President-Elect Trump (fuuuuuuuuck) tweeted this week that flag burners should go to jail for a year or lose their citizenship. Nothing about how burning the flag is a constitutionally protected right and he just doesn’t like it. No – he thinks people should lose their citizenship if they burn the flag.
While Trump fills his cabinet with individuals who will repeal or cripple the Affordable Care Act (which is sure as fuck going to affect me and my family), we talk about flag burning.
OK, so let’s talk about it. And let’s ditch the “flag burning is a reprehensible act but it is protected” part of the conversation. It’s as if we all need to hold up our hands and protest that we don’t like something because so many people are bothered by it.
And that is what pisses me off. Who gives an actual fuck? Has anyone ever been harmed by the burning of a flag? I mean besides the person burning the flag who might have, you know, gotten a burn because they were holding a burning piece of cloth?
Why have we, as Americans, decided that burning the flag is a despicable act? It’s a flag! A piece of cloth. It is not our country.
That the flag has become a sacred relic is embarrassing. So let me step up and say I don’t have an issue with anyone burning a flag. I’m reasonably certain that a country with enough nuclear capability to turn every other continent into a pile of atomic slag is strong enough to handle a few flags on fire.
I’m sick of the feeling that before we say something (flag burning, abortion, Hillary Clinton) is OK, we have to acknowledge how awful it is.
There is nothing awful about burning a flag. Our freedoms are not irreparably damaged when a flag is set on fire. In fact, our freedoms are enhanced. Burning a flag is an act of defiance but it is also an act of celebration.
It celebrates our right as citizens to openly criticize our government. Have we forgotten how many places on Earth that is not allowed? Is that really what we want here?
If it isn’t, then nobody should say “flag burning is a horrible act.” We should, instead, say “flag burning is a celebration of our constitution.”
And the thing is – this is all a distraction. Flags don’t get burned a lot. In fact, they hardly ever get burned at all. The fact we are talking about something that almost never happens is a ridiculous waste of time.
Our response should be “huh. Someone burned a flag. I wouldn’t even know about this if it weren’t for the 24 hour news cycle.”
Now who the fuck is in Trump’s cabinet again?
This week is actually a non fiction comedy piece I wrote for a political show last week. The piece was supposed to be about third-party politics and I didn’t want to bash third parties even though I’m not voting third-party this year.
I came up with this piece which was, surprisingly for me, not particularly partisan one way or the other. Instead, it is about one of my greatest pet peeves about American politics and America in general.
It’s fairly silly. I hope it makes you laugh or at least it doesn’t make you cry.
If your plans in the event of a Donald Trump Presidency include moving to Canada, let me just remind you that there are a few assholes north of the border and at least one of them is a judge. For now.
Federal Judge Robin Camp is currently in a hearing to determine if he should keep his job. When you learn a little more about how he has been executing his job, you might wonder why the review is needed.
In addition to asking a nineteen year old rape victim why she didn’t just keep her knees together, he also mused that “Young women want to have sex, particularly if they are drunk.” He also suggested that sex and pain go together so maybe it isn’t so bad that her rape was painful. Because, I guess, that’s how sex is supposed to be. Consensual or not.
In the end, he let the accused walk free and told the rapist he needs to be “more careful.”
The ruling was overturned on appeal.
Which is the only thing about this that makes sense.
I’ll tell you another thing that doesn’t make sense. This happened two years ago.
Judge Camp is originally from South Africa and his basic argument seems to be “I was really new at criminal law so I blew it because I didn’t really understand how to be a caring human being and a judge.”
I hope the first question they ask him in the hearing is “when you first thought about asking the victim why she had been such a victim, why couldn’t you just hold your lips together?” Read More…
Now nobody is arguing that Saudi Arabia is a haven for those who value free speech. It is a monarchy that relies on the hardline religious leaders (and oil money) for power. As such, it should surprise no-one that they have draconian laws when it comes to expression.
If you doubt me, please refer to this week when they sentenced a man to 10 years imprisonment and 2000 lashes for Tweeting that he was an atheist.
