Thirteen Ways of Looking at Greg Maddux – SBNation.com

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Greg Maddux – SBNation.com.

Posted in Brain Food Tagged with: , , ,

Ebola Cola Unfortunate Ad Placement

I clicked on an NBC story on ebola, and before they video played, they showed this coke ad… unfortunate.

Ebola Cola Ad Placement

Oops.

Posted in Current Events Tagged with: , , ,

100 novels everyone should read – Telegraph

Another “books you should read” list, this time from the telegraph. The one’s I’ve read are indicated in italics. This is actually a pretty good list – mostly classics, not a single Ayn Rand title on it.

100 novels everyone should read
The best novels of all time from Tolkien to Proust and Middlemarch

100 The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein
WH Auden thought this tale of fantastic creatures looking for lost jewellery was a “masterpiece”.

99 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A child’s-eye view of racial prejudice and freaky neighbours in Thirties Alabama.

98 The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore
A rich Bengali noble lives happily until a radical revolutionary appears.

97 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Earth is demolished to make way for a Hyperspatial Express Route. Don’t panic.

96 One Thousand and One Nights Anon
A Persian king’s new bride tells tales to stall post-coital execution.

95 The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Werther loves Charlotte, but she’s already engaged. Woe is he!

94 Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
The children of poor Hindus and wealthy Muslims are switched at birth.

93 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré
Nursery rhyme provides the code names for British spies suspected of treason.

92 Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Hilarious satire on doom-laden rural romances. “Something nasty” has been observed in the woodshed.

91 The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki
The life and loves of an emperor’s son. And the world’s first novel?

90 Under the Net by Iris Murdoch
A feckless writer has dealings with a canine movie star. Comedy and philosophy combined.

89 The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
Lessing considers communism and women’s liberation in what Margaret Drabble calls “inner space fiction”.

88 Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
Passion, poetry and pistols in this verse novel of thwarted love.

87 On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Beat generation boys aim to “burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles”.

86 Old Goriot by Honoré de Balzac
A disillusioning dose of Bourbon Restoration realism. The anti-hero “Rastingnac” became a byword for ruthless social climbing.

85 The Red and the Black by Stendhal
Plebian hero struggles against the materialism and hypocrisy of French society with his “force d’ame”.

84 The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
“One for all and all for one”: the eponymous swashbucklers battle the mysterious Milady.

83 Germinal by Emile Zola
Written to “germinate” social change, Germinal unflinchingly documents the starvation of French miners.

82 The Stranger by Albert Camus
Frenchman kills an Arab friend in Algiers and accepts “the gentle indifference of the world”.

81The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Illuminating historical whodunnit set in a 14th-century Italian monastry.

80 Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
An Australian heiress bets an Anglican priest he can’t move a glass church 400km.

79 Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Prequel to Jane Eyre giving moving, human voice to the mad woman in the attic.

78 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Carroll’s ludic logic makes it possible to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

77 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Yossarian feels a homicidal impulse to machine gun total strangers. Isn’t that crazy?

76 The Trial by Franz Kafka
K proclaims he’s innocent when unexpectedly arrested. But “innocent of what”?

75 Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee
Protagonist’s “first long secret drink of golden fire” is under a hay wagon.

74 Waiting for the Mahatma by RK Narayan
Gentle comedy in which a Gandhi-inspired Indian youth becomes an anti-British extremist.

73 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque
The horror of the Great War as seen by a teenage soldier.

72 Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
Three siblings are differently affected by their parents’ unexplained separation.

71 The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin
Profound and panoramic insight into 18th-century Chinese society.

70 The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Garibaldi’s Redshirts sweep through Sicily, the “jackals” ousting the nobility, or “leopards”.

69 If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino
International book fraud is exposed in this playful postmodernist puzzle.

68 Crash by JG Ballard
Former TV scientist preaches “a new sexuality, born from a perverse technology”.

67 A Bend in the River by VS Naipaul
East African Indian Salim travels to the heart of Africa and finds “The world is what it is.”

66 Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Boy meets pawnbroker. Boy kills pawnbroker with an axe. Guilt, breakdown, Siberia, redemption.

65 Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
Romantic young doctor’s idealism is trampled by the atrocities of the Russian Revolution.

64 The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz
Follows three generations of Cairenes from the First World War to the coup of 1952.

63 The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Stevenson’s “bogey tale” came to him in a dream.

62 Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Swift’s scribulous satire on travellers’ tall tales (the Lilliputian Court is really George I’s).

61 My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk
A painter is murdered in Istanbul in 1591. Unusually, we hear from the corpse.

60 One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
Myth and reality melt magically together in this Colombian family saga.

59 London Fields by Martin Amis
A failed novelist steals a woman’s trashed diaries which reveal she’s plotting her own murder.

58 The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño
Gang of South American poets travel the world, sleep around, challenge critics to duels.

57 The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse
Intellectuals withdraw from life to play a game of musical and mathematical rules.

56 The Tin Drum by Günter Grass
Madhouse memories of the Second World War. Key text of European magic realism.

55 Austerlitz by WG Sebald
Paragraph-less novel in which a Czech-born historian traces his own history back to the Holocaust.

54 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Scholar’s sexual obsession with a prepubescent “nymphet” is complicated by her mother’s passion for him.

53 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
After nuclear war has rendered most sterile, fertile women are enslaved for breeding.

52 The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Expelled from a “phony” prep school, adolescent anti-hero goes through a difficult phase.

51 Underworld by Don DeLillo
From baseball to nuclear waste, all late-20th-century American life is here.
READ: The best books of 2014

class=”checked”50 Beloved by Toni Morrison
Brutal, haunting, jazz-inflected journey down the darkest narrative rivers of American slavery.

49 The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
“Okies” set out from the Depression dustbowl seeking decent wages and dignity.

48 Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin
Explores the role of the Christian Church in Harlem’s African-American community.

47The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
A doctor’s infidelities distress his wife. But if life means nothing, it can’t matter.

46 The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
A meddling teacher is betrayed by a favourite pupil who becomes a nun.

45 The Voyeur by Alain Robbe-Grillet
Did the watch salesman kill the girl on the beach. If so, who heard?

44 Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
A historian becomes increasingly sickened by his existence, but decides to muddle on.

43 The Rabbit books by John Updike
A former high school basketball star is unsatisfied by marriage, fatherhood and sales jobs.

42 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
A boy and a runaway slave set sail on the Mississippi, away from Antebellum “sivilisation”.

41 The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
A drug addict chases a ghostly dog across the midnight moors.

40 The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Lily Bart craves luxury too much to marry for love. Scandal and sleeping pills ensue.

39 Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
A Nigerian yam farmer’s local leadership is shaken by accidental death and a missionary’s arrival.

38The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
A mysterious millionaire’s love for a woman with “a voice full of money” gets him in trouble.

37 The Warden by Anthony Trollope
“Of all novelists in any country, Trollope best understands the role of money,” said W.H. Auden.

36 Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
An ex-convict struggles to become a force for good, but it ends badly.

