Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"I think I screwed up."

"I think this was a mistake. I think I screwed up."

A president who admits he screwed up after only the first day. Talk about transparency in politics! I think we're getting somewhere. I think I really, really respect Obama for his candor, and for his ingenuity.

I'm excited to be living and working in a time where these kinds of politics are out in the open, are being discussed and debated. This is the same president who mentioned gays and lesbians, disabled people, and seniors in his acceptance speech. It made me think of Harvey Milk's politics in 1973. This shit is amazing, and it's happening to us right now. I just feel lucky that I'm at a point in my life where I can situate myself within these powerful currents, where I can really pay attention and make critical decisions--and the spectrum of politics to engage with right now is incredible, exciting, charged, and important.

But in my hometown, I see all sorts of homicidal politics, slashes to social programming, visible poor-bashing, failures to protect sex-workers and provide living wages for people who work in all sorts of marginalized private sectors in global cities like Vancouver. I see the passage of Prop 8, and the enormous wave of pro-queer sentiment that was rallied and emerged as a result, like something bright coming out of blood and ashes. I see the quiet, largely unremarked-on passage of the tenth anniversary of Matthew Shepard's life and death in Laramie, WO. I also see new AIDS and oncology research, and online protests transmitted through blogs, and the rise of a strange and amazing counter-culture on sites like Youtube (and Xtube). I see my queer friends and colleagues doing exciting, inspiring work in a diversity of fields. Banal as it sounds, I even see online photographs of the wedding of Ellen Degeneres and Portia di Rossi, and Gavin Newsom asking us "what people we want to become" by voting to annul same-sex marriages, and therefore "writing discrimination into the constitution."

And I think, it's a fucking great time to be writing and teaching. I'm the luckiest queer in the world. We're all the luckiest queers in the world, and hopefully, we can do cultural work and make art that will change the spectrum of human rights. We'll do that. We have to, right?

Let's try to be kind to each other in new, even critical ways. Critical kindnesses. Remember what the fox says in Exupéry's Le petit prince. "Tu deviens responsable pour toujour de ce que tu as apprivoisé." You are responible, forever, for whatever you tame. But once you let yourself tame and be tamed, everything changes. "Tu seras pour moi unique au monde. Je serai pour toi unique au monde." You'll be unique to me in all the world; I'll be unique to you in all the world, like the little prince's golden hair in field of wheat. Like Butler says in Precarious Life, there are ways to organize politics around vulnerability, around not knowing. It's scary, but it probably makes us better humans, since we act most honestly when we're facing pain of all kinds. Being vulnerable and naked within your politics is hard, and I'm not good at it yet, but I think I'm getting less afraid with the passage of time.

One hopes, anyways.


Rev. Donald Spitz said...

Matthew Shepard? How many straight children have been molested and murdered by homosexuals like you? A lot. How many Christians have been assaulted by homosexuals like you because you didn't like the way they voted? A lot. How many Christian churches have been burned down by homosexuals like you because you disagree with the Holy Bible? A lot. Matthew Shepard is in eternal hell fire now and will never get out.
Whatever you think, you will not be able to change God's Word and will one day have to pay the price for not believing what God has written.
Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Romans 1:22-27

V22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, V23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

V24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

V25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is blessed for ever. Amen.

V26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

V27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

SAY THIS PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I am a sinner and am headed to eternal hell because of my sins. I believe you died on the cross to take away my sins and to take me to heaven. Jesus, I ask you now to come into my heart and take away my sins and give me eternal life.

Jes Battis said...

Christ, to my knowledge, had nothing to say about homosexuality, and everything to say about compassion. I'm pretty sure all of my Christian friends and colleagues would disagree with just about everything you've said. But I've been listening to these types of invectives since I was a kid, so it's nothing new to me.

Oblio said...

Leviticus also tells us it's ok to sell our wives and children and that eating shell fish is a sin. We can't pick and choose to create our own sense of right and wrong and to justify personal irrational hatred.