenda."
Please consider your viewpoint and please be more careful with your words in the future.
I'm sorry your feelings were hurt by my comments.
No, wait. I'm not. Gay kids are dying. So let's try to keep things in perspective: fuck your feelings.
A question: do you support atheist marriage? Interfaith marriage? Divorce and remarriage? All legal, of course, and there's no Christian movement to deny marriage rights to atheists or people marrying outside their respective faiths or to people divorcing and remarrying. Why the hell not?
The children of people who see gay people as sinful or damaged or disordered and unworthy of full civil equality—even if those people strive to express their bigotry in the politest possible way (at least when they happen to be addressing a gay person)—learn to see gay people as sinful, damaged, disordered, and unworthy. And while there may not be any gay adults or couples where you live, or at your church, or at your workplace, I promise you that there are gay and lesbian children in your schools. You may only attack gays and lesbians at the ballot box, nice and impersonally, but your children have the option of attacking actual real gays and lesbians, in person, in real time.
Real gay and lesbian children. Not political abstractions, not "sinners." Real gay and lesbian children.
The dehumanizing bigotries that fall from lips of "faithful Christians," and the lies that spew forth from the pulpit of the churches "faithful Christians" drag their kids to on Sundays, give your straight children a license to verbally abuse, humiliate and condemn the gay children they encounter at school. And many of your straight children—having listened to mom and dad talk about how gay marriage is a threat to the family and how gay sex makes their magic sky friend Jesus cry himself to sleep—feel justified in physically attacking the gay and lesbian children they encounter in their schools. You don't have to explicitly "encourage [your] children to mock, hurt, or intimidate" gay kids. Your encouragement—along with your hatred and fear—is implicit. It's here, it's clear, and we can see the fruits of it.
Oh, and those same dehumanizing bigotries that fill your straight children with hate? They fill your gay children with suicidal despair. And you have the nerve to ask me to be more careful with my words.
Did that hurt to hear? Good. But hearing it couldn't have hurt nearly as much as what the boys in the photo above had to listen to—day-in, day-out, for years—at schools filled with bigoted little monsters created not in the image of a loving God, but in the images of the hateful and false "followers of Christ" they call "mom and dad."
And now a song...
P.S.: The religious right points to the suicide rate among gay teenagers—which the religious right works so hard to drive up (see above)—as evidence that the gay lifestyle is destructive. It's like intentionally running someone down with your car and then claiming that it isn't safe to walk the streets.
Which is why I argued that every gay teen suicide is a victory for the religious right. Because, you see, your side does use those suicides to "perpetuate [your] agenda." Tony Perkins and all those other oddly effete defenders of "Chrisitian values" and "traditional marriage" will point to this recent spate of gay teen suicides to argue against gay marriage, anti-bullying programs, against allowing gay people to serve in the military—basically, they'll gleefully use these tragedies to justify what they like to call the "Christian, pro-family agenda."
But right now Tony Perkins is being strangely silent. Why is that? Could it be that even Tony Perkins has a conscience? Nah, couldn't be that. He must be away on vacation.
I wonder who's lifting his luggage.
There's a pretty county courthouse in the middle of Bloomington, and there's an obelisk on the grounds. The obelisk, a war memorial, is made of Indiana limestone, and it dates back to the 19th century. Limestone is pretty porous and this is where I'm supposed to say that "time hasn't been kind" to the war memorial outside the Monroe County Courthouse. But I think time has been more than kind to it—I think time has been transformative. There are carved reliefs around the base of the obelisk and time—and wind and rain and pollution—have transformed each relief into a little masterpiece of abstract art.
Thank you, time, wind, rain, and pollution. I needed that.
A new sports bar, the Skybox, has opened on Lower Queen Anne, across from the KeyArena, and they're celebrating tomorrow from noon-5 pm with free food!