35 Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
An uncommitted history lecturer clashes with his pompous boss, gets drunk and gets the girl.

34 The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
“Dead men are heavier than broken hearts” in this hardboiled crime noir.

33 Clarissa by Samuel Richardson
Epistolary adventure whose heroine’s bodice is savagely unlaced by the brothel-keeping Robert Lovelace.

32 A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell
Twelve-book saga whose most celebrated character wears “the wrong kind of overcoat”.

31 Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky
Published 60 years after their author was gassed, these two novellas portray city and village life in Nazi-occupied France.

30 Atonement by Ian McEwan
Puts the “c” word in the classic English country house novel.

29 Life: a User’s Manual by Georges Perec
The jigsaw puzzle of lives in a Parisian apartment block. Plus empty rooms.

28 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
Thigh-thwacking yarn of a foundling boy sewing his wild oats before marrying the girl next door.

27 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Human endeavours “to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world” have tragic consequences.

26 Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
Northern villagers turn their bonnets against the social changes accompanying the industrial revolution.

25 The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Hailed by TS Eliot as “the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels”.

24 Ulysses by James Joyce
Modernist masterpiece reworking of Homer with humour. Contains one of the longest “sentences” in English literature: 4,391 words.

23 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Buying the lies of romance novels leads a provincial doctor’s wife to an agonising end.

22 A Passage to India by EM Forster
A false accusation exposes the racist oppression of British rule in India.

21 1984 by George Orwell
In which Big Brother is even more sinister than the TV series it inspired.

20 Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
Samuel Johnson thought Sterne’s bawdy, experimental novel was too odd to last. Pah!

class=”checked”19 The War of the Worlds by HG Wells
Bloodsucking Martian invaders are wiped out by a dose of the sniffles.

18 Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
Waugh based the hapless junior reporter in this journalistic farce on former Telegraph editor Bill Deedes.

17 Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Sexual double standards are held up to the cold, Wessex light in this rural tragedy.

16 Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
A seaside sociopath mucks up murder and marriage in Greene’s literary Punch and Judy show.

15 The Code of the Woosters by PG Wodehouse
A scrape-prone toff and pals are suavely manipulated by his gentleman’s personal gentleman.

14 Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Out on the winding, windy moors Cathy and Heathcliff become each other’s “souls”. Then he storms off.

13 David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Debt and deception in Dickens’s semi-autobiographical Bildungsroman crammed with cads, creeps and capital fellows.

12 Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
A slave trader is shipwrecked but finds God, and a native to convert, on a desert island.

11 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Every proud posh boy deserves a prejudiced girl. And a stately pile.

10 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Picaresque tale about quinquagenarian gent on a skinny horse tilting at windmills.

9 Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Septimus’s suicide doesn’t spoil our heroine’s stream-of-consciousness party.

8 Disgrace by JM Coetzee
An English professor in post-apartheid South Africa loses everything after seducing a student.

7 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Poor and obscure and plain as she is, Mr Rochester wants to marry her. Illegally.

6 In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
Seven-volume meditation on memory, featuring literature’s most celebrated lemony cake.

5 Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
“The conquest of the earth,” said Conrad, “is not a pretty thing.”

4 The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
An American heiress in Europe “affronts her destiny” by marrying an adulterous egoist.

3 Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Tolstoy’s doomed adulteress grew from a daydream of “a bare exquisite aristocratic elbow”.

2 Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
Monomaniacal Captain Ahab seeks vengeance on the white whale which ate his leg.

1 Middlemarch by George Eliot
“One of the few English novels written for grown-up people,” said Virginia Woolf.

Posted in Reading Lists Tagged with: , , ,

Boxed In: Employment Of Behind-The-Scenes And On-Screen Women In 2013-14 Prime-Time Television

As Long As Women Are Not Free

From the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film: San Diego State University, the annual report on women in television

The report is available in a downloadable PDF file: Boxed In: Employment Of Behind-The-Scenes And On-Screen Women In 2013-14 Prime-Time Television

In 2013-14, women comprised 27% of creators, executive producers, producers, writers, directors, editors, and directors of photography working on prime-time programs airing on the broadcast networks. This represents a decrease of 1 percentage point from 2012-13. On screen, women accounted for 42% of all speaking characters, a decrease of 1 percentage point from 2012-13. This year’s study also reports the findings of an expanded sample including programs airing on the broadcast networks, on basic and paid cable channels, and available through Netflix.

Posted in Feminism & Women's Issues, Television Tagged with: , ,

East of the Sun and West of the Moon

Wikipedia: “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” is a Norwegian folk tale.

1024px-TheodorKittelsen-KvitebjørnKongValemon(1912)

The White Bear approaches a poor peasant and asks if he will give him his youngest daughter; in return, he will make the man rich. The girl is reluctant, so the peasant asks the bear to return, and persuades her in the meantime. The White Bear takes her off to a rich and enchanted castle. At night, he takes off his bear form in order to come to her bed as a man, although the lack of light means that she never sees him.

When she grows homesick, the bear agrees that she might go home as long as she agrees that she will never speak with her mother alone, but only when other people are about. At home, they welcome her, and her mother makes persistent attempts to speak with her alone, finally succeeding and persuading her to tell the whole tale. Hearing it, her mother insists that the White Bear must really be a troll, gives her some candles, and tells her to light them at night, to see what is sharing her bed.

The youngest daughter obeys, and finds he is a highly attractive prince, but she spills three drops of the melted tallow on him, waking him. He tells her that if she held out a year, he would have been free, but now he must go to his wicked stepmother, who enchanted him into this shape and lives in a castle east of the sun and west of the moon, and marry her hideous daughter, a troll princess.

In the morning, the youngest daughter finds that the palace has vanished. She sets out in search of him. Coming to a great mountain, she finds an old woman playing with a golden apple. The youngest daughter asks if she knows the way to the castle east of the sun and west of the moon. The old woman cannot tell her, but lends the youngest daughter a horse to reach a neighbor who might know, and gives her the apple. The neighbor is sitting outside another mountain, with a golden carding comb. She, also, does not know the way to the castle east of the sun and west of the moon, but lends the youngest daughter a horse to reach a neighbor who might know, and gives her the carding-comb. The third neighbor has a golden spinning wheel. She, also, does not know the way to the castle east of the sun and west of the moon, but lends the youngest daughter a horse to reach the East Wind and gives her the spinning wheel.

The East Wind has never been to the castle east of the sun and west of the moon, but his brother the West Wind might have, being stronger. He takes her to the West Wind. The West Wind does the same, bringing her to the South Wind; the South Wind does the same, bringing her to the North Wind. The North Wind reports that he once blew an aspen leaf there, and was exhausted after, but he will take her if she really wants to go. The youngest daughter does wish to go, and so he takes her there.

