Thursday, March 13, 2008

Beat the Qu... Heat. The Heat.

It's hard not to view this place as a backwards hell-hole sometimes. And by this, I mean not this lovely blog, but the place where I currently... abide. Endure? I hesitate to say "live", since that suggests some non-existent complicity in the matter.

It's not there aren't some nice people; there are. Somewhere. I think. I'm frequently reminded of -- and no doubt shall be greatly again in a few weeks -- of Margaret Cho's crack about the South: "It's not the hate, it's the stupidity."

They still beat queers here, you know. And while /obvious/ support of this is on the wane, clearly the undercurrent that's it's okay to do so is clearly alive and well, as this week's news proves. The local "big" city's school system Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools passed, with great controversy, a no-bullying policy.

Why the controversy? It included a clause that listed homosexuality specifically as something protected (along with other things like race and religion).

The local Christian fundamentalists turned out to decry this as an advance of the mythical-yet-deeply-cherished concept of The Homosexual Agenda. I hope, dear reader, you could hear those capital letters. People apparently think that the school merely admitting gays exist is ripping all sexual education out of the hands of parents and is tacit support of a menacing political agenda.

The upshot that can be gathered from this? Apparently, the people who oppose the bill want to put out that either gays don't really exist, and if they do, it's okay to beat them at school.

Fortunately, the anti-bullying program passed through the CMS school board, but the local newscasts all made sure to show various people shaking their fists, vowing to continue fighting for the children's right to beat up people. *That* wouldn't be an approving, subtle little nudge to the viewing audience, at all, would it?

In happier news: Diesel Sweeties is coming up on its 2,000th strip, and is releasing all the strips in torrent collections for free! Yay! As a part of the general celebration, a few of their classic t-shirts are on sale for $10. I love all their stuff, but right now, it's just too pricey. While none of the reduced shirts are my favourites (Herschl the Hook-Up Hare!), I couldn't resist the opportunity to pick one up. Though the "It's fun to use learning for evil" was a contender, I eventually went with the "We Are Not All Jerks" one. It's a mark of my utmost respect that one of the characters in my play wears Red Robot Pixel Socks in the first scene. Not that anyone would notice that, but it's a character point, dammit. (In related news, the fine folks over at Octopus Pie -- well, Meredith Gran to give credit where it's due -- has come out with a Brooklyn Spring shirt I pine for, too.)

Also in happy news, Stephen Fry has started his own podcast. The first one, detailing how he broke his arm, was done under the influence of sleeping pills and was 25 uncut minutes of him complaining. It was better than 99% of, well, every other media, and personal proof (yet again) that there's no pointing in me whining on when there are others so very much better at it.

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