Thursday, October 31, 2019

Quote of the Day - Lithwick On Not Getting Over Kavanaugh

Dahlia Lithwick's piece in Slate about her refusal to get over Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the US Supreme Court is very, very good and worth reading in its entirety, first and foremost in my opinion because she is the rare mainstream journalist today who refuses to both normalize or be entertained by the Trump regime's atrocities.

She writes:
"The enduring memory, a year later [after Kavanaugh's rage-filled testimony], is that my 15-year-old son texted—he was watching it in school—to ask if I was 'perfectly safe' in the Senate chamber. He was afraid for the judge’s mental health and my physical health. I had to patiently explain that I was in no physical danger of any kind, that there were dozens of people in the room, and that I was at the very back, with the phalanx of reporters. My son’s visceral fears don’t really matter in one sense, beyond the fact that I was forced to explain to him that the man shouting about conspiracies and pledging revenge on his detractors would sit on the court for many decades; and in that one sense, none of us, as women, was ever going to be perfectly safe again."
It's a nuanced essay, acknowledging that the female members of the court, who all lean more liberal than Kavanaugh, have to at least perform "getting over it" if they ever hope to have even the slim possibility of the vengeful Kavanaugh siding with them on matters of national importance for potential decades to come.

That doesn't mean, however, that we all have to be okay with his presence on the Court, even though - like Lithwich - I despair that the general public largely is by now.

It's also not lost on me that George W. Bush, who lost the popular vote in the 2000 election, appointed two conservatives of his own to the Supreme Court. Trump, loser of the 2016 popular vote, has thus far appointed two.

Angry, sexually-predatory, and entitled man-babies on the Court notwithstanding, that 4 out of 9 members of the nation's high court have been appointed by deeply-unpopular men who lost the national popular vote will one day be more widely acknowledged as a significant erosion of the legitimacy of the court, particularly in terms of public opinion.

If that's not depressing enough, Trump is very soon set to have appointed a full quarter of the nation's federal appeals court judges, the level just below the Supreme Court. These courts and judges generally get far less attention than the Supreme Court, but this statistic is incredibly alarming for many reasons, a key one of which is that the vast majority of federal court cases never actually reach the Supreme Court and Donald Trump is a misogynist white supremacist who lacks the judgment and temperament to be making  appointments of such importance.

Related: Gilead of Republicans Stand by Their Man, Kavanaugh

Friday, October 25, 2019

Supercorps Friday and Kara's Big Coming Out Moment

Just two heterosexual gals having a completely heterosexual conversation about their 100% heterosexual friendship:

I know I'm really gay, but in all seriousness, I find it nearly impossible to view Kara coming out to Lena as Supergirl as anything other than Kara professing her longstanding love for Lena. It's actually so obvious it feels silly saying out loud.

If Kara had just said, "I'm Supergirl" and left it at that, and Lena then expressed surprise, and they both moved on, one could maybe buy that this convo was solely a superhero-identity revelation.

But, Kara continues by saying, "I've always been Supergirl." The "always" comment is weird, right? Was there ever a possibility, for instance, that multiple people were pretending to be Supergirl and that Kara was only Supergirl for part of the time Supergirl has been around? No. Of course not. "I'm Supergirl" is clearly a stand-in for "I'm [in love with you.] I've always been [in love with you.]" because that's a somewhat standard line when TV/film characters are finally revealing undying love to a crush.

Also, I haven't fully bought Kara's angst about revealing her identity to Lena. Over the course of the previous four seasons, she has revealed her identity to many people, including those she has known for less time and initially has less reason to trust than Lena. The angst and fear in two canonically-hetero characters appears, on-screen, to stem more from feelings akin to, "Oh shit. I'm 'straight.' You're 'straight.' We're in love and I'm not sure how to handle it."

Lena's reaction, for instance, is hardly measured. She's left speechless, initially, and then goes up in front of a crowd and improvises a super touching speech about her "best friend."

Like the early seasons of Xena, it's clearly a same-sex romance that the powers-that-be are presenting in such a way that can plausibly (I guess?) be read as platonic by some viewers and subtextually queer by others, thus sort-of not fully pleasing or offending either camp.

In conclusion, I'll continue to monitor the situation. Um, for science.