The next morning, the youngest daughter takes out the golden apple. The troll princess who was to marry the prince sees it and wants to buy it. The girl agrees, if she can spend the night with the prince. The troll princess agrees but gives the prince a sleeping drink, so that the youngest daughter cannot wake him. The same thing happens the next night, after the youngest daughter pays the troll princess with the gold carding-combs. During the girl’s attempts to wake the prince, her weeping and calling to him is overheard by some imprisoned townspeople in the castle, who tell the prince of it. On the third night, in return for the golden spinning wheel, the troll princess brings the drink, but the prince does not drink it, and so is awake for the youngest daughter’s visit.

The prince tells her how she can save him: He will declare that he will not marry anyone who cannot wash the tallow drops from his shirt since trolls, such as his stepmother and her daughter, the troll princess, cannot do it. So instead, he will call in the youngest daughter, and she will be able to do it, so she will marry him. The plan works, and the trolls, in a rage, burst. The prince and his bride free the prisoners captive in the castle, take the gold and silver within, and leave the castle east of the sun and west of the moon.

Posted in Brain Food, Literature Tagged with: ,

Helpful Animated Gif Post

Because you can’t post these on Facebook the way you should be able to.

What is this shit?

energy-to-refute-bullshit

Even Jesus can't deal with your bullshit.

Speechless Captain Tight-Pants

Oh Boy!

dancing-dancing

what-the-fuck

da-fuck-bruh

Adele laughing.

cersei-eyroll

how-about-no

what the fuck

what-talk-about-pete

I don't know what I expected

Seriously, WTF?

No. Just, no. Stop talking.

If Karma doesn't hit you, I fucking will.

Ape sez no.

Angry hairbrush girl.

Prince WTF

Posted in Brain Food Tagged with:

Brand New Ancients On Film

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

More about Kate Tempest

Posted in Brain Food, Poems Tagged with: , , , , ,

Same-sex marriage is legal in Indiana

Craig Bowman and Jake Miller - first same-sex married couple in Marion County

Craig Bowman and Jake Miller – first same-sex married couple in Marion County

Yesterday, a federal court judge threw out Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that the Gay marriage ban violates Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause. See the the summary judgement here [pdf]. Because there was no stay on the ruling, Indiana couples could begin marrying immediately, and the Marion County Clerk’s office was prepared for the lines of same-sex couples who showed up to apply for a license.

Lines of same-sex couples waiting to get married in Marion County Clerk's office

Lines of same-sex couples waiting to get married in Marion County Clerk’s office

Lines of same-sex couples waiting to get married in Marion County Clerk's office

Lines of same-sex couples waiting to get married in Marion County Clerk’s office

219 marriage license were issue to same-sex couples in Marion County yesterday, and 150 ceremonies were performed in the Marion County Clerk’s Office. And the Clerk’s office is anticipating hundreds more marriages today.

Because Stephanie and I were married in 2008 and our marriage suddenly was valid in Indiana, we thought it would be fun to take flowers to all the folks waiting to get married yesterday. We handed out over 125 flowers to individuals inline – we ran out of the first 9 bouquets and then went to the florist to get more.

Flowers for same-sex couples getting married in Marion County

Flowers for same-sex couples getting married in Marion County

We saw tons of friends getting married yesterday – it was amazing. I’m still giddy.

County Clerks all over the state were issuing licenses and marriages, although there was some confusion and refusals by some counties to issue licenses. This map was accurate as of sometime yesterday evening. Late in the evening Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller issued a notice to all county clerks advising them to follow the ruling of the court.

Indiana Counties issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Of course Zoeller waited to make that statement until well after he had filed an appeal for a stay on the federal court ruling.

Posted in GLBT Issues, Indianapolis Tagged with: , ,

Read 26 Indy Reading Challenge for 2014

Early in January of 2014, Indy Star Reporter Michael Anthony Adams issued a challenge to Indiana residents for the new year:

New Year’s resolutions are rarely acted on. I’m guilty of it, and you’re guilty of it. The trick is to have support, which is exactly what #Read26Indy is. But instead of having a few friends hold you accountable for your vows, you have an entire city.

The pledge: I’m calling on every Hoosier to read 26 books in 2014. Think of it as your informal education, a collective challenge. One book every two weeks. That’s 20 pages a day (if you figure that the average novel is 280-300 pages long). When you start a book, let everyone know about it on Twitter by using the hashtag #Read26Indy. Feel like telling us what you’re drinking while you’re reading? Have at it, but use #Read26Indy. Can’t stand a character? Want to rant about it? #Read26Indy is your pedestal. The point is to read. Like Faulkner said, “Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad.”

Can’t decide what to read? Tweet it out. #Read26Indy has already gathered a large following, and people are eager to tell you about their favorite books. I’ll also be keeping this page up-to-date with what I’m reading and I urge you to join our Goodreads group, #Read26Indy, to discuss your picks with other readers.

Part way through January, they mentioned that comic books count! I could finish in a couple weeks if I include them. For my personal challenge, I’ll note comic books but not count them against my official total. I’m going to pin this post to my main page and update as I add titles throughout the year.

So far my finished titles are:

This Is How You Lose Her
Author: Junot Diaz
Rated: 4 stars. Very well written with strong characters. I just had a hard time identifying with the protagonist, because all of his problems came through his own self-absorption.
The Goldfinch
Author: Donna Tartt
Rated: 5 stars. Everything I love about reading – being so caught up that I forget the rest of the world exists, wanting to highlight whole passages and re-read whole sections, frantically looking up quotes and references to get at additional layers of meaning – all come together here. The book I set down after the I finished the last page is a completely different one than I thought I was reading after the first chapter, and winding up in a different place than I expected and yet feeling like it all made sense and could be true is, I think, a hallmark of a truly skilled author.
Hawkeye: Little Hits, Vol. 2
Author: Matt Fraction
Rated: 4 stars. Smart and sardonic, the story of a hapless hero who seems to swing and miss an awful lot. Beautifully drawn work.
The Social Justice Advocate’s Handbook: A Guide to Gender
Author: Sam Killermann
Rated: 4 stars. Available as a free ebook, so no reason not to pick up a copy. Worth reading for the discussion of the fallacies of The Golden Rule alone – Killermann suggest replacing “Do unto others as you would have them do to you” with the more thoughtful “do unto others as they would have you do to them” and his logic is impeccable; he challenged (and improved!) one of the basic principles I’ve always followed.

But the book really shines when it leads you through understanding of gender and especially how people who don’t conform to the male/female gender binary see themselves in the world. It’s eye-opening and will change your perspective in a healthy way for yourself and the people around you.

