Kanye’s 2 for 2 so far.
“Some of you will want to know my advice to young writers and, uh, this is it: Don’t use semicolons. They stand for absolutely nothing. They are transvestite hermaphrodites. They are just a way of showing off. To show that you have been to college.”
This is the first part of five from a lecture Kurt Vonnegut gave at Albion College entitled “How To Get A Job Like Mine.”
I’m fascinated with this ruling, mainly because well-reasoned arguments have become so novel.
On August 4, 2010, Federal Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled that California’s Proposition 8, which prohibits California from recognizing same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional. The ruling was stayed pending appeal—which means that nothing will happen until a Federal Appeals court reviews it. As you might imagine, it will be appealed. The ruling itself is 138 pages long. I’ll summarize.
The previous lawsuit challenged Proposition 8 on procedural grounds. My post on that case is here. The California Supreme Court disagreed with me. Since the California Supreme Court gets the final say on the California Constitution, it got the last word.
The new suit was brought by two same-sex couples on different grounds. And, since it was brought in Federal court, the California Supreme Court doesn’t get a say at all. Something strange happened. California’s government was sued. The Attorney General said, essentially, “I agree that this thing is unconstitutional.” The other government groups said, “I’m not going to bother defending this.” So did a number of other people, including “ProtectMarriage.com - Yes on 8.”
The people who brought the lawsuit (“the Plaintiffs”) claimed two things. First, they claimed that marriage is a fundamental right under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. (There is some decent precedent on this—the only question is whether the protected marriage is the one man/one woman kind of marriage). If the 14th Amendment protects same-sex marriage, the court reviews the case using “strict scrutiny” which I’ll discuss below.
Which is, of course, basically a description of Franco’s current career: He’s systematically challenging mass-cultural norms. Franco, you might say, is queering celebrity: erasing the border not just between gay and straight but between actor and artist, heartthrob and intellectual, junk TV and art museum. His obvious relish for gay roles challenges the default heterosexuality of Hollywood leading men like Clooney or Pitt. He seems more interested in fluidity, in every sense, than in a fixed identity. As a commenter on the website Queerty put it: “He’s the World’s Gayest Heterosexual!” But he’s also the world’s most heterosexual gay, the world’s highest lowbrow, and the world’s most ironic earnest guy. It is also possible that he’s just engaged in the world’s most public, and confused, coming-out process.
I bet you didn’t know he loves school:
As soon as Franco finished at UCLA, he moved to New York and enrolled in four of them: NYU for filmmaking, Columbia for fiction writing, Brooklyn College for fiction writing, and—just for good measure—a low-residency poetry program at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. This fall, at 32, before he’s even done with all of these, he’ll be starting at Yale, for a Ph.D. in English, and also at the Rhode Island School of Design. After which, obviously, he will become president of the United Nations, train a flock of African gray parrots to perform free colonoscopies in the developing world, and launch himself into space in order to explain the human heart to aliens living at the pulsing core of interstellar quasars.
I changed from wordpress to tumblr.
All the old posts and pictures are missing.
I’m working on bringing them back.
I know I’m late on this but, I can’t stop thinking about this article.
From the abstract:
EARLIER THIS YEAR, WOMEN BECAME THE MAJORITY OF THE WORKFORCE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN U.S. HISTORY. MOST MANAGERS ARE NOW WOMEN TOO. AND FOR EVERY TWO MEN WHO GET A COLLEGE DEGREE THIS YEAR, THREE WOMEN WILL DO THE SAME. FOR YEARS, WOMEN’S PROGRESS HAS BEEN CAST AS A STRUGGLE FOR EQUALITY. BUT WHAT IF EQUALITY ISN’T THE END POINT? WHAT IF MODERN, POSTINDUSTRIAL SOCIETY IS SIMPLY BETTER SUITED TO WOMEN?
The entire article is worth the time but it’s these two sentences that really stuck with me:
Mothers going back to school described themselves as good role models for their children. Fathers worried that they were abrogating their responsibilities as breadwinner.
Even after thinking about this for nearly a month, I can’t comprehend what this means for the workplace in the future.
N.B. I don’t mean to imply that this is “good” or “bad” - I don’t think those words have a place in this discussion. I do know that things are and have been changing. I hope I can adapt.
“What do you do to throw that one pitch where you want it all the time when the situation is heavy — say, 3-1 count, bases loaded, big hitter up?”
“I don’t ever second-guess myself. I don’t say, ‘I can’ or ‘I should’ or ‘I must.’ I will throw the ball where I want to.”
“In most elevators, at least in any built or installed since the early nineties, the door-close button doesn’t work. It is there mainly to make you think it works. (It does work if, say, a fireman needs to take control. But you need a key, and a fire, to do that.) Once you know this, it can be illuminating to watch people compulsively press the door-close button. That the door eventually closes reinforces their belief in the button’s power. It’s a little like prayer. Elevator design is rooted in deception—to disguise not only the bare fact of the box hanging by ropes but also the tethering of tenants to a system over which they have no command.”
“Passengers seem to know instinctively how to arrange themselves in an elevator. Two strangers will gravitate to the back corners, a third will stand by the door, at an isosceles remove, until a fourth comes in, at which point passengers three and four will spread toward the front corners, making room, in the center, for a fifth, and so on, like the dots on a die. With each additional passenger, the bodies shift, slotting into the open spaces. The goal, of course, is to maintain (but not too conspicuously) maximum distance and to counteract unwanted intimacies—a code familiar (to half the population) from the urinal bank and (to them and all the rest) from the subway. One should face front. Look up, down, or, if you must, straight ahead. Mirrors compound the unease. Generally, no one should speak a word to anyone else in an elevator. Most people make allowances for the continuation of generic small talk already under way, or, in residential buildings, for neighborly amenities.”