Friday, October 11, 2019

CNN LGBTQ Townhall

I didn't catch all of last night's CNN LGBTQ Townhall, but I wanted to post about it nonetheless.

First, I want to note that the forum itself was meaningful. It was only in 2008 that, following 8 years of the Bush Administration stoking anti-LGBTQ bigotry for Republican political gain, that frontrunner Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton did not publicly support marriage equality because that political position was not (or was not seen as) political viable for a presidential candidate to hold.

And yes, many LGBTQ people understood that both Obama and Clinton likely supported marriage equality privately and would be supportive once in office. History has proven that to be the case.

To have a slate of Democratic candidates affirming their support of LGBTQ issues in 2019, of which marriage equality is just one of many, is progress in and of itself.

Participating candidates included (in their order of appearance): Cory Booker,  Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Beto O'Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and Tom Steyer. Per CNN, Bernie Sanders had originally accepted an invite to participate, but eventually declined due to his recent heart attack.

As far as the content itself, Biden had a couple weird moments and continues to appear confused and easily-rattled when speaking, as in the first debates, including a clip where he stumbles and starts talking about how when he "came out."
I thought Booker, Buttigieg, Warren, Harris, O'Rourke, Klobuchar, and Castro did well, overall (and I refuse to discuss Steyer and his vanity campaign) and any of them (including Biden) would be better than the Trump/Pence shitshow on LGBTQ rights.

In a way, it always feels weird to analyze these debates and townhalls on a super granular level. The networks and foreign agents want Americans to get sucked into infighting about endless candidate dramas even though, meanwhile, to quote comedian John Mulaney, THERE'S A HORSE LOOSE IN THE HOSPITAL.

That's not to say the details don't matter. They do. And those analyses should happen, and the discussions about LGBTQ issues should be driven by LGBTQ advocates, not bad actors on social media or the usual cishet pundits who dominate our national political conversations.

From a big picture standpoint, the 2020 Democratic Primary is going to have to be about finding that balance between pushing our candidates to be the best they can be on the issues, while never losing sight of the fact that profoundly dangerous men are currently in charge of our Executive Branch, Supreme Court, and Senate.

In conclusion, I've watched this clip approximately 57 time and I get approximately 12% more gay every time:

Talk about this, or whatever, it's Friday!

Friday, October 4, 2019

On Cougar 2020

One of the weirder aspects, and there are many, to the made-up "sex scandal" that a known compulsive liar and fraudster who shall remain nameless is alleging against presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is the fact that literally the only people who would be so offended by a grown woman engaging in consensual sex with a strapping young Marine are people who would never vote for Warren, or any woman, or any Democrat anyway.

I'm reminded of the people who try to "excuse" the actions of Donald Trump, who has admitted on tape to grabbing women's genitals without their consent, by noting that a lot of women - including feminists - like 50 Shades of Grey.

There's this perception that anything that is non-missionary-sex-engaged-in-by-a-man-and-a-woman is deeply scandalous and, worse, vulgar!  Consent isn't even part of the equation under this sexual worldview, and so all sex acts and assaults that are deemed "vulgar" are equated with one another.

Anyway, the "statement of fact and belief" is, um, I think the two best things to liken it to would be fanfic written by a 14-year-year old male virgin trying to contemplate the wackiest, kinkiest sex story he can and/or a deep psychosexual fantasy of a conservative Christian grown adult man.

Perhaps the most damning of the "details" is that Warren allegedly ordered a lime green dildo with a rubbery smell, when everyone knows she clearly would have opted for liberty green.

Whew. Talk about this, or other stuff!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Batwoman and the Case of the Toxic Male Nerddom

Whew, that Batwoman trailer.

Of course, the misogynists are melting down about it, especially that "when it fits a woman" line.

To such people, they're so enraged and entitled that a thing exists that doesn't center them and their likes that they believe it has to not exist at all. They can't just go watch Joker or whatever and be content in their rage-angst, they try to game social media likes, comments, and reviews to tank a show before it even airs. Giving it a fair shot, to them, is out of the question. It was the same with the Ghostbusters reboot.

Anyway, the first episode airs 10/6. I've read the Batwoman comics for many years, and I'm excited about this one.