Veronica Mars: An Original Mystery by Rob Thomas: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Vintage)
Author: Rob Thomas
Rated: 3 stars. Iffy. It didn’t advance the story threads left open in the movie at all.
Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man
Author: Chaz Bono.
Rated: 3 stars. I understood Chaz’ story a lot better, and had a lot of sympathy for what he dealt with in coming to terms with his gender identity. I had trouble relating to some of the ways he spoke about transitioning, because he rejected completely and didn’t identify with any female experience from his life. I think in contemplating my own gender identity I feel an ownership of both feminine and masculine experiences and identities, so the way Chaz wrote about things seemed foreign to me. After reading this I watched the documentary “Becoming Chaz” and related a lot more to what Chaz was saying as he transitioned on screen. In some cases that seems hard to put into words, but when Chaz speaks with his own voice it’s easier to understand.
The Actor’s Guide To Murder
Author: Rick Copp
Rated: 1 star. This is a terrible book and I hate that I’m even linking to it. It’s incredibly transphobic – in fact it’s worth spoiling the “mystery” – the killer is a trans woman who commits murder to pay for her transitions. Because of course those crazy trans folks will go nuts and murder people in order to transition. Just a piece of crap writing all around.
The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel (P.S.)
Author: Helene Wecker
Rated: 5 stars. A delightful read by a first-time author. Very impressive.
The Woman Upstairs
Author: Claire Messud
Rated: 4 stars. I have a friend who disliked the ending, but I loved it. I was afraid it was going to be a tragic book throughout, but was happy to find that was not the case.
Tony’s Treasure Hunt
Author: Holly Peterson
Cute children’s book that I happened to buy a single framed page of several years ago. Tony finds a series of clues and follows them to find a treasure.
Seating Arrangements
Author: Maggie Shipstead
Rated: 4 stars.
Funny, exasperating, self-absorbed white people who behave outrageously while convinced they’re proper and upstanding. It seemed very realistic to me. Not sure why there are so many angry reviews about this book on goodreads. Certainly the characters were idiots, but they were engaging idiots.
Mrs Queen Takes the Train: A Novel
Author: William Kuhn
Rated: 3 stars.
An upcoming book club selection, so I’m bound by the first and second rules of book club – “Don’t discuss the book before book club” I’ll circle back and write a review after.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel
Author: Robin Sloan
Rated: 3 stars
Another fun light read. It prioritizes using technology and computers over doing the work yourself, and seems to promote the idea that reading is done strictly for data gathering purposes. A very google-like approach to books that entirely misses the point. As does Google, in general.
The Secret History

Author: Donna Tart
Rated: 4 stars. I enjoyed the storyline but didn’t really care for any of the characters, even the protagonist. A bunch of jackasses, all of them. It’s well-written and smart but I feel some impatience at stories where there are literally no sympathetic characters in sight. I supposed there are groups of utter jerks out there, but why bother with them? Do we need to hear their stories?

Miss Buncle’s Book
Author: D.E. Smith
Rated: 4 stars.
When I picked up this funny little book to read the back cover, I was dismayed to find that it was very like a story I was writing myself about a woman who writes about her neighbors in a smash hit book and then has to weather the storm of their consternation. I was a bit put out, actually, until I realized the story was originally published in 1936 and reprinted recently with a very charming cover. I suppose I can’t be too upset that someone had the same funny idea I did 32 years before I was born. And my story only starts there and then gets pretty racy, where this book remains charming and sweet throughout. The characters are sharply drawn and the controversies are small, the conceit of a book within a book is nicely recursed with yet another book being written by the characters of the book inside the book inside this one, and there is a rather outrageous denouement with a kidnapping that it’s fairly easy to forgive given that they satirize it themselves. They only think the didn’t tie up was whether the Mrs. Goldsmith’s dilemma with the bakery buns solved itself; they leave you to return to the beginning and work it out yourself.
Posted in Books I've Read Tagged with: , , , ,

2014-06-06 Jamaica Playlist

Beach, Negril, Jamaica

Feeling Good / Nina Simone / 2:53 / Soundtrack
One Love / Bob Marley / 2:48 / Reggae
Soolaimon / Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show (Live) / Neil Diamond / 9:34 / Pop
Love Is The Seventh Wave / Sting / 3:32 / Alternative
I Choose You / Sara Bareilles / 3:39 / Pop
I Can See Clearly Now / Johnny Nash / 2:45 / Reggae
Sweat (A La La La La Long) / Inner Circle / 3:46 / Reggae
Buzz-Buzz-Buzz / The Hollywood Flames / 2:20 / Doo-wop
I Ain’t Leavin’ Without Your Love / Nashville Cast / 2:46 / Country
Rhythm of Love / Plain White T’s / 3:20 / Pop
What I Like About You / The Romantics / 2:56 / Rock
I Wanna Get Better / Bleachers / 3:24 / Rock
Tightrope (Solo Version) / Janelle Monáe / 4:25 / R&B/Soul
Don’t Fence Me In / David Byrne / 3:13 / Jazz
Water Fountain / Tune-Yards / 3:03 / Alternative
It’s My Birthday (feat. Cody Wise) / will.i.am / 4:12 / Pop
Emily / MIKA / 3:33 / Pop
We Are One (Ole Ola) [The Official 2014 FIFA World Cup™ Song] / Pitbull / 3:44 / Pop
Wavin’ Flag / K’naan, will.i.am & David Guetta / 3:30 / Hip-Hop/Rap
Fancy (feat. Charli XCX) / Iggy Azalea / 3:20 / Hip-Hop/Rap
Sweet Jane / Cowboy Junkies / 3:34 / Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
On a Bicycle Built for Two / Nat “King” Cole / 1:46 / Pop
Do I Move You? / Nina Simone / 2:45 / Jazz

Posted in Music, My Playlists Tagged with: , , ,

Jamaican Sun

We are headed to Jamaica tomorrow for my youngest brother Gary’s wedding. This is incredibly exciting because we’ve had a lot of traumatic stuff going on lately, including Stephanie’s mom’s long illness and death from liver cancer on May 19th of this year. We really need a vacation, we need relaxation and fun and frivolity and time away from home and work.

Posted in Travel Tagged with: , ,

2015-06-02 Recently Read

NY Times: Storme DeLarverie, Early Leader in the Gay Rights Movement, Dies at 93

“Nobody knows who threw the first punch, but it’s rumored that she did, and she said she did,” said Ms. Cannistraci, an owner of the Village lesbian bar Henrietta Hudson. “She told me she did.”

Ms. DeLarverie was a member of the Stonewall Veterans Association and a regular at the pride parade, but she rarely dwelled on her actions that night. Her role in the movement lasted long after 1969. For decades she was a self-appointed guardian of lesbians in the Village.

Tall, androgynous and armed — she held a state gun permit — Ms. DeLarverie roamed lower Seventh and Eighth Avenues and points between into her 80s, patrolling the sidewalks and checking in at lesbian bars. She was on the lookout for what she called “ugliness”: any form of intolerance, bullying or abuse of her “baby girls.”

Mother Jones: Fearing Rising Backlash, NRA Urges Gun Activists to Stand Down

It may be that a broader cultural shift—or at least a strategic one—is stirring within the gun lobby. In its statement on Friday, the NRA also cracked open the door to so-called “smart guns,” which aim to improve safety through innovative technological features. Historically the NRA has vigorously opposed them as yet another catalyst for dubious government overreach, but now says: “In principle, the idea would seem to have merit, at least in some circumstances.” That pivot comes not long after a businesswoman in California and a gun dealer in Maryland spoke out about harassment and death threats for trying to sell the cutting-edge weapons.