Please note that in America, a young man just finished serving three months in jail for viciously raping an unconscious woman.
At least he didn’t tweet about it, I guess.
If you think that thought crimes didn’t exist, I give you Saudi Arabia where stating you don’t believe in god has you branded as being a terrorist and put in jail for a decade. If you can’t get behind the Koran after that, well you are just a stubborn asshole.
I’m not going to pretend I don’t have issues with any religion (or interpretation of religion) that tells women they must keep their bodies covered. It is an act of body shaming and subtle oppression meant to make women feel ashamed of their own identity.
However, women also get to make their own choices regarding what they want to wear. And if they want to wear a head scarf at the beach, that ought to be completely fine. It’s their fucking head and their fucking scarf. You shouldn’t be handing out tickets (she was given a fucking ticket) based on the fact they have put on too much clothing.
That this is being done in the name of secularism (her ticket was for failing to wear “an outfit respecting good morals and secularism”) is equally disgusting. There is nothing about secularism that suggests anyone should be judged for what they choose to wear.
French courts seem to agree so far as they have struck down the ban on burkinis in the last few days.
You can understand the concern about terrorism in France given recent horrific attacks. It makes a lot more sense than the concern in other countries like, say, the United States.
However, swimwear is not a sign of terroristic intent. It is a sign of someone who believes that they have a right to cover their bodies because it is their fucking body.
It is ironic that France has many topless (and even nude) beaches implying that you can’t wear too little at the beach, you can only wear too much.
The people have spoken. Democracy is a strange and wonderful thing. I guess.
Except I don’t think a lot of the people speaking really knew what they were saying. The majority of the concerns with membership in the European Union have to do with immigration and it’s pretty clear many English have developed some level of xenophobia.
Although the Brexit vote doesn’t necessarily mean that England is going to close its borders, it would seem that a whole lot of people were convinced that was exactly what it meant. They were convinced, of course, because that is basically what the pro Brexit camp was telling them.
Also, this week’s vote could result in Scotland finally severing ties with the UK. I imagine most English don’t care about that either because they have a hard time understanding what the Scots are saying.
I mean, I do too. But they sound damned sexy saying it. Maybe the Brits are just jealous.
The result of this vote calls to mind the England of Children of Men. And that isn’t a good thing.
A Senseless Massacre in Orlando
I pretty much have to lead with this, don’t I? There’s no way to avoid talking about a killing spree in which almost fifty people were gunned down in the largest mass shooting in US history. Although that depends on how you define mass shooting, as the internet has been careful to remind me.
As if arguing over the how extreme the slaughter was actually matters in the least. Would it matter less if the gunman had only managed to kill five people?
The only thing that now seems to matter is that he was a Muslim. Even though there is enough evidence to suggest that he was a homophobic man who was also likely dealing with a lot of self loathing because he was secretly gay, the narrative is all about his religion.
He may have wanted it to be that way because he pledged allegiance to ISIS during the attack. But that is the narrative he wanted.
He wanted to be known as radical Islamist. Is that because he didn’t want to be known as gay? I have no idea. What I do know is that the narrative revolves around radical Islam and that narrative originated with the man who did the killing.
No matter what, we haven’t spent enough time recognizing that whatever he used to justify his act, he deliberately targeted the GLBT community. This act of violence was done specifically to harm a community he found objectionable. The reasons he found the community objectonable are irrelevant because there is hate speak coming from everywhere. Not just Islam. I’ll get to that later.
We’ll talk about all of this for a few weeks. And then we will forget about it until the next mass shooting takes place.
At which point, we will only talk about the killer’s religion if they are a Muslim.
One note though: if you want to talk about gun control, or not gun control, or Islamic fundamentalism, or whatever else you want to talk about, that’s great. And it is important. But please do something tangible as well. there is a Gofundme campaign that has raised over 5 million for the victims. I know it seems like $5 won’t make a difference. But it will. If you want to make a difference, please do more than talk. Contribute to the campaign or donate blood or do something to support your local GLBT community. Do something.