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So I just read an op article by Bob Ostertag arguing that the political push for Gay Marriage is the wrong issue to be chasing.

"That's how you win at politics, isn't it? You build principled coalitions that add up to a majority, and try not to hand potent mobilizing issues to your opposition in the process. We have done the opposite."

What I found most interesting his assertion that very few in the culture even *want* to participate in what they see as an altogether failing social institution as marriage.

Given how the Evangelicals have dug in on this position, and how the Pope has recently said that stopping "the gays" is more important than saving the rainforest. You have to begin considering what the political attrition cost would be even if they did manage to squeak by a federal victory. Is it still acceptable? Can you actual gain more on that road then you will lose?

The minds of these Evangelicals, not to mention the Pope, are not going to change anytime soon. So it seems worth asking what exactly the end goals of the movement are here. Equal rights or full-on social acceptance?

It seems most reasonable people, even the Evangelicals will accept some form of thesaurus-massaged equal rights. Just as long as it's not named the same thing...

If you are confronted by a baseball diamond filled with intolerant pricks, sometimes the best move really is to pick-up your balls and goto a different playing field. Arguing with them until they agree to play nice with you, while a nobler goal, seems like it'll most often end poorly.

I honestly think there is an interesting opportunity for the homosexual community here. As the article says, a lot of straight people aren't wild about the institution of marriage as it stands. My wife had to be badgered for months before agreeing to participate in something that holds its roots in "woman being bartered as property".

Not to mention it has religious trappings that make a lot of the secular youth uncomfortable. If a more mature and modern cultural bonding tradition was created above and beyond you and two friends in front of a justice of the peace were to be introduced, the conditions really seem ripe for it to take hold...

What I find most amusing about this, is that by attempting to protect marriage by denying others inclusion, they may very well have forced their hand to go and create a viable (and likely hipper) alternative that actually does more than just imaginary damage.

Potatoe, Tomato

For as long as this blog has been going on, I've been sort of lazily searching for the reason behind the extreme polarization of the country. In much the same way I search for the remote by yelling loudly whether anyone has seen it.

I dare say I may have come upon an explanation while reading the following article out of my quarterly Make Magazine.


I Love the Smell of Chlorine in the Morning.

So, I'm still doing martial arts. The warm-up routine is exercise that doesn't bore me, and I still find the subject matter interesting.

The problem, of course, is that I'm beginning to feel at ease there. As if I belong.

And while I still do get a little anxiety that I'll just throw-up in the middle of doing rollback sit-ups, that's about it. Completely unacceptable.

A couple months ago, Elyssa went to an eye appointment at the mall near us, and while I was waiting for her with Kelvin, I came across the swim school they have. It's always odd to me that they have an entire poll inside a mall, but I was able to walk in, and watching the kids in the water entertained Kelvin for several blessed minutes.

As I began thinking about signing up, I realized that the thought of having to be shirtless in front of strangers absolutely terrifies me.

Which is why I'm going to do it. The, presumably, body issue thing I have is simply ridiculous, and it has taken this long for me to realize I just need to confront it head-on.

The fact that it seemingly resembles something a "good father" would do is really a lucky coincidence here, since in reality he is simply the excuse for me to be half-naked in front of strangers. Which now that I've written it, seems like something social services really should look into.

The hope, of course, is that after a session or two, I will see that the sight of my nipples doesn't cook the eyeballs of others, and I'll then be able to go to the other 10 classes for the express purpose of splashing around with my son.

Cyber Web Intra Purchasing

So, as everyone keeps insisting, it is "Cyber Monday".

The first word makes me cringe, since you know, everybody stopped using it 20 years ago. (And who says "Monday" anymore ever since they coined pre-Tuesdia?)

It reminds me of the concept of "cyberspace", and all the Virtual Reality hype of the 80's.

I think any person from the 1980's who isn't a 14-17 year old boy would be very disappointed with the state of our current technology. So I give you an interview with my 1980's self.

Q: Can you "surf" through a virtual reality world that let's you shop, bank or complain about public servants from home?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you wear goggles and mesh gloves while doing it?

A: No.

Q:Can you have cybersex with someone across the country?

A: Yes. But it involves a lot of reading, and copious usage of adverbs and adjectives that are normally reserved for describing food and weather.

Q: Can you use a computer to make a fake id so I can buy a Playboy from a gas station?

A: No. But just blindly click on links for 2 minutes and your computer will most likely begin involuntarily popping up pornography indefinitely.

Q: Can you hack into people's houses and mess with their appliances?

A: Maybe if they've purchased and properly configured all X10 devices and have a Wifi Access Point. However, the punishment for doing it are so draconian that you're far better off just tossing a brick through their front window and counting yourself ahead.

(When I was in 3rd grade, I claimed to be able to hack into my friend's toasters and watch them. They always called me on this, but only after a significant pause.)