The NRA has also backtracked recently from its long-held stance against laws meant to disarm domestic abusers—a major factor in gun violence against women—by quietly supporting recent such legislation in states including Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Talking Points Memo: Why Is Capital So Much Stronger Than Labor?

Surely part of solving the inequality problem will require reducing the outsized political power of those with the most resources (and to be clear, I’m arguing that their usual dominance is highly amplified and uniquely unopposed in our current politics). If I’m right about the role of economics today in supporting capital and opposing labor, then part of winning that fight requires a new economics that encompasses a much broader scope of human and societal well-being, that more readily sees market failures, more accurately gauges and fairly judges reactions to policy changes, and places a much heavier weight on shared prosperity, and not solely through redistribution, but through market outcomes.

As another Thomas—Pynchon—said: “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.” Progressives have all kinds of ideas to shape a more equitable primary distribution. But those ideas will never get much oxygen if we remain voluntary trapped in the cramped debate of a short-sighted economics.

Posted in Current Events Tagged with: , , , , ,

Video: Man juggling buugengs / s-staffs

The coolest thing you might see today…

You can buy buugengs from the juggling store!

You have to grow your own dreadlocks, though. They don’t come with.

Posted in Brain Food, Games Tagged with: , ,

This is a lucky young man

Ryland has some awesome parents.

Posted in GLBT Issues Tagged with: ,

A Brave and Startling Truth – Maya Angelou

NY Times: Maya Angelou, Lyrical Witness of the Jim Crow South, Dies at 86

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when

We come to it.

Posted in Current Events, Poems Tagged with: , , , ,

Powerful Essay on the World Trade Center Attacks

By Steve Kandell on Buzzfeed [The Worst Day Of My Life Is Now New York’s Hottest Tourist Attraction]:

The fact that everyone else here has VIP status grimly similar to mine is the lone saving grace; the prospect of experiencing this stroll down waking nightmare lane with tuned-out schoolkids or spectacle-seekers would be too much. There are FDNY T-shirts and search-and-rescue sweatshirts and no one quite makes eye contact with anyone else, and that’s just fine. I think now of every war memorial I ever yawned through on a class trip, how someone else’s past horror was my vacant diversion and maybe I learned something but I didn’t feel anything. Everyone should have a museum dedicated to the worst day of their life and be forced to attend it with a bunch of tourists from Denmark. Annotated divorce papers blown up and mounted, interactive exhibits detailing how your mom’s last round of chemo didn’t take, souvenir T-shirts emblazoned with your best friend’s last words before the car crash. And you should have to see for yourself how little your pain matters to a family of five who need to get some food before the kids melt down. Or maybe worse, watch it be co-opted by people who want, for whatever reason, to feel that connection so acutely.

Posted in Brain Food, Current Events Tagged with: , , , ,

What Girls Wear in Summer Time

From Role Reboot: A Message To Teenage Girls About Summer Dress Codes By Chelsea Cristene

The other day while driving home from work, I saw a shirtless man who looked about my age—mid 20′s—mowing his lawn. I did not roll down my window and cat call, or yell to him that I’d like a piece of that. I did not scoff in disgust, thinking that his lack of shirt was an invitation for me to comment on his appearance in a derogatory way or to view him as someone with no self-respect. He was a man mowing his lawn, sweating under the high afternoon sun, and dressed for the weather.

That is the difference.

We live in a culture that produces girls’ tops with narrower shoulder straps than boys’ tops, girls’ shorts that expose more leg than boys’ shorts, and then shames girls for wearing the clothes that are sold to them. We live in a culture that tells boys it’s OK to shed clothing in the heat in order to be more comfortable, but tells girls that their comfort is secondary to how others perceive them.

When people tell you these things, they are part of a larger system that often operates without their full knowledge. It is the same system that excuses assault if the victim was drinking or was not a virgin, and that tells women not to get raped instead of telling men not to rape. You are not a piece of uncovered meat, and you are not to blame when your fellow autonomous human beings choose not to exercise self-control. Your body and the clothes you put on it are not “things” “given” to others.

The difficulty is that this message is being sent to young women. It also needs to be sent to young men. The script needs to change. Tell young men it’s their responsibility to keep their hands to themselves, and that understanding the importance of clear verbal consent from young women is their responsibility and anything else is illegal and immoral.

Women have been spreading this message for years. When men finally get with the program and join them in spreading it, then young men’s behavior will change.

Posted in Feminism & Women's Issues Tagged with: , , , ,

children’s treasure hunt book with clues in pig latin

I bought this framed page of a children’s book several years ago, and I’ve been trying to track down the book it came from without much luck.

Silver Box Mystery

If you happen to recognize it, please let me know. I’d be really grateful.

UPDATE: The fine folks on Goodreads helped me track down the source – it’s Tony’s Treasure Hunt

Posted in Books Tagged with: , , ,

Things I’ve been doing lately (instead of blogging)

Things I’ve been doing instead of blogging:

  • Taking a scene writing class from the Indiana Writer’s Center (I also took a world building class at IWC taught by Maurice Broaddus). I don’t know yet if this is helping me write better, but it is helping me procrastinate.
  • Taking a sewing class from Crimson Tate our local fabric store. This is because I need to brush up on my sewing skills so I can hem my own pants and such. My rudimentary junior-high home-ec skills need some refreshment.
  • Getting a head-start on gardening. The winter was so harsh that I couldn’t wait to plan what the gardens were going to look like. So we got a load of mulch early in March and put it down on the front flowerbeds before the spring bulbs came up. Also, I started flower seeds in a mini green house, and I’m getting the kitchen window ready to use as a cold-frame to start herbs and veggies. I’m growing some lavender, two kinds of butterfly flower, indigo and a climbing passion flower.
  • Reading more fiction. My sleep doctor told me to stay away from computer screens in the evening so I can sleep better, and it really works. So I’ve been reading more print books and less iPad. Now I wake up at 5:30 am instead of 2:30 am, and I feel more refreshed. Also, I’ve finished more books. We’re reading Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge, which in retrospect was a bad choice on my part. It’s a bit of a slog.
  • Therapy. No worries. Just dealing with stress from things that are beyond our control to fix.

IndianHeadTestPattern16x9

Posted in Journal Tagged with: ,

The Art Assignment #3: Intimate, Indispensable GIF

In which The Art Assignment visits New York-based artist Toyin Odutola and receives the challenge to create a GIF! But not just any GIF–it must articulate something intimate that is indispensable to you.

My Entry: My (current) favorite words

Words: Intimate & Indenspensible

EPISODE 03 INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Think of something intimate that is indispensable to you. (It doesn’t have to be a body part. It can be an object, place, memory, anything.)

2. Depict it in the form of a GIF. You don’t have to make drawings—you can use photographs, make a sculpture, or whatever you like.

3. Upload and share it online using whatever social media platforms you prefer, being sure to tag it with #theartassignment so we can find it.