The entire city is invited to come check out the newly renovated space and try out their menu of "classic pub fare" including stuff like "wings, petite tacos, and mini hot dogs" (their chef is Josh Taylor, formerly of Citrus). After the grand opening event, they'll be showing the Huskies game on their "many HD screens."
Have these dudes been on Slog yet?
The two northwest New Mexico men accused of decapitating a dog with [a] chain saw appeared in court Thursday.
Both 32-year-old Teddy Sexton and 31-year-old Corey Bowen are facing fourth-degree felony extreme cruelty to animals after they allegedly used a chain saw to kill a 2-year-old pit bull named Thor because it bit a child... Sexton and Bowen attempted to cut the dog's throat, but were having difficulty and grabbed the chain saw.
You will note that "decapitate it with a chainsaw" is not one of the Stranger-endorsed methods of defeating a pit bull.
You can't pin this one on us.
It's a super-cheap, So-Cal-style, order-at-the-counter taco shop on the Ave. It's open 24 hours, seven days a week. Everybody loves it—check out the reader-reviews—and the later you go, the better.
At Memo's at 2:30 in the morning... nothing made sense, but the senselessness seemed completely appropriate. It was like discovering an aisle at QFC where everyone knows it's okay to be naked. A semiconscious lady reclined on a bench while an aggressive make-out session took place near the cash register...
I've only had a chance to glance over the Washington State Department of Transportation workgroup's 28-page report and 16 attached white papers released today about the 520 Bridge—which will be replaced with a wider, safer span across Lake Washington—but you can go over and check out the report for yourself.
The stuff that stands out is a debate over whether the bridge will ever accommodate light-rail. This issue was a source of intense friction between the state, mayor, and city council—many arguing that transit advocates should shut their rail-sucking pie-holes so the state could get on with building a bridge 14 years in the planning. But there seems to be some benefit for hollering about light-rail. From one of the report's appendices called "Light rail transit accommodation" (.pdf):
It is clear that there will be a need for construction and additional costs to add light rail to the SR 520 corridor, but the costs and risks associated with such an addition have been minimized by the design elements included in the preferred alternative. WSDOT designers have remained within the boundaries of the project scope for the preferred alternative, yet there has been a concerted effort to accommodate future light rail transit. WSDOT designers are incorporating light rail options under several future bridge configurations.
The design is such that light rail transit (LRT) can be brought to the corridor both as a substitute for the HOV lanes (4 general purpose lanes plus 2-way LRT) and as an addition to the bridge described in the preferred alternative (4 general purpose lanes plus 2 HOV lanes plus 2-way LRT). Without a specific LRT alignment and service plan for the SR 520 corridor, the multiple design options accommodate a number of potential configurations.
However, Mayor Mike McGinn, in a September 13 letter included in the main report, says light rail remains unfeasible:
If this project were built according to the current specifications, adding light rail to the SR 520 corridor at a future time will be financially and/or environmentally infeasible. The detailed study needed to truly ensure that light rail is easily accommodated has not occurred. [...]
While the SR 520 design team has made a strong effort to ensure LRT accommodation, I am concerned that the future cost of adding pontoons, retrofitting portions of the bridge and approaches, and new construction—as well as potential environmental impacts associated with doing this work in the future—do not truly accommodate light rail on the corridor and render implementation of LRT nearly impossible.
Transit nerds, what do you say? Is light rail still unfeasible, totally workable?
by Parry Gripp.
Thank you, Erica T.
The flight attendants for Cebu Pacific out of the Philippines have finally figured out how to make you watch and listen to the plane's safety instructions: by adding a little Lady Gaga, a dash of Katy Perry, some ass-smackin' dance moves and a shit-ton of KA-UTE! (Now let's see, take the oxygen mask down, put it over my face, daisy dukes and bikinis on top... wait! That ain't right! AHHHHHH!!)
A reader asks...
