Daily Archives: January 11, 2010

Memo to the breeders: 6 billion-plus already is more than enough

I usually hate the term “breeder,” used as a pejorative for heterosexuals who have offspring, but I was inspired by a moment at Wal-Mart yesterday (yes, I was at a Wal-Mart; I’m a very bad moonbat) and by a news story from today regarding the anti-gay Proposition 8 to use it just now.

When I was at Wal-Mart yesterday, I witnessed this young Negro black guy ask another young man (who, I believe, was Latin0), “Are you still walking with Jesus?” Apparently the two young men knew each other but hadn’t seen each other for a while.

I could go off on what the fuck “walking with Jesus” means, but I won’t — but I will say that if anyone ever asks me if I walk with Jesus, I will say something like, “Yeah, man, and let me tell you, he is tore up!”

The whole “walking with Jesus” thing is indicative of “Christo”fascist brainwashing that makes me want to vomit, and I include mention of the races of the young men only because I think it’s tragic that non-whites have adopted whitey’s toxic bullshit backasswards ignorant religious beliefs, which resemble nothing of what Jesus Christ actually taught, but what came next in the moment at Wal-Mart was even worse.

The young black man asked the other young man (who had replied that yes, he still walks with Jesus) if he was married. No, the other young man said. Engaged? asked the young black man. Nope, said the other young man. Why not? asked the young black man, to which the other young man replied that he’s been too busy with work.

“Adam and Eve,” the young black man intoned at least moderately ominously. I surmise that the full “thought” was: “If you don’t follow the example of Adam and Eve, and procreate, then you’ll go to hell.”

That seems to be the “argument” that the pro-Proposition 8 fascists made in federal court today during arguments as to whether or not the federal court should overturn November 2008’s Proposition 8 — which overtuned, by a popular vote of 52 percent to 48 percent, the California Supreme Court’s ruling that it is unconstitutional, and thus illegal, to ban same-sex marriage in the state.

Reports The Sacramento Bee today:

Chief Judge Vaughn Walker peppered attorneys with questions as a historic federal trial on Proposition 8 began today, with the defense of California’s same-sex marriage ban arguing that the fundamental purpose of marriage is procreation, to raise children in an “intact” family and that same-sex marriage could erode that purpose.

“Same-sex marriage is simply too novel an experiment at this stage,” argued [pro-]Proposition 8 attorney Charles Cooper in U.S. District Court for Northern California in San Francisco.

Representing two gay couples challenging Proposition 8, attorney Ted Olson gave the first opening remarks.

Gay people have been classified as “degenerates” in the United States, Olson said, targeted by police, fired from employers. “Proposition 8 perpetuates that for no good reason,” he said. He said it has the effect of inflicting “upon them badges of inferiority” and is a violation of constitutional rights.

Walker asked pointed questions about whether each side had evidence to prove their cases. Two plaintiffs, a gay couple from Los Angeles, took the stand, and the challengers began showing pro-Proposition 8 campaign videos and asking gay plaintiffs to describe how the campaign videos made them feel, especially the references to protecting children….

Walker was quick to start questioning Olson once the famed attorney began his presentation. Olson, a conservative who views gay marriage as a constitutional right [emphasis mine], is famed for representing George W. Bush before the U.S. Supreme Court after the [disputed] 2000 presidential election.

Olson said, “This case is about marriage and equality.” He quoted from U.S. Supreme Court decisions referring to marriage as “one of the most vital personal rights” in the pursuit of happiness and “a basic right.”

Walker interrupted him and asked him if that meant that a marriage license was necessary. He also asked if evidence will show that gay people “suffer” by being limited to domestic partnership.

Olson said the language that the Proposition 8 campaign used, describing marriage as “unique,” bolsters his argument that by barring gays from marrying, the government has “isolated” gays and lesbians and said, “You are different.”

Walker said that “moral disapproval” leading to a law is not a reason to declare it unconstitutional.

Olson replied that moral arguments were used to defend discrimination based on race and gender, and that marriage has “evolved” to discard biases and prejudices.

The parents of President Obama, he said, wouldn’t have been allowed to marry in some states at the time they did….

Cooper said, as he began his presentation, that voters in California cast their ballots on an issue of “overriding cultural and social significance” and favored a definition of marriage that has “prevailed” through history.

He said the people of California have “been generous” on extending rights to gays, and that the gay movement — with the exception of marriage — has been “very successful” at enacting rights and laws against discrimination.

He said the gay organization Equality California “hailed” civil unions, when they were permitted by law, as a victory for civil rights.

“The evidence will show that gays and lesbians in California have substantial political power,” Cooper said.

He said Proposition 8 speaks not out of “ill will” toward gays but rather a “special regard” for a “venerable institution.”

