aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, February 21, 2005
Rodriguez & Lincoln
In a stunning piece on The Newshour tonight that really deserves to be widely acknowledged, Richard Rodriguez did a President’s Day essay on the CA Tripp Lincoln biography. In it he looked at the camera and said this:
As a queer man who learned irony because I could not say directly, who learned the uses of a wider imagination, who learned to read between the lines where centuries of gay lives lie. Undetected, I find C.A.Tripp’s portrait of a homosexual Abraham Lincoln convincing.
I am not interested in the political implications of Lincoln’s intimate life. I am interested that Lincoln, along with Walt Whitman, those two most important voices for national unity at a time when Americans were killing one another as gray against blue, Lincoln and Whitman may have both been unable to speak of their love.
He did this in the face of what have been terrible (and I believe homophobic) reviews of the Tripp book.
An anti-gay marriage argument that’s not anti-gay
I don’t agree with the argument (from Sean at The White Peril via Dean’s World) but it is not anti-gay. In fact it’s representative of what not too long ago was the prevailing sentiment in my world. The marriage issue took me and my friends by surprise. And when I was younger I bought into the I see no reason why homosexuals should feel the need to ape heterosexuals argument too.
Now I see a reason.
I’m for gay marriage because I want to normalize gay in every way. I want the same rights and responsibilities, benefits and obligations, trials and tribulations that everyone else has. Gay marriage would be a big step towards normalizing gay. That’s where the political opposition comes from and that’s why I believe it’s anti-gay to be anti-gay marriage. I do choose to see it through that frame.
As to the state, it’s not about state-bolstered self-esteem. I believe the state has an interest in a stable society and that marriage brings positive community pressures which helps keep married couples together and benefits everyone. Gays would benefit from that too (just as straights have benefited from domestic partnership).
So if the alternative is a decision for the state to get out of the business of marriage altogether, I’m all for it. Just don’t try telling me a Civil Union is the same thing.
I’m on hold with TiVo and reading PVRblog. Good stuff: a plasma mounted Mac Mini and now you can browse Flickr from your TiVo. (The latter precipitated my TiVo service call; the feature requires system 7, I’m still at system 4. Why?)
What got me blogging is the discussion of how to save TiVo. Om Malik says give away two million machines, stop marketing and make like Apple. PVRblog says no to the giveaway and no to no marketing but likes the Apple idea:
Apple’s turnaround was launched with the iMac and...the iMac was an attempt to make Apple’s accessible to any home user - i.e. the “3 steps” commercial. I could imagine something similar to this for a Series 3 TiVo with cable card support: “Step 1: plug into TV, Step 2: plug in cable card, Step 3: Jeff Goldblum laughing.”
Note to the uninitiated: TiVo’s are hard to install.
RESULTS OF MY SERVICE CALL: I will go directly from system 4 to system 7.1. To get system 5 I would have had to have a specific Series 2 model. There is no system 6. Go figure. For a “priority upgrade” I went to TiVo.com/priority and entered my service number (which I got through my TiVo.com account). I’ll be updated within 3 days.
UPDATE 2/22/05: Wow! Less than 12 hours. I got the update overnight.
Ian Hogben discovered that his HP laptop stores a whitelist of allowed Mini-PCI cards in its BIOS. If the WiFi card you buy isn’t on the whitelist, your laptop won’t boot. The anticompetitive implications for this are stunning: if you don’t go to HP on bent knee before shipping your cards, they’ll lock them out of their hardware and none of their customers will be able to use your card.