What can straight people who are heartbroken by what has happened to Tyler Clementi and Billy Lucas do to make sure kids like them survive adolescence? Do you have any ideas? I'm 33 years old, married but no kids yet to send into the schools to evangelize their friends with messages of love and acceptance. There are a lot of people like me out there who want to help, if we can figure out how.
Well first, and most importantly, you can do what this reader has done:
That was really quite sweet and made my eyes water. I work on tug boats. There is quite a bit of unchallenged race/gay hating, but I have challenged it vociferously for years. I can tell you that after many long conversations over the galley table that some of that hate has subsided. There is something to be said for the moral arc of the universe being long but tending towards justice.
You can also donate to the Trevor Project. You can also—you must—contact your Representatives and Senators and ask them to support the Student Non-Discrimination Act. And if you're looking for something quick and easy and symbolic that you can do with a camera and and internet access, you can Come Out As An Ally.
And, of course, some straight people—including chick-loving straight dudes—have made videos...
Salon.com has some of the Facebook messages sent between Spc. Adam Winfield—one of the five soldiers accused of killing Afghan citizens, seemingly for sport—and his father. The Facebook messages pertain to the first killing and they're pretty heartbreaking.
Winfield wrote his father, Chris, on Feb. 14 about his concern that two members of his platoon had the previous month murdered "some innocent guy about my age just farming." The correspondence from that day illustrates the young soldier's horror at the murder, and also reveals a shocking indifference about the killing among the other troops in his platoon.
"Well, it was two guys who did it actually killed the dude (sic) but the whole platoon knew about it," Winfield wrote to his father. "Theres (sic) no one in this platoon that agrees this is wrong."
Chris—Winfield's father—says that after receiving the emails, he contacted military officials and warned them about the killing. Today, the army said that they're taking his claims seriously and investigating, but they won't release the name of the sergeant the elder Winfield spoke with or that man's recollection of their conversation. But here's Winfield's recollection:
Winfield, of Cape Coral, Fla., said he had a 12-minute conversation with a sergeant who told him that unless his son was willing to come forward in Afghanistan, he should keep his head down until the deployment ended, when his claims could be investigated.
Winfield also said he left voice-mail messages at a Defense Department hot line and at the base's criminal investigations division. Collins said investigators have uncovered no evidence of the voice-mail messages.
By the time suspects were arrested in May, three months after Winfield's alleged warning, two more civilians had been killed. Five soldiers have been charged in the killings - including Spc. Winfield.
Every detail that comes out adds another horrible angle to this depressing story.
The owner of the Beacon Hill coffee shop holds forth on music, dogs, celebrity clientele, and the Station's beloved Mexican mocha here.
This week's Police Beat by Charles Mudede:
West Seattle/Sun Sept 12/4:35 am
Officer Douglas Jorgensen reports: "I was dispatched to an armed robbery of a convenience store located at Admiral Way in the city of Seattle. Upon arrival, I contacted the victim inside of the store. The victim was the only one on duty at the time. He stated that he was behind the counter when three W/Ms wearing ski masks came into the store. Suspect one had a black revolver and pointed it at him... [and] told the clerk to give him the money. The victim opened the till for suspect one and gave him its contents. Suspect one then took the wallet from victim's back pocket, several packs of Swisher Sweets cigars, and some cigarettes. All three suspects then fled out the front door and northbound on 44th Avenue Southwest. All three suspects were wearing ski masks and possibly gloves."
The garment called a "ski mask" is in desperate need of a name change. For reasons that are obvious to everyone in the English-speaking world, the thing should be called a "robbery mask." Whenever you see a man of any color wearing a ski mask, you do not think "skier," you think "armed and dangerous thief."
The rest of this week's installment is HERE.
As you were.
He offers a five-step program today on The Daily Beast, in a memo to "President Obama and the Democratic Party Leadership."