“Among those who have drawn that line are President Obama,” he said, noting that Obama said he favors civil unions but believes marriage is between a man and a woman.

Walker interrupted and noted that Olson said Obama’s parents couldn’t have married under some laws barring interracial marriage.

Cooper said such laws were “loathsome” but were of a different nature.

He said people of different races can procreate. He said the evidence presented during the trial will show that the government has a purpose to “channel” the procreation and rearing of children into families with a mother and a father.

Walker asked if companionship was not a reason for marriage, along with other reasons other than children.

Procreation, Cooper said, “is the essential” and the “defining definition of marriage.” [Emphasis mine.]

The question, Cooper said, is whether marriage will remain “a pro-child institution” or a “private relationship” between adults based on the search for “personal fulfillment.”

He said same-sex marriage would “deinstitutionalize” marriage, and “hasten” its demise in society….

Where to begin?

Cooper’s “argument” is that almost equal equals equal. It does not. Further, the U.S. Supreme Court long ago struck down the concept of “separate but equal” as unconstitutional.

And those heterosexual couples who wish to marry but who do not wish to procreate — or who cannot procreate, because of age or medical condition or some other reason — will be shocked to discover that the right wing apparently believes that marriage hinges upon procreation, and therefore their marriages aren’t real marriages.

Under Cooper’s “argument,” those who don’t procreate shouldn’t be married. Maybe we’ll give heterosexual newlyweds one year in which to procreate, and if they don’t, the state will dissolve their marriage — because the state needs people to breed, Goddamnit!

Actually, Cooper answered the question of same-sex marriage better than did anyone at the courthouse today, it seems. The answer to his question as to whether marriage should be regarded as “a pro-child institution” (suggesting, of course, that anyone who disagrees with the right wing on same-sex marriage is anti-child) or as a “private relationship” between adults based upon their search for “personal fulfillment” is that of course it is the latter, not the former.

The preamble of the U.S. Declaration of Independence declares:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Not only would Cooper and his ilk strike a line through that pesky equality language, but they would shit and piss upon the pursuit of happiness as well.

The pursuit of happiness — an unfuckingalienable right, let me remind you — may or may not involve procreation. It is not for the fucking wingnuts to define happiness for other people.

If the “procreation” “argument” is the best that the wingnuts can come up with to defend the denial of equal human and civil rights to non-heterosexuals, then the wingnuts already have lost the battle.

The planet, which is approaching 7 billion people, already is overpopulated, which not only has resulted in diminished quality of life for everyone who is here, but which threatens the future of the entire fucking human race, and indeed, the future of all life on Earth. To argue that any government anywhere has an interest in furthering procreation anywhere on the planet is bullshit.

To get back to my friend at Wal-Mart from yesterday, the Old Testament’s instruction to “be fruitful and multiply,” to which he apparently was referring, came at a time when world population was just a tiny fraction of what it is now, and when people thought such things as that disease was caused by unclean spirits rather than by microbes and other medical problems, and that certain astronomical events, such as solar eclipses, were ominous signs from God. (In other words, they were fucking ignorant.)

That someone could walk around in the year 2010 and instruct others to mimic Adam and Eve — shit, that someone even believes in the myth of Adam and Eve in the year 2010 — is frightening.

I might as well go and live among the Taliban, who are as enlightened as are too many of the dumbfucks whom I have to share this nation with.

You know who’s going to save the human race from overpopulation?

We Adams and Steves — not the Adams and Eves.

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In James Cameron’s magnum opus ‘Avatar,’ the Bad Guys R Us

Film review

In this film publicity image released by 20th Century Fox, Jake ...

Above: Jake Sully (played by the rather yummy Sam Worthington) inspects his brand-new “avatar” in the James Cameron epic (that’s redundant, isn’t it?) “Avatar.” Below: Jake, in his avatar, bonds with native Neytiri, played by Zoe Saldana.

In this film publicity image released by 20th Century Fox, the ...

James Cameron’s “Avatar,” which I finally saw yesterday (I was waiting for the crowds to die down), is pissing off everyone, right and left. Cameron must have done something right.

Being such a political creature, if a film has the least bit possible sociopolitical bent to it, I’m going to notice it right off. In “Avatar,” such a bent abounds.

Most notably, in “Avatar,” we — the United States of America — are the bad guys. Well, not we, not really. “We” as in the military-industrial complex that has come to represent the United States of America around the world is the bad guy in “Avatar.”

I have read that, unsurprisingly, the wingnuts are not happy about this, especially given the film’s wild commercial success. (Fuck ’em.)

