Letters to Holly

Wednesday, December 22

Moving Forward

The music is a'downloadin' as I type.

I'm only as far as the Beastie Boys in burning our CDs. This is gonna take a while. Although, I think I already burned the Beatles so that's eight or so CDs I can skip.

I'm listening to guest-host Hal Sparks on the Stephanie Miller Show, and he's streaming the president's formal signing of the DADT repeal. I'm obviously glad it's on the way out, but the Pentagon will still need to make adjustments, and Congress could vote down any financial bills needed to make those changes. Still, this repeal is the product of political arm-wringing and generational distinctions. We no longer live in a culture where the only gay representations are limp-wristed fops or skeevy club-hoppers. The easy punchlines in the 1970s were the wispy gentlemen and niche performers like Liberache and Paul Lynde. Do you know Paul Lynde?

I think it's too simple to say AIDS humanized homosexuality to the mainstream. I don't think it was one event that made gays less abhorrent to the majority. But I think we can point to educational programming like Sesame Street that made it a point to say diversity was no sin, and when sitcoms began tackling social matters like homosexuality, it lost its stigma. I think it's similar to the thinking that a generation raised on Eddie Murphy, Tiger Woods, Bill Cosby, Michael Jordan, Whitney Huston, and the emergence of rap/hip-hop would have no trouble with a black president. That's why John McCain is on the wrong side of this; he seems to have never reconciled his generation's notions of gays and his personal associations with the military. Not even a gay daughter can sway him. He's entrenched. I feel sorry for his mental roadblocks, but only to the point that he's intentionally preserving the mindset.

+ + +

I'm tracking the Amazon order for Your Sister, and, while the package is officially in the state, it's on your side of it. It has three days to move four hours this way. I have my fingers crossed.

Real-Time Girl Talk Reaction
Skee-Lo mixed with T-Pau is awesome. Old Dirty Bastard + Radiohead is eye-popping.

Tuesday, December 21

It's What We Really Wanted

New comics are up.

Under an arrangement with My Mom, we would buy our Christmas gift, and she'll reimburse us.We decided to get a smaller stereo unit and replace the frat-boy unit I've had for most of the decade. The old one is fine, but it requires a standalone cart, and that cart clutters up the large room and it's running out of room for our CDs. Virtually all single-unit stereos include an iPod dock, and getting one of these lets us remove the cart entirely. So we bought one. That required getting a new, larger capacity iPod, and I picked up a 16G player that claims to hold 4,000 songs. That should be plenty. Now, unfortunately, I need to burn all our CDs, and this will take some time. The transition to the new stereo unit will not be immediate.

Note: We'll keep our CDs squirreled away. You'll still be able to rifle through them to burn whatever catches your eye.

Buy the two pieces meant going to Best Buy, and Best Buy was a scarf bedecked riot. I genuinely pity the associates; I've worked such jobs at Christmas time, and between the foot pain and increased employer demands, you have to handhold shoppers who haven't done their homework before walking in the door. I hope to go to stores and malls during this week's lunch breaks just to watch the madness.

Your Sister delivered cocoa to her teacher buddies during school yesterday and took the sidekick in a Santa hat. Cooing ensued, I'm lead to understand.

We're aiming at next Wednesday for a holiday meal. So far, My Mom is the only one to RSVP. You're certainly welcome too.

Picture of the Day
Maybe we'll catch up on movies during the vacation.

Monday, December 20

Don't Ask, Don't Have a Cow

We watched the Senate votes on Saturday. The final Don't Ask Don't Tell vote was originally scheduled to take place around noon before it was pushed back three hours to accommodate debate on the START Treaty. We tuned in just in time to see the DREAM Act, providing citizenship to illegal aliens who serve in the military, fail in the chamber. The DADT vote was a pleasant surprise, 65-31, and the president should sign it into law soon.

I heard the usual rhetoric about this on the drive home Friday -- DADT gives gays special rights, this will weaken the military, and it disrupts unit cohesion. When I hear the argument about rights in the military, I don't hear the obvious counter: When is bigotry upheld in the military? Soldiers can't veto their commander's orders on grounds of prejudice if they're paired with a Catholic or black or a woman. Why would they get to mumble about the gay soldier they're partnered with?. (Ignoring for the moment the old irrational notion that homosexuals have no criteria and will fuck everyone in their gender).  As George Will said Sunday:
WILL: The Marines are a small service in which every Marine is a rifleman, and their specialty is small-unit combat, and unit cohesion matters. With that said, the Marines have their orders from the commander-in-chief. You tell a Marine to take the hill, the hill will be taken, and therefore they're going to implement it.
There seems to be a mass assumption that allowing gays to serve openly means the military will place walk-in volunteers into war zones without boot camp or basic training of any kind. Anyone who signs up still has to cut muster before they're deployed. Whoever is in the war zone will be prepared and capable no matter who they dream about when they fluff up their pillow. And the rampant fears of sudden sexual harassment against straights suggests that the military won't be allowed to shut down anyone's unwanted advances. That's crap. Military discipline is still in effect. The only thing this law changes is automatic discharge for soldiers discovered to be gay. 

The deputy seems to have a small cold. We think we all three have the same nasal drip, and it's affecting his sleep patterns. He had a rough weekend but managed to sink back into his bedtime pattern last night. He and I had more time together than normal. Your Sister ran errands and finished Christmas craftwork while I watched him, and I took him to the store Sunday to give her a baby-free hour. I got frustrated with him; he was unsettled from the head cold and all our comforting tricks were failing. But I started to regard him as a miniature version of Your Sister (granted, as an outie instead of an innie), and that got me through. He seems to have gotten through the worst of it.

Picture of the Day
I've almost finished backing up my Christmas gifts.