I don’t really understand why The Gays want to get married anyway …

Marriage sucks. I mean it’s got its perks (I have yet to find many). But it’s hard. My grandmother – married for 63 years before my grandfather passed away, just this February – once said to me “you aren’t doing marriage right if it’s easy.” True ‘dat, Grandma. True ‘dat.

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When I got up this morning, I came to a bit of an epiphany. After all this gay marriage, equality talk – people turning their Facebook profile photos red, and rallying with the rainbow flags and such – I realized something rather striking: I don’t really understand why The Gays want to get married anyway.

I also don’t really get why The Straights are so opposed.

Think about it in terms of my marriage. Every day I get up in the morning and see that my husband has left for work. There was no kiss good-bye. There was no subtle waking me up to say “I love you” one more time, before dragging himself to work – like they do in the movies. My husband doesn’t have to be dragged to work; he has to be dragged home.

I get up and make breakfast. I make cereal for Pookies, a banana for me, and I see that in the sink my husband has piled dishes from his own breakfast. Rather than place them in there uniformly, or – dare I suggest – on the counter, he’s submersed them in a bowl of rancid, cold water that was soaking the stuck-on food from cooking dinner the night before. I spend a while getting the contents out of the puke water, with my bare hands, before losing my appetite.

I go to the bathroom and fall in the toilet. Still half asleep, I haven’t noticed the toilet seat was left up. I shower. While in the shower, I get soap in my eyes and the only close towel is my husband’s. I use it to rub my eyes, praying this isn’t the place he dried his balls with this morning. He’s been scratching them a lot lately. I clean tiny beard hairs off the sink and toothpaste off the counter.

Later in the day, I’m vacuuming. I get to our bedroom and on the floor are my husband’s clean socks. Rolled up. Sitting next to the dresser. Where his sock drawer is. I bend over to pick them up and put them away and a twinge hits my lower back, telling me it’s time to stop.

But I don’t. I have to make dinner, and to make the dinner I prepped yesterday, I have to get the BBQ going. On Sunday I asked my husband to clean the grill. He watched The Walking Dead for a few hours, then read about the Dodgers on his computer for a while instead. On Monday I asked him if he could please do it and he promised he would. On Tuesday at 11 o’clock in the evening, while getting ready for bed, he still had not done it.

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At 6:00 my husband hits quitting time. At 6:30 he’s still at work: solving problems, getting caught up, finishing things ahead of schedule, answering superfluous questions, and avoiding coming home. Dreading the minute I call to ask where the shit he is.

On his way home, his former carpool lady calls. Can they start the carpool again? It was so nice to have someone to talk to on that long, 50-mile drive, he thinks. “Sorry – my wife won’t allow it … you got me home late too many times in a row,” he says.

Poor Nick gets home. Around 8:30. He’s been gone since 7:30 in the morning. At this point I’m past being tipsy from wine o’clock and onto having a headache from it (I’m a lightweight). There will be no sexy time tonight. I bitch about my period coming soon. He prays to God it’s my period and not early symptoms of pregnancy.

Poor Nick is resigned to this. I’ve made chicken and rice. Again. For the fourth time this week. Poor Nick chokes it down with something of a smile. I complain that he never tells me my cooking is good, my hair is pretty, my ass isn’t fat. He goes to put on pajamas and sees I didn’t make the bed. I never make the bed, and this annoys him.

Around 11 we go to bed and play the game of “these blankets are mine,” “no these blankets are MINE” until it’s time to get up again in the morning.

Now you all may be thinking this is a pretty miserable situation, and you would be right to think so. There are of course the good times, and the reasons for being married, together forever. But there is all this other stuff that makes so many people say “marriage is the hardest thing you will ever do.”

So why in God’s name would The Gays want this?

If The Straights are so against The Gays; if they really think it’s that gay sex is wrong, or it says it’s wrong in the Bible or whatever, why not LET them have all this bliss? All the hairs on the counter, the numb complacency, the wine o’clock headaches, and the nightly fight for the covers? This misery, this daily difficulty – it would serve them right. Right?

On a serious note, I think I know the reason why The Gays want to get married, legally. Because this isn’t an issue of The Gays or The Straights, or what your religion says, or what mine says; but that of human rights. It isn’t really gay marriage anymore than it is straight marriage, just like they aren’t any more The Gays as we are The Straights. We are all human beings and our sexuality, just like our race, creed, religion, or underwear color preference has nothing to do with being treated as such.

As a Catholic, with many family and friends that are Catholic, I struggle with this and many other political issues. Fortunately, with my family and friends, we are able to disagree and still maintain our close ties; which is why I am fine with saying that I am in full support of anyone’s right to marry, regardless of their sexuality. It’s just that when I think about it, I remember that my religion is not the religion of everyone – so why should I have the right to tell people that may not believe the same as I do what they should do? And that there are a lot of things the Bible says to avoid that people don’t – like eating shellfish. Who still abstains from shrimp, which the Old Testament unambiguously states is a punishable sin? (Get it: times change). More than any of that, as a Catholic and a believer in my faith, I believe that Jesus preached love. That’s it. Love and equality. Maybe I’ll burn in hell for being in support of gay marriage; maybe one day I’ll lose someone important to me because of our opinions.

