Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pride on 8th Street

Sitting on my perch in Jersey City I am renowned for my analysis of the zeitgeist of America. My finger is on the pulse of the youth of today.
This year's Gay Pride parade in New York has me dehydrated. And my wrists hurt from waving (seriously).
Coming two days after the vote legalizing gay marriage in the State of New York, this Pride Day feels somewhat different than Pride's of years past. I'm willing to admit that I may very well be projecting, but my feeling is that with all the celebration of Pride there's been a veneer or an underlying current of anger. Anger about discrimination, oppression, violence, AIDS.
But this year feels like a (bridal) veil has been lifted. The palpable joy, literally in the streets, comes without the hesitation of that bit of rage for once, because we've won such an important victory for human rights.

Straight White Guy Speaks Out on Gay Marriage

You know what I look forward to? When the idea of gay marriage isn't an issue. I look forward to some kid sneering up at me with that face kids make, saying "Yeah yeah, gramps, when you were growing up gays couldn't get married. That's about when dinosaurs roamed the earth, right?"
The fact is that gay marriage will be affecting this middle-aged, straight, white, guy. And I mean that more than the one marriage proposal I've gotten so far. How will it affect me? Well, I'll be living in a world where we don't discriminate against one more thing. And although that's going to affect gays more directly than if affects me, the world will be a better place and I'll be living in that better place.
So thanks to New York for legalizing same-sex marriages.
Hell, thanks to all the straight guys who voted for same-sex marriages.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Drug Testing

Here are instructions for how to pass a drug test.
My sister's cat, Sambuko.
Drug testing is by and large absurd. If someone is, for instance, operating heavy machinery while high, they ought to be fired. It's dangerous. But if they smoked a bowl last Saturday night -- so what? That's not going to affect whether they're able to drive a forklift on Monday.
Furthermore, we're real selective about which drugs we test for, aren't we? If you're running that backhoe while drunk, you're dangerous. But you're legally allowed to go get plastered on vodka and juice as soon as the 5 o'clock whistle blows. So although you can test how drunk someone is right now, you can't bust them for getting smashed on alcohol after work. But with "drug testing" you can fire them for having a joint two weeks ago.
How about we just worry about how well they're doing on that brake press. Hell, I'd rather someone be stoned than falling-down-tired on a brake press. In either case we should look at whether or not they're able to do their jobs, not what the results of some arbitrary test says about what they were doing a fortnight ago.
I once refused to sign a thing saying I'd let J&J perform a drug test on me whenever they wanted. This was for a freakin' freelance job. As an audio editor. Hell, I should be expected to be high while doing that. But it was their dumb corporate policy (hopefully it isn't anymore.)
I would never institute a drug testing policy. I might institute a general competence policy. But never drug testing. Because it's dumb.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Monarchies Make Great Democracies?

OK, so this is funny.

Look at the top 10 democracies on this list. Eight out of the top ten have constitutional monarchs. One of the countries just recently allowed women to vote.

In any case, this list (which is compiled by MI6 The Economist Intelligence Unit) takes an interesting look at the governments around the world. North Korea is in last place, Norway is in the top spot. Ireland takes 12th place, but above the US and the UK.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Like 1984 but 20 years later

So, the Bush Administration asked the CIA to dig up information on an American citizen, living in the US, who was a critic of the Iraq war.
I guess after the Valerie Plame episode we shouldn't be surprised.
But if you're going to try to say that the Obama Administration is just like the Bush Administration, I think you're going to have to get past this example of Bush Administration malfeasance.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Sometimes I think I need to make a well-argued and erudite post to write something here on Puppies and Toast.
But really, sometimes I just need to post a picture.