4. Fame and glory. (Your response might be included in a future episode.)

Posted in Arts & Crafts, Brain Food, My Design Work Tagged with:

Essential Follow-up Reading on HJR-3

Indy StarThe intrigue behind the curtain cloaking the HJR-3 debate
“When the Indiana Senate cast its vote Monday on the proposed same-sex marriage ban, it all seemed pretty straightforward, even predictable. The vast majority of Republicans voted for the measure and it passed 32-17.

But outside public view, another story was playing out. In the days and hours leading up to the vote, a group of socially conservative senators was plotting in private to kill the marriage amendment.”

Commentary from inside the organization fighting HJR3 on this article: “I read it twice. A lot of it has an element of reality, some is off base. But we’ve got to be ready for 2015. No question.”

Digital Media News — Reporters Notebook: Indiana Senator’s Twitter War A Fascinating Read
“First, some disclosure. In Indiana State Senator Mike Delph’s world, I am a “liberal”. I am not a moderate, independent…nope…I am a “liberal” because I do not agree with his position regarding gay marriage. Second, Delph was punished, in part, for contents of a Twitter war that topped 250 tweets over two or three days best described as a melt-down over the demise of HJR-3 which was a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Indiana. Senate President Pro Tempore David Long has disciplined Delph — taking away leadership roles and even moving his seat — for violating Senate protocol when he tweeted about the same-sex marriage amendment. According to Long’s office, Delph used Twitter to report information, garnered from a GOP private caucus, on the fate of Senate action on House Joint Resolution 3.”

Posted in GLBT Issues, Indiana Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Excerpt: Untitled Short Story

I would not mind your thoughts on this, the beginning of a short story I’m working on (that is due Sunday! but we’ll just gloss over that for now). I’m hoping this will be a series of related short stories. It is in a particular genre, but I’d rather get further before I disclose that. It is unedited, because my trusty personal editor is up north visiting family. So all grammar errors and poor constructions are on me. I looked it over, but not carefully. Feel free to give me your ideas. I know that some of my sentences are long and rambling; that is intentional for now.

Every yard sale seem to have a personality of its own. It’s not just the objects out for sale that are important, but how they are arranged on display that catches a purchaser’s eye. What kind of table they are displayed on, and how objects are positioned with one another can change the way the buyer feels about a potential purchase. Chaotic jumbles can be either intriguing if they are filled with items that evoke times or loves long past, or confusing and mind-numbing if they are filled with items better left in a dust bin. But sometimes re-arranging those dust bin candidates in just the right fashion can transform them. A collection of translucent turquoise colored jelly glasses, purchased at the grocery end cap in 1985 for $1 a piece are probably better off sent to the glass recycle than left on this plastic folding table that should have been wiped down before objects were heaped upon it. But spirited across the church yard to the highly polished sturdy oak dining table and aligned neatly next to the turquoise milk glass vases, with a pretty green-blue flowered tablecloth folded neatly next to them, a dark wicker basket, crystal candle-holders and the off-white tapers plucked from a dingy box of candle ends complete the scene. As a last minute thought add in some solid teal cloth napkins rescued from a box of old handkerchiefs and neatly folded alongside, and you’ve evoked an early summer picnic on the front porch at your grandmother’s – matching colors and textures to delight the eye and set a scene. Helen Lake freely moved items around the sale without really thinking about it, suiting her own sense of style, because no one was paying enough attention to tell her not to do so.

The yard sale was held by the church every year and run by a phalanx of church and neighborhood volunteers. Helen wasn’t one of them; just a shopper and neighborhood resident, but at this sale it didn’t matter to anyone how the items were organized. There were not lots or booths or separate pay stations, just boxes of discarded items carted to the church yard for the annual sale because it was easier than taking them to the donation, and because no one in the neighborhood wanted to throw something away if they thought it might have some use to someone, even if it was clearly beyond any practical interest to anyone else. “Someone might want them” is one of those the silly sentimental things we tell ourselves about the objects that pass on to others. It’s much easier to allow others to throw things out for us at the end of a busy day; separated from the sentiment of uneasy memory, it’s painless for a garage sale volunteer to toss the worthless walkman cassette player with a broken rewind into the trash. Or for Helen Lake to do so as she moved quietly past the table, reorganizing the less-interesting trash items to a back table unnoticed as she picked out a handful of useful things to purchase for herself, and arranged things she didn’t need but she could see had value in a way that displayed them to their advantage.

The lack of attention to what Helen was doing on the part of her neighbors was as much careful as careless. True that volunteers were in a flurry of activity selling yard sale items and refreshments, bagging purchases and counting change, moving heavy items to the back of people’s cars and directing traffic. But none of the residents of Olden Green was unaware of Helen Lake’s presence in the church yard, as much as they might like to be. Helen Lake might be one of the neighborhood’s (and the cities’) most famous residents, but she was not popular in the downtown Indianapolis historic district where she lived. Helen Lake had opinions about the neighborhood and its residents, and while they might be easily dismissed by her neighbors on the neighborhood mailing list, they were less so when they were fictionalized and examined at great length in a hit novel beloved by millions of Americans from all walks of life, published in hardback and soft cover and then reprinted as a book club edition with a question and answer dissection about gentrification, urban development and provincial attitudes printed in the appendix.

The thing that truly infuriated her neighbors was not that Helen Lake was right. She was, of course, as everyone could tell when they secretly checked the book out from the library and read it. Taken out of the context of email exchanges and personal wrangling, placed in a fictional setting and thoroughly knocked to pieces in a leisurely and entertaining way, the bitter squabbling engaged in by the residents of the 20 square blocks of the midwestern city — arguments over new construction, parking issues, low-income housing and petty theft — could be seen for the misguidedness and prejudice that it was.

What really made her neighbors mad, though, was that Helen pulled her punches with a graciousness they didn’t deserve. She was content with popping the over-inflated beliefs and logical fallacies of her neighbors. She didn’t name names or take pot-shots. She didn’t expect that her neighbors solve problems that were beyond the scope of what individuals could do. She merely called upon them to think, and empathize, and take the lives of people other than themselves into account. She was careful to change the names of the innocent and guilty alike. She moved the locale to a less identifiable place in the city. No one who read the book outside of the neighborhood itself would ever think to associate the fictionalized version of their myopic little ward with the real version where Helen lived, and they were reminded of that fact every time someone asked them whether they were friends with their famous neighbor, and if they could get a signed copy of the book for them. But her neighbors recognized the nicer, less mean version of themselves that came from Helen Lake’s pen, and while the tone of the association meetings and email exchanges had changed radically to studious politeness and a grudging willingness to take into account all there residents of Olden Green of varieties larger and smaller, no one had gone out of their way to befriend Helen Lake.

Which is how she liked it.

olden-green

Posted in My Writing Tagged with: , , ,

Zombie HJR-3: Out-of-state groups want to force HJR-3 onto 2014 ballot

According to RTV-6 News – Group may force HJR-3 on 2014 ballot:

Posted: 02/19/2014 Rafael Sanchez
INDIANAPOLIS – A national pro-marriage group is considering whether to take legal action to force HJR-3 on the Indiana ballot in November 2014.