The villains of “Avatar” are an over-the-top corporate hack and an over-the-top colonel who work in tandem — not unlike how the Catholic church’s missionaries and the Spanish crown’s soldiers worked in tandem to conquer the “new world” — to conquer the lush planet of Pandora, which has an element (called “unobtainium,” ha ha ha) that the invading Earthlings want. (The Spanish monarchy wanted gold, of course, and the Catholic church wanted converts. We’re never told in “Avatar” what practical application, if any, “unobtainium” has, so my guess is that, like with gold, “unobtainium’s” main value is that it is, um, valuable…)

To conquer the tall, blue, feline-faced, tail-possessing people of Pandora — the Na’vi — the Earthlings (whom the Na’vi call the “sky people”) decide to infiltrate them with “avatars,” biologically fabricated Na’vi bodies that are inhabited by the consciousness of human beings controlling the biologically fabricated Na’vi bodies.

Now, the Na’vi natives are a bit too accepting of these “avatars,” whom the natives know aren’t fellow natives. If you weren’t born into and raised by the tribe, why would the tribe just accept you at all as one of them? I mean, if it were clear to us human beings that some alien race were coming to us in human bodies, would we embrace these aliens in human bodies as one of us? Prolly not.

But it would ruin “Avatar” if the avatars didn’t get some degree of acceptance from the Na’vi, and so they do.

Anyway, in “Avatar” the invading Earthlings clearly are the bad guys, and while watching what’s probably the biggest, loudest scene in “Avatar,” the Earthlings’ military forces destroying a site that is very sacred to the Na’vi, I couldn’t help but think of the internationally televised so-called “shock and awe” that many if not most of my fellow Americans got off on when the unelected Bush regime (yeah, the same regime that my fellow Americans just allowed to steal the White House in late 2000) illegally, immorally, unprovokedly and unjustly invaded Iraq, which had had nothing to do with 9/11 and which of course never possessed the weapons of mass destruction that the members of the Bush regime had lied through their fangs about, in March 2003.  

Yeah, it takes a big, tough, studly nation to attack a relatively defenseless one.

In the middle of all of this, the conflict between the rapacious Earthlings, who are represented by a very American-like military-industrial complex, and the Native-American-like Na’vi (they even wear warpaint and let out war cries), is Marine Jake Sully (played by Sam Worthington, who appears to be in just about every movie these days, which is OK with me, since he has a definite certain sexiness about him), who unexpectedly finds himself recruited to man an avatar. (Of course, he has to make a deal with the devil: for infiltrating the Na’vi and helping to subdue them, the wheelchair-bound Jake is promised that his paraplegia will be cured.)

As you already know from the previews, after he’s been manning his avatar, Jake changes his allegiance from the military-industrial complex to the Na’vi.

You probably already suspect that Jake ends up being the big hero of the film, and that of course he and his female Na’vi companion, Neytiri (wonderfully played by Zoe Saldana), go from their initially tense relationship (which showcases some great dialogue) to becoming lifemates.

That the white Marine, instead of one of the Na’vi natives, becomes the big hero of “Avatar” has pissed some people off, I read in today’s news. Reports The Associated Press:

Near the end of the hit film “Avatar,” the villain snarls at the hero, “How does it feel to betray your own race?” Both men are white — although the hero is inhabiting a blue-skinned, 9-foot-tall, long-tailed alien.

Strange as it may seem for a film that pits greedy, immoral humans against noble denizens of a faraway moon, “Avatar” is being criticized by a small but vocal group of people who allege it contains racist themes — the white hero once again saving the primitive natives.

Since the film opened to widespread critical acclaim three weeks ago, hundreds of blog posts, newspaper articles, tweets and YouTube videos have said things such as the film is “a fantasy about race told from the point of view of white people” and that it reinforces “the white Messiah fable.”

The film’s writer and director, James Cameron, says the real theme is about respecting others’ differences….

Adding to the racial dynamic [of “Avatar”] is that the main Na’vi characters are played by actors of color, led by a Dominican, Zoe Saldana, as the princess. The film also is an obvious metaphor for how European settlers in America wiped out the Indians.

Robinne Lee, an actress in such recent films as “Seven Pounds” and “Hotel for Dogs,” said that “Avatar” was “beautiful” and that she understood the economic logic of casting a white lead if most of the audience is white.

But she said the film, which so far has the second-highest worldwide box-office gross ever, still reminded her of Hollywood’s “Pocahontas” story — “the Indian woman leads the white man into the wilderness, and he learns the way of the people and becomes the savior.”

“It’s really upsetting in many ways,” said Lee, who is black with Jamaican and Chinese ancestry. “It would be nice if we could save ourselves.” …

Yes, come to think of it, “Avatar” is basically a futuristic “Pocahontas” in which Jake Sully would be John Smith and Neytiri would be Pocahontas.

And it did occur to me while I was watching “Avatar” that it seemed off that a a white guy who wasn’t even one of the Na’vi would end up as their savior.

