Tuesday, November 18, 2008

cynical idealism or cautious optimism?

I have often described myself as a cynical idealist.
In this article from Al Jazeera, I learned a new phrase that I just might prefer: "cautious optimist." I like it. And I think it sums up exactly what myself and others in my life are feeling about Obama. We're optimistic, even hopeful, but...I mean it's still the government, it's still the United States, this certainly doesn't make us patriots...he's far from perfect. But, I can't help but think that maybe we should look at the bright side. Because, for the first time in 8 years, I think there actually IS a bright side.
I don't know.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Alright, my turn.
I feel like I'm always running late on this blog thing...I mean, I missed the opportunity to mock Sarah Palin entirely...
I didn't once blog about Obama, hope, or the election...

But, here I am, back(ish). (for a minute, at least).
to talk about Prop 8.
by talk, i think that maybe I mean rant.

So, I'm a little fascinated with the crowd of people that seems to have suddenly realized they're oppressed.
I can see how they may not have noticed. The Castro in San Francisco is a prime example. I mean, these people have money, they have access to resources, they even have a neighborhood of bars, restaurants, and more all catering to them and their interests. If they rarely leave the area, of course they wouldn't notice that anything was wrong. I mean, unless they did something crazy like acknowledge their privilege...
But why would they do something like that?
Now, newly "politicized," these men are suddenly taking to the streets with the rest of us...
some of these men have even gone so far as to stick bumper stickers on their cars and lawn signs on their lawns (or in the windows of their apartments and condos, since the Castro doesn't have so many lawns)
they're talking politics on the sidewalks
i think i even heard one or two political conversations in bars!
I'm glad you could finally make it.

See, the rest of us have been organizing this whole time. And by this whole time I don't mean when Prop 8 was put on the ballot, nor do I mean when some gay people decided they wanted to get married.
I mean the WHOLE time.
I mean, some of us have been working on issues of social, racial, and economic justice for YEARS.
I mean, some of us have been passionate about other issues, either because they affect us personally and/or because we're compassionate people who think it's worth getting up and out and into the streets when other people are being bombed, evicted, or denied healthcare...

I WANT to feel total solidarity with these people, I really do. And I AM excited to see them on the streets, to see them in offices making phone calls, to hear them talking politics, to see that politically-induced rage that leads to mass movements and can potentially lead to real change...But the thing is, as friendly as they are on the streets, when we're in Bar on Castro the next day, or trying to dance at the Cafe, they're still pushing me and my friends around (often literally), treating us like we don't have the right to exist, certainly not in THEIR space at THEIR bar.
So, tell me, why exactly should we trust them not to eventually decide that we also don't have a right to participate in or benefit from, well...THEIR issue ?
This might sound cynical, but I think they're questions and fears that the "movement" around No on 8 really does need to address.

And now, as the media tries to spin Prop 8 as a proposition created, advocated, and passed by People of Color (who are, apparently, all straight?!) what exactly are these self-proclaimed, self-appointed No on 8 leaders saying about it?
Not Enough.
Look: Gay is NOT the new Black.
That doesn't even make sense, because that saying is about fashion, not oppression.
The fact that Obama is elected certainly does NOT mean that racism is over.
And, one I haven't heard yet...YES, gay people supported Obama. They didn't do it because they were anti-racist. They did it because he was running against McCain, who would've hurt People of Color AND gay people AND low-income communities AND women AND the list goes on. I mean, seriously, gay participation in the Obama campaign was often as self-centered as gay prioritization of No on 8 over basically everything else. And maybe self-centered is sometimes okay but not when it's used to fuel racism and hate while simultaneously patting yourself on the back for all the good work you've done and criticizing everyone else for their lack of involvement in the campaign.

Ok, rant over.
And now, I am hesitating to press "publish post," because I don't want to contribute to this divisive way of thinking.
Then again, I'm not sure anyone who would actually disagree would ever read my blog...
Nope, probably not.

Okay. Here we go....