His five steps:
1. Immediate Wall-to-Wall TV Ads, Internet Videos, and Appearances Hammering Who the Hell Put Us in the Misery We're In.
2. Indict the Criminals.
3. Announce a Moratorium on All Family Home Foreclosures.
4. Announce a New 21st Century WPA.
5. Declare That No Democrat Will Accept ANY Wall Street Money in the Next Election Cycle.
How did we get, in two short years, to a situation in which Democrats are dispirited and Michael Moore is issuing strategy memos? Here's what top Obama strategist David Plouffe told me recently:
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill Friday morning that decriminalizes possession of marijuana in the state.
Those caught with less than an ounce of marijuana will still receive a maximum penalty of $100. However, Senate Bill 1449 reduces the legal categorization of marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. This means that those caught will not have to appear in court, pay court fees or receive a criminal record.
Schwarzenegger is meanwhile opposed to Prop 19—which would legalize marijuana—on this year's ballot. But that's okay. Prop 19 is looking more and more like it could actually pass. The latest poll, conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, shows it 11 points ahead, leading 52-41 percent. That fits with the trends that shows Prop 19 gaining ground for the last month.
Here in the city of WTO, we think about what the police do when citizen decide to riot. But what happens when the police decide to riot?
Hundreds of police and soldiers protesting a new law that cuts their benefits seized the main airport in Ecuador's capital on Thursday and shut off highway access to Quito as well.
The rebellious police fired tear gas and burned tires after taking over bases in Quito, Guayaquil and other cities.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa's victory over violent police protests is not yet fully assured although the situation is under control for now, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said on Friday.
Correa was physically attacked and trapped in a hospital for several hours on Thursday until troops rescued him in a blaze of gunfire. The leftist president said the police, protesting against spending cuts and joined by some elements of the military, had tried to oust him in a coup.
Odd that the military is divided on this coup—that's not standard practice for Latin America, where the military traditionally leads a coup. The ostensible issue is "austerity measures" and concerns over police pay.
One wonders what forces are at play backstage...
Previously discussed by Dan and many others here.
As AnnArbor.com reports, the openly gay campus leader is seeking a restraining order against unrepentant creep Andrew Shirvell, who's also been barred from the University of Michigan campus. Also, Shirvell's on an official leave of absence from the attorney general's office.
Cheers for restraining orders, jeers for the leave of absence granting creepy Andrew Shirvell that much more time to obsess over that young gay man. (If this ends in bloodshed, it better be Shirvell's.)
Watch the sadness and anger.
The office of Seattle City Council Member Sally Bagshaw, chair of the council's Parks and Seattle Center Committee, is still tabulating roughly 1,200 emails they've received from the public since March concerning the various proposals for the Seattle Center's Fun Forest site—a Chihuly museum, KEXP, a Northwest Cultural Center, etc. But in lieu of that, they've released the breakdown of roughly 400 emails they've received in the last 45 days.
Bagshaw's office says that a large chunk of the pro-Chihuly emails are form letters, which is interesting but not unexpected. Another chunk of the pro-Chihuly emails are sent from places like Bellevue, Bothell, and Walla Walla (the senders list their addresses in the email). It appears that the citizens of Walla Walla are keenly interested in seeing blown glass at the Seattle Center. Meanwhile, Bagshaw's office says that none of the other proposals has a form letter, and emails for the other projects aren't noticeably coming from outside of the city. Here's the breakdown of the last 45 days of emails:
In favor of Chihuly Project: 210
Against Chihuly Project: 26
In favor of KEXP/Open Platform: 115
In favor of park or open space: 9
In favor of a Chihuly/KEXP hybrid: 2
In favor of Northwest Native Cultural Center: 10
In favor of a KEXP/NNCC hybrid: 1
In favor of a tiger breeding ground: 0
Earlier this week, a commenter requested that we write a pro-KEXP/Open Platform letter to send the mayor and council members. Instead, I've tweaked the pro-Chihuly letter to better reflect Seattle residents' priorities. Please feel free to copy and send to Mayor Mike McGinn and council members Sally Bagshaw, Richard Conlin, Tim Burgess, Sally Clark, Jean Godden, Nick Licata, Bruce Harrell, Tom Rasmussen, and Mike O'Brien.