I understand why historically oppressed peoples wouldn’t be pleased to see a white guy emerge as the hero, but I think that “Avatar’s” surprisingly subversive message succeeds as it does because it’s the white guy who realizes that what the military-industrial complex that he has been a member of has been doing is wrong, and so he decides to fight for the other side.

And it’s not just the character of Jake whose allegiance changes; there’s the character of a great Latina fighter pilot (played by Michelle Rodriguez, of whom I’d like to have seen more of in “Avatar”) and a few others whose allegiance changes, and this kind of pop-culture image in which the “turncoats” are the heroes can’t be good for the U.S. military-industrial complex, which expects its soldiers to be blindly obedient cannon fodder who die for rich white men’s fortunes while believing that they are fighting for such noble causes as “freedom” and “democracy” and “God” and “Jesus” and puppies and kittens, for fuck’s sake.

I mean, fuck. Before “Avatar” began, I had to watch an endless fucking recruitment advertisement for the National Fucking Guard. (The recruitment ad didn’t show any maimed or dead soldiers, of course, but looked like something out of “Top Gun,” as usual.) The U.S. military-industrial complex has millions if not billions of dollars — our tax dollars — at its disposal to brainwash our young people into believing that the U.S. military really is about defense and patriotism instead of about what it really is about: war profiteering, feeding the endless greed of the military-industrial complex and the greedy fucking white men who run it and who personally profit from it.

Trust me, oppressed peoples of the world, “Avatar” does much more for your cause by having its hero a white guy — a Marine, for fuck’s sake — who realizes that he’s been fighting on the wrong side and then switches sides, than it would have done for your cause had its hero been one of the Na’vi natives.

The millions of young American males (and females) who see “Avatar” might think twice before joining the U.S. military, and that’s a good thing for a planet that probably cannot survive a World War III.

Indeed, Cameron’s intent, I believe, was to send a message of peace, and it’s whitey, with his (and her) beloved military-industrial complex, who needs to get that message more than does anyone else. Those long oppressed by whitey already know the value of peace.

The Associated Press reports that Cameron wrote the AP in an e-mail that “Avatar” “asks us to open our eyes and truly see others, respecting them even though they are different, in the hope that we may find a way to prevent conflict and live more harmoniously on this world. I hardly think that is a racist message.”

Agreed.

The AP also reports of “Avatar”:

“Can’t people just enjoy movies anymore?” a person named Michelle posted on the website for Essence, the magazine for black women, which had 371 comments on a story debating the issue [of whether “Avatar” is racist].

OK, that’s a valid question.

Although it’s a rhetorical question, the answer to the question, for me, anyway, is no, I can’t just enjoy a movie anymore.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed “Avatar.” It is a visually stunning film, and I love its profuse use of greens and blues and purples, which, actually, reminded me a lot of “The Princess and the Frog,” which, come to think of it, is a bit like “Avatar”: Both films have heroines with African blood in them (Zoe Saldana apparently has African blood in her) who meet up with bumbling men whom the heroines have to turn into heroes, and both films largely take place in green, blue and purple, swampy, lush settings.

“Avatar” succeeds on the sensory level (as it should, given the millions and millions of dollars that were put into it ) — although the ubiquitous DayGlo stuff does get a little bit tiresome after a while and although Pandora’s plethora of creatures, including its Na’vi, look way too much like Earth’s creatures, including its human beings — but sue me if I am able to enjoy a movie on more than one level.

I can multi-task; I can take in all of the technical achievements of a film like “Avatar” while seeing its obvious sociopolitical statements, statements that I can’t be accused of having pulled out of my moonbatty ass because James Cameron himself says are his intended statements.

It’s a rare film that can entertain and that can stimulate public debate on important sociopolitical issues, so kudos to Cameron for having achieved that with “Avatar.”

“Avatar” is such a cultural achievement that I have to wonder if from now on people are going to go around saying to each other, in all seriousness: “I see you.” (Even though it’s a bit cheesy, I kind of hope so…)

Yes, “Avatar” is a bit derivative of other films, not just of “Pocahontas” but also of Cameron’s past films — we even get the “Alien” series’ Sigourney Weaver as a protagonist in “Avatar” (I have to say that I found Weaver’s avatar to be a bit creepy-looking, to look a bit too much like Weaver), we get the manned robots that we saw in “Aliens,” and we even get “The Company” in “Avatar” (is the amoral, profit-piggy, generic “The Company” in “Avatar” the same one that was in the “Alien” series, I wonder?).

But “Avatar” succeeds on its own and probably will be Cameron’s magnum opus. 

My grade: A

P.S. I read a news account that President Barack Obama took his girls to see “Avatar” recently. Mr. President, I sure the fuck hope that you learned something, and that having your girls there with you drove the point home.

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