The measure came to a halt on Monday, when the Senate did not return the bill its original status, in which it would impact civil unions.

The National Organization for Marriage tells RTV6 that they met with the House Speaker Brian Bosma on Friday.

“We are building a coalition of the willing and looking for legislators who are willing to join in this task,” said Chris Plante, regional director of NOM.

“We understand it will be heavy lifting, but if we all work together, we believe we have the law on our side. And we believe HJR-3 should go to the people in November 2014 as was promised by legislature on multiple occasions,” said Plante.

Nevermind what Hoosiers want; out-of-state interests are weighing in on what should happen in Indiana, which is at odds with their “states should decide marriage” stance. But anti-gay groups have never been big on consistency.

Posted in GLBT Issues, Indiana Tagged with: , , , , ,

The End of HJR-3 for 2014 (with some thoughts on HB-1153)

Because in the past, I’ve been terrible about writing down the follow-up of the Indiana Marriage Discrimination Amendment, here’s a wrap-up post in case this comes up again in two years – HJR-3 passed through the state legislature, but we essentially “won” because we succeeded in keeping it off the ballot in 2014.

After my January 24th post, the amendment moved to the floor of the House of Representatives on January 27th. Stephanie and I attended the hearing at the Statehouse for that event, where they opted to remove the second sentence of the bill:

“A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”

The amendment now reads only “Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana.”

This is significant because the second sentence had significant problems of interpretation that made it possible to discriminate against anything that resembled a domestic partnership, and threatened things like powers of attorney, living wills and directives, the ability to visit a same-sex partner in the hospital and other ramifications. Similar language in other states’s bills (Ohio, Kentucky) created problems for same-sex couples.

The companion bill – HB 1153, which was intended to “explain the legislative intent” of the second sentence died quietly in the House of Reps because it was no longer relevant. Did I ever post the content of HB-1153? I don’t recall. But here it is, and it reads as a roster of why the second sentence was a problem:

House Bill 1153
House Bill (H)
Authored by: Rep. P Eric Turner

Introduced Version
HOUSE BILL No. 1153
_____
DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL
Citations Affected: IC 1-1-5.6.
Synopsis: Marriage amendment ballot language. Requires that the question of approval of the constitutional amendment concerning marriage proposed by the 117th general assembly be placed on the 2014 general election ballot if the amendment is agreed to by the 118th general assembly. Prescribes the ballot language for the question. Describes the legislative intent of offering the constitutional amendment.
Effective: Upon passage.

Turner, Thompson
January 9, 2014, read first time and referred to Committee on Judiciary.

HOUSE BILL No. 1153
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning marriage.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

SECTION 1. IC 1-1-5.6 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW CHAPTER TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE UPON PASSAGE]:

Chapter 5.6. Marriage Amendment to the State Constitution
Sec. 1. As used in this chapter, “marriage amendment” refers to any amendment to Article 1 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana concerning marriage that was proposed by the one hundred seventeenth general assembly (P.L.231-2011) and agreed to by the one hundred eighteenth general assembly.

Sec. 2. The general assembly intends and establishes that the purpose of the marriage amendment is to restrict the state, through legislative, executive, or judicial action, from creating or recognizing a legal status between unmarried individuals equivalent or substantially similar to marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman. The first sentence of the marriage amendment prohibits the recognition of marriage between persons other than one (1) man and one (1) woman. The second sentence of the marriage amendment prohibits the state from circumventing the mandate of the first sentence by creating or recognizing a legal status equivalent or substantially similar to marriage by a different name.

Sec. 3. The general assembly intends and establishes that the marriage amendment does not prohibit or restrict in any way:

(1) the extension of employment benefits by private sector employers, political subdivisions of the state, or state educational institutions to any beneficiary designated by an employed individual;

(2) the adoption and enforcement of local ordinances granting to any category or class of persons equal opportunities for education, employment, access to public conveniences, access to accommodations, or acquisition of property or to rent property;

(3) an individual from entering into or enforcing terms of a power of attorney, a will, a trust, or another similar lawful agreement or instrument (regardless of name) established for the benefit of another person;

(4) an individual from giving or enforcing a lawful consent or other instrument (regardless of name) that grants powers, rights, or privileges to, imposes obligations on, or provides for the use by or transfer of property to another person;

(5) the protections provided under Indiana’s domestic violence laws or who may qualify for protection from domestic violence; or

(6) action by the general assembly to protect or provide for the property, health, or safety of unmarried persons by appropriate legislation.

SECTION 2. [EFFECTIVE UPON PASSAGE] (a) If the amendment to Article 1 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana concerning marriage proposed by the one hundred seventeenth general assembly (P.L.231-2011) is agreed to by the one hundred eighteenth general assembly, the amendment shall be submitted to the electors of the state at the 2014 general election in the manner provided for the submission of constitutional amendments under

IC 3.
(b) Under Article 16, Section 1 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana, which requires the general assembly to submit constitutional amendments to the electors at the next general election after the general assembly agrees to the amendment referred to it by the last previously elected general assembly, and in accordance with IC 3-10-3, the general assembly prescribes the form in which the public question concerning the ratification of this state constitutional amendment must appear on the 2014 general election ballot as follows:

“PUBLIC QUESTION #1
Shall the Constitution of the State of Indiana be amended by adding the following language to Article 1:

“Section 38. Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”?”.

(c) This SECTION expires July 1, 2017.

SECTION 3. An emergency is declared for this act.

HB-1153 came about to assuage the objections of many legal scholars who had studied the HJR-3 second sentence and its potential effects and pointed out unintended consequences that had already played out in other states with similar language, or that could be raised in Indiana.

The difficulty is that this bill had no teeth at all – it was a piece of legislation, but HJR-3 was an amendment to the Indiana constitution, where it held sway over this bill and potentially trumped it. HB-1153 could be repealed at any time, leaving the full force of the second sentence un-“interpreted” intact to be carried out.

I wonder how much of an impact reading this bill had, actually, on our state legislators. It surely indicated in plain language the many ways that HJR-3 could be interpreted negatively in ways that were punitive toward same-sex couples by our legal system, and spelling out potential discrimination based on HJR-3 that starkly is pretty damning. It may have been intended to remove the sting of HJR-3’s “second sentence” but I think it probably had the opposite effect in that it highlighted all that could go wrong.

After the second sentence of HJR-3 was removed from that bill in the House, HB-1153 was no longer relevant and passed into oblivion a few days later.

The removal of the second sentence in the House was very exciting because it meant that it would be much harder to to get the Indiana Marriage Discrimination Amendment onto the ballot this fall in time for 2014 elections. It would have to be put back into the bill by the Indiana Senate and then voted on by both the Senate and the House before voters could see it.

So the bill passed to the Indiana Senate Rules Committee on February 13th, where they declined to hear any amendments to add the second sentence back in.

