Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Ahnold: cracking the code

NEW YORK, NY--Because tout le monde will be dissecting the Terminator's address to the Republican National Convention, your blogstress will avoid wasting too much HTML on it.

But speaking of code, she feels compelled to point out Ahnold's use of the "good people" line, which was no doubt a wink-wink to those disgruntled queers and freedom-loving women who resent their designation as perverts and baby-killers in the GOP platform. The Log Cabin Republicans had joined the Republican Pro-Choice Majority in trying to insert a "unity plank" into the platform, one that said "good people" can disagree on such issues as gay marriage and abortion. The measure failed, and though the platform committee inserted a bit of the language, it added a scrap so tiny as to render it meaningless.

Log Cabin Executive Director Patrick Guerrero told reporters that he had lobbied speakers to address the contention over gay marriage in their speeches; perhaps the California governor heard the call.

Or maybe he was just looking to offset that gratuitous little "girlie man" remark.

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What you didn't see in prime time

NEW YORK, NY--Once upon a time, your blogstress gave a certain grudging respect to Elizabeth Hanford Dole for having a achieved so many things unthinkable by most women of her generation--a law degree, a cabinet post, the helm of an immense non-profit and, now, a seat in the United States Senate.

Back when your cybertrix was but a young vixen toiling as a feminist, this Dole paid a visit to Ms. magazine, where we received her with genuine enthusiasm, thinking her to be a reasonable sort of Republican.

As of tonight, Dole chose to roundly throw reason out the window with a speech that could have been delivered by the Rev. Jerry Falwell. Approaching the podium to the tune of Tom Jones' "She's a Lady", Mrs. Dole went on to carry water for the gay-hating, anti-abortion and ostentatiously evangelical wing of the GOP. Offering such utterances as: "Marriage is important because it is the cornerstone of civilization," Dole went on to imply the standard lie that queer people who want the right to marry seek to destroy the very institution of which they seek to be a part.

In speaking of freedom of religion--a right your blogstress, heathen that she is, truly reveres--Dole kicked the virtue of humility to the curb in order to tout her own piety. "Two thousand years ago a man said, 'I have come to give life and to give it in full,'" Dole said. "In America I have the freedom to call that man Lord, and I do."

And in America, your blogstress has the right to call 'em as she sees 'em, and she just saw a medicine show conducted by a vision in celery-colored silk (with matching pumps).

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Fair and balanced

NEW YORK, NY--In the convention hall, in the thrall of First Nephew George P. Bush (as Poppy onced called him, "the little brown one"), the delegates burst into a chant worth noting: "Watch Fox News!"

Now your blogstress must hightail it out of here, since they're about to do a lockdown for the primetime speeches. And she'd rather watch the Terminator ruminate from the comfort of her hotel room.

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Visuals: lies, jobs and alpha waves

NEW YORK (6th Ave. near 46th St.)--This morning, while prowling for coffee, your cybertrix, still sullen from the previous night's use of 9-11 as a psy-ops exercise, she came upon a site for sore eyes.

Attached to the back of a generic, perhaps rental, car, was a trailer labeled www.pantsonfire.net that featured an effigy of the president dressed in a flight suit with flames fashioned of nylon and wire shooting off the back.

Later in the day, on her way out of the hall, your Webwench saw a young Asian-American woman with a delegate's credential fashion a sign on the back of a CNN paper fan that read, "I work for cheap", then crossed out the word "cheap" and scratched in "free". She stuck it on the side of a building.

Then your cyberscribe came upon a a scruffy white-guy protester, clearly an army of one, who carried a piece of brown carboard scrawled with a diatribe that began, "Stop radio-controlling the people."

What's the frequency, Kenneth?

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New York's night

NEW YORK, NY--Oh, to be her blithely arch self, your blogstress cries. But tonight's doings at the Republican National Convention have left her bereft and at moments confused.

Even before this evening's confab a disheartening trend had commenced when the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay organization led by some very smart young men, tossed in the towel on the floor fight they had threatened, and then even gave up on the floor demonstration that one of their leadership had intimated was immanent, unless your cybertrix had just thoroughly misunderstood him.

The group did release an effective television advertisement, today, calling on their party to choose between the moderate and radical path. (See the Washington Blade.)

With former New York Mayor Rudolph Guiliani as the keynote speaker, tonight was clearly 9-11 night at the RNC. (Of course, with the convention located in New York, every night could be 9-11 night at the convention.) The brief remarks by each of three women who lost family members in the 9-11 attacks were genuinely moving, and the extended moment of silent prayer was profound. Then, when all of Madison Square Garden began to sing "Amazing Grace", your blogstress found her customary ironic detatchment impossible, becoming pretty choked up. Standing nearby, singing with tear-filled eyes was New York Governor George Pataki, who stood next to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who looked pretty watery-eyed himself. Pataki, however, really seemed to be suffering, patting his pocket in an apparent search for a handkerchief.

Your blogstress can't say how the 9-11 theme will play in the heartland, but for New Yorkers, the wound is still fresh enough to have grown men--politicians, no less--lose their composure in public. Your écrivaine feels manipulated, but nonetheless in the throes, thanks to the GOP program, of real grief.

And once again, our grief is being marshaled to justify a war that had nothing to do with 9-11. Our wounds are being picked to raise a head of anger that makes it all seem justified--the thousand Americans killed in Iraq, the thousands of Iraqis bombed, the journalists who came under fire from U.S. forces on one day in three separate locations, a phenomenon that has never been satisfactorially explained.

And it just might work. Nine-eleven is no distant memory. And even more than a massive tragedy, it speaks to the moment when America became a land of mere mortals, proven vulnerable to despair drawn by heinous acts committed by men from cultures for which we have always had contempt. And that really pisses us off.

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