Comments: Dear Mayor McGinn and Councilmembers,
I am a proud supporter of the proposed
ChihulyKEXP/Open Platform collaboration at the Needle exhibitSeattle Center! I generally believe that Chihuly at the Needleform letters are a lazy tool employed by chumps, however, I'm a busy boy/girl/other, so if nothing else, please use this form letter to cancel out a form letter from the pro-Chihuly camp. Perhaps, at the end of this charade—when the mayor chooses anything but Chihuly at the Needle!—the city can print out all of these pro/con form letters and throw them in a giant burn barrel on the Seattle Center campus, and we'll roast marshmallows. Dave Matthews can write an unintelligible song about it; it'll be great.
Dale Chihuly’s exhibitions have been seen by millions of people around the globe. Perhaps I'd be less repulsed by the idea of a Chihuly exhibit on public land if it were free, or if it was combined with a (free) children's shooting range (what fun!).
Chihuly at the Needle promises to be the largest and most beautiful installation of his artwork in the world. If it is built, it will be a great new destination for residents and visitors to Seattle and the Seattle Center to appreciate and be inspired by his creations, if they can afford to, or if they like staring through shrubs like creepy voyeurs with questionable taste in art.KEXP has the chance to grow, offer free concerts to the public, and influence more local music lovers with a little help from the city. Open Platform will create a kick-ass park/performance space for everyone to enjoy, again, for free. Together, these projects have the opportunity to transform the Seattle Center into something more than just a gasping tourist trap manned by the damned.
I also understand a KEXP/Open Platform project will also bring much-needed new revenue to the city and will create many new jobs.
Thank you for your consideration. I hope you will join me in supporting this unique addition to Seattle Center. If you don't, we both know you'll be up for re-election soon enough, and I and all my form-letter-sending cohorts will boot your ass out of office for someone with a keener sense of the public's best interests.
Hearts and Butterflies,
[your name here]
Original Chihuly at the Needle form letter after the jump. Feel free to make your own!
Can we talk about this picture that's flying all over teh internets? Would ya look at it? No really, just LOOK at it! I don't think I can put a Chicken McNugget in my mouth ever-never again. Or strawberry ice cream. Nope. All done.
In response to the Back to School Guide:
Thank you, 2nd yr med student. (Does anyone else hope this response draws a snooty correction from a 3rd yr med student?)
At first I questioned the logic of the person who thought that mashing up Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis and The Social Network would be a good idea. And then I thought, anything with Zach Galifianakis in it—especially anything showing his greatest hits—is ALWAYS a good idea. Unlogical person, FTW.
And here's another very important message from the ACLU:
Every day, students in schools across the country face harassment, bullying and discrimination because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The Student Non-Discrimination Act will help to ensure that discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students has no place in our country’s public schools. The legislation builds on existing protections for students based on their race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin, and will provide LGBT students and their families with legal recourse against discriminatory treatment.
Urge your Representative and Senators to make schools safe and fair. Take action now and demand passage of H.R. 4530/S. 3390, the Student Non-Discrimination Act.
One of the nice things about a podcast is that you can forget to post about it yesterday and then post about it today and it's fine. It's not some dumb radio show that happens once and then goes away. It's the internet—it's forever.
SO! Yesterday was Thursday, meaning it was "Hey There, Stranger" day on Too Beautiful to Live. Discussed: Cienna Madrid on sexy young farmers, Lindy West on movies 'n' stuff, and Dan Savage on the It Gets Better project. (Plus this week's Arcade Fire show: "It was like the instruments had killed his father and he had to get even.")
Listen to it right now, right here.
I hear it's pretty good.
I'll watch it when I'm done throwing up (due to the flu, not due to president, this speech, the coming midterm elections, etc.).