Senate Hearing Rules Committee

There was great drama surrounding the Rules Committee hearing because the GOP caucus met ahead of the hearing, and Senator Mike Delph from Carmel tweeted the results of the caucus meeting – that there were not enough votes to put the second sentence back in – before the hearing happened, alerting the crowd to what was going to happen.

That didn’t sit well with Senator President Pro Tem David Long, the caucus head. It’s bad form for caucus members to reveal caucus business.

Then as the committee began to meet, they opened with an anti-gay prayer by William Hunt, New Life Church, invited by Senate chaplain.

The bill sailed through the committee as is, first sentence only, very quickly, although it was noted by many people that this was considered impossible even six months ago:

Senator Mike Delph went on to spend the weekend tweeting his anger about the GOP caucus electing not to add the second sentence back into the bill, and delivering rather passionate lectures on god, same-sex marriage and the responsibilities of Indiana churches to back legislative efforts.

It was a very entertaining weekend, and I make sure to screen-cap all of it for posterity.

After that great drama, on Monday, January 17th, the Senate passing the amended version of HJR-3, still without the second sentence, through the full Senate.

This was the vote count:

yea nay vote sheet hjr3

The passage almost seemed anti-climatic, except for some really great speeches delivered by Senators on the floor – Jean Breaux, Karen Tallian, Jim Arnold, Tim Lanane, and Greg Taylor all spoke passionately against HJR-3. It was cathartic to hear them. At the end…

Ultimately, HJR-3 isn’t dead. It still could be passed through another state legislature in 2015 or 2016 and be on the ballot in 2016. I’m not sure which version could or would be considered, so it’s worth keeping the text of HB-1153 around in order to remind people about that second sentence and what it could do.

It does seem a lot less likely that the amendment will pass in 2016 with several federal legal battles on the horizon, though.

Washington Post – Race on same-sex marriage cases runs through Virginia:

The Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor is confronting judges with a paradox. On the one hand, the opinion written by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and joined by the court’s four liberals noted that defining marriage is traditionally a power reserved for the states.

On the other, the opinion dismissed Congress’s arguments as to why the federal government should recognize only traditional definitions of marriage. It said the arguments were mostly window dressing for unlawful prejudice based on sexual orientation.

State courts and federal judges have embraced that latter reasoning to trump the rights of states, and bans on same-sex marriage have been found unconstitutional since June in New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Utah. The Utah and Oklahoma decisions are being appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, based in Denver.

In effect, said William Baude, a law professor at the University of Chicago who follows the issue, the majority’s language in Windsor has been viewed as “permission” for judges “who might already have been inclined” to believe there is a constitutional right to marry.

Given this, 2015 and 2016 are going to be really interesting years, politically.

Posted in GLBT Issues, Indiana Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Volkswagen Microbus 2014 and Concepts of the Past

Volkswagen has a long history of threatening to bring back the classic Volkswagen Microbus, with lots of concept cars produced, but no versions that are actually available in the United States. I’ve gotten excited about every potential version and blogged about it repeatedly, but we never actually see anything interesting come out of it.

I got excited this morning about an article claiming that a version would come out this year, with photos of round headlights that I had never seen before. For a bit I actually bought it, although I shouldn’t have. When you compare the photos in the article to the 2001 model, it becomes clear that this is a photoshop job where they altered the front of the 2001 and put in rounded headlights. And also, Car Talk announced last August that the long-planned 2014 version was killed off.

2014 Microbus Front

2014 Microbus Side

2014 Microbus Rear

The text from the faked article is cribbed from 2011 articles on VW’s concept. Sadly, this is what could have been:

Volkswagen Microbus 2014 is ready to show its new model of microbus until the last 10 years ago VW shows off microbus segment. This car will be built in Europe and would become the competitor of Honda Adyddey, Nissan Quest, and also Toyota Sienna. The final motivation for this New VW Microbus is to maximize the investment in the group MQB “matrix” platform. Volkswagen Microbus 2014 price will start from $30,000, but we expect it to be closer to $40,000. Volkswagen Microbus 2014 Release Date is held in the fall of 2013 with sales beginning in 2014. Interior, it is design in minimalist concept on 2014 Volkswagen Microbus. There are gauges and control group around the steering wheel and also pair of slim-section 3-passenger bench seats which can be folded to create a makeshift bed.

Volkswagen Microbus styled under VW Geoup design, Walter deSilva and also VW brand deputy, Klaus Bischoff. New VW design will show its characteristic, such as, a basic box with rounded lines, a bulldog nose with oversize VW logo, a gently curved windshield, a space-efficient wheels-at-the-corners stance, and 4 conventionally hinged side doors instead of rear sliders or the original T1 s dual French rear doors. Volkswagen Microbus 2014 would be available with turbocharged, four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines; a hybrid is a strong possibility. VW said that the 2014 Volkswagen Microbus will be 3,200 pound curb weight would be running from 0 to 62 mph in 11.5 seconds with the power of 199 pound feet of torque. Further, 170 h 2.5 liter in five-cylinder, 2000 hp 2.0 liter turbo-four and 140 hp 2.0 liter TDI turbodiesel-four will equipped by Front wheel Drive. The six-speed manual and six-speed automatic function are both available.

Previous VW Microbus Concept Cart teases came in 2001:

2001 VW Concept Car

2001 VW Concept Car

This concept was widely critiqued for having square headlights and looking too much like a minivan. I would have bought one, though. I have several toy cars of this 2001 concept. This version was scheduled for 2004, but never came to fruition.

In 2007, Volkswagen came out with the spaceup! blue concept car that was supposed to resemble the classic bus. I wrote about it enthusiastically at the time, even though it’s kinda hideous.

space up! blue VW bus

space up! blue VW bus

space up! blue VW bus

This one never came out here – dunno if it was released in Europe. I was enamored of the solar panel roof, though.

2008 brought the VW Routan, which is nothing like a Microbus, and I had some strong words for it:

VW Routan

Fucking Routan. I was especially pissed about the Routan because to advertise the damned thing, they mocked up a working version of something closer to the classic – the 1964 Microbus Chameleon concept in which they updated an original 1964 bus with new interiors and fancy gadgetry:

Volkswagen Deluxe Microbus Chameleon

Volkswagen Deluxe Microbus Chameleon interior

Rude to tease us with something so cool in a commercial for a vehicle that was basically a Dodge minivan with a VW badge

In 2009, Canadian designer Alexandre Verdier came out with a Microbus design that was the closest thing to perfect that I’ve ever seen. It was not an official VW concept carl, but there were some cool features. But it did make me drool.

Verdier Microbus Concept Car

Verdier Microbus Concept Car

Verdier Microbus Concept Car

Verdier Microbus Concept Car

In 2011, Volkswagen introduced this Bulli concept that was supposed to go into production in 2014:

Volkswagen Concept Bulli Front

Volkswagen Concept Bulli Interior

Volkswagen Concept Bulli rear

Volkswagen Concept Bulli Top

This was the version that died in August. It doesn’t grab me, but I would have test-driven it. I still like the idea of a hybrid bus with solar panels. But something closer to the design of the original, ideally. Dunno if it will ever happen now.

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