But I think that when push comes to shove, my belief in love above all will prevail. Isn’t that what Jesus taught anyway?

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Looks Like SOPA Dropped the Soap

There is nothing in this world that I dislike more than feeling morally obligated to participate in a protest. They are usually just so time consuming and messy; and it typically just makes me more jaded about the world in general as a result of the number of people that are there yet unaware of why. I will never forget the time my boss sent me to a protest of some health care thing when I worked for the AFL-CIO, only to feel like complete shit about my own life afterwards because I was fighting for health insurance for a group of workers when I, myself, was not being given health insurance by my employer that sent me there in the first place. Protests can be effective, but they can also be very ineffective, and in many ways.

But this SOPA/PIPA deal is a whole other ball game.

You all know how I feel about the film industry. If you don’t, you can get an idea by reading the Open Letter to the Film Industry I wrote a while back when I was pissed off about how many hours my husband was working for not one red penny of extra pay. In a nut shell, the film industry ranks up there pretty high alongside protests with things in this world that I really dislike. Not only do I feel that it is in some ways responsible for the end of my career in academia (for there are few philosophers in Hollywood, and yet Hollywood is where the husband must stay); but so much about it just reeks of greed, insensitivity, and a way of thinking that is inconsistent with the moral right. The film industry days of Cary Grant and Gloria Swanson have been gone for a long time; replaced by an industry that identifies everything by the almighty dollar. SOPA and it’s lame ass cousin, PIPA, are just more of that.

Now I’m not going to sit here and give you all a Congressional rundown of what SOPA and PIPA are because you should know that. If you don’t, read the news or hit up Wikipedia; of course this will also require that you get your head out of the ground for a few minutes, which I’m not sure a lot of people are all-too-willing to do. So I won’t go much beyond saying that they are bills working their way through Congress that are intended to strengthen the film (and, in some senses, music) industry against online piracy. (And if you still can’t find the information, just read the Wikipedia on it; although at midnight EST, Wiki will be protesting as well by enforcing an entire-site outage for 24 hours.)

I will, however, explain quite clearly what is wrong with SOPA.

SOPA/PIPA is an utter violation of our First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

It is a slippery slope when you start writing bills that give people the opportunity to whistle blow or claim false copyright/piracy infringement on intellectual property, which SOPA and PIPA both do. Perhaps the most frightening aspects of the bill are in the consequences: that search engines like Google could be forced to stop indexing articles written by a so-called offender; that Internet Service Providers be required to block access to any site participating in or related to the supposed violation.

While I am all for an end to piracy, censorship and directly stripping the rights guaranteed as a part of being a “free” individual is not the way to do it.

So it looks like SOPA dropped the soap…

Yesterday, Wikipedia announced that it will be participating in an international protest of SOPA by “going dark;” today, Google followed up by committing to an inclusion of the protest on the homepage of Google products. At the latest check about one hour ago, over 7,000 additional websites have committed to go down, displaying nothing more than a message of protest when visitors visit the page from 12:00 am – 11:59 pm on January 18th. Hundreds of bloggers are jumping on the bandwagon as well – as writing, journalism, and blogging are among the most vulnerable groups that will be adversely affected by the proposed bills.

So it looks like SOPA has officially dropped the soap, for I fully expect that the outrage these bills have inspired will kill them quicker than the innocence of a new guy in the prison ward. As annoying as it may be to have so many websites we use on a daily basis down, and as stupid as it is that we have to launch an international protest over something that should be common sense – protest really seems to be the only morally right option.

There are better ways to protect the film and music industry without destroying the free speech of all.

To be honest, after being married to someone who works in the film industry, I am in no way surprised that it has made it this far. The film industry is run by primarily greedy, selfish people – people that care only about the bottom line dollar amount that makes its way into their pockets. They will screw anyone and everyone to get ahead, and the worst part is that the people that work within the film industry don’t even recognize this. The bias most people within the industry carry blinds them to a myriad of injustices that they unintentionally contribute to – from bad labor practices to unfair wages to these issues of censorship. But that doesn’t make it any less sickening to see the special interests of a handful threatening the rights and freedoms of everyone.

So, faithful blog followers, I’m sad to say that the B(itch)Log will be taken down for the 24 hour protest, and many of my blogging counterparts plan to do the same. I apologize for the inconvenience, although I’m fairly certain the only ones who will be truly inconvenienced are all these weirdos looking for photos of a Korean hooker. I hope the rest of you do the same as I am – call your local representative, take down your site, refuse to be censored. It is so much more difficult to get your freedom of speech back once it has been taken away. I hate protests. But I hate the silencing of my voice even more.