2009-05-27

Preposition 8: regarding

I just read about the California Supreme Court upholding the Proposition 8 referendum. My first reaction was that it was ridiculous to "discriminate" against homosexuals, but then I realized that this case was not about sexual orientation, but about the process of amending the state constitution, which is how the court could rule "for" gay marriage one year and "against" it the next. So it made sense.

But, a lot of people were quoted saying that any majority could discriminate against any minority through this mechanism. The San Francisco mayor, Gavin Newsom, had the best quote, taken from the best article on the topic I've seen:

"I never thought I'd live in a state where the legislative branch, the executive branch and the judicial branch are all made irrelevant in a context of protecting a minority's rights - that's where we are in California today."


That made me think again.

But, the end issue is simply the definition of the word "marriage", which I think is almost an irrelevant argument, because the court's ruling also specifies that no "major" differences are allowed to exist between marriage and the domestic partnerships into which gays can enter. So, basically, equality in all senses already exists, except in the name. Need I quote Shakepeare?

If there was a legal standing "straight", I suspect that those people who have entered into a same-sex domestic partnership would be prohibited from registering as such, and for good reason. I, myself, will never be called an "Austrian" no matter how long I live here, even though that title carries with it some measure of respect here, just as the equal-rights groups are claiming "marriage" does. Am I, therefore, being unfairly discriminated against, as part of a minority?

The whole topic makes me wonder why so many people are up-in-arms over semantics and word choice. I wonder why the word "marriage" is in the law books at all, when it most often occurs only as a subcategory of "domestic partnerships", wherein all types of partnerships have equal rights.

My conclusion at the moment--even though I'm still considering the possibility that heterosexual partnerships might have a greater benefit to society than homosexual ones, and I'm wondering if that's even relevant--is that Proposition 8 might as well specify the definition of the word "breast" to be only the "traditional" female kind; to some people, that's always been true, and others are afraid to discriminate based on sex.

My solution: take the red pen to the law books, and scribble "domestic partnership" over every crossed-out "marriage", and leave the marrying to the churches.

2009-05-20

A short movie review: Taken (2008)

I just watched Taken last night, and there's pretty much only one thing for me to say: this is my type of serious action movie.

Here's my explanation: everyone I've talked to about my movie preferences knows I enjoy comical, sarcastic action movies--Last Action Hero, Kill Bill, Planet Terror, some James Bond movies--but I get easily bored with thrillers that take themselves too seriously--The Bourne Trilogy, Spiderman, The Matrix. Action movies that I like, but which don't make me laugh, are few and far between. So few and far between, in fact, that I am hard-pressed to think of one at the present moment. Transformers? It has its high points, but I rolled my eyes too many times. Transformers: The Movie? Yes, but it's a cartoon; I'm not sure if that counts. Gladiator? It's more drama than action. But apparently I'm heading in the right direction: 300. That was a sick movie, and perhaps the last movie to give Taken a run for its money. I'm sure I'll think of another one some time, but the fact is that right now I can think of only one movie from the last ten year that is on the level of Taken.

If you want to see someone kick ass and take names without all of the cliché hubris that directors usually pin on their demi-superheroes, see Taken. Liam Neeson is no X-man, but that point might have been lost on the guys who kidapped his daughter.

In other news, I read my first review of Terminator Salvation today, and it's very good. The review, that is. The movie, not so much, apparently. In the review, Mick LaSalle at the San Francisco Chronicle succinctly sums up my own opinions of the recent histories of lead actor Christian Bale (Patrick Bateman!) and director McG (Fastlane!). He also confirms my fears of what bad things can happen when the two of them team up for a big-budget Hollywood action-drama. It's too bad too of my favorite film people are doomed as soon as they set foot on the same set as one another, but that's the way it is. Maybe it's time to move on to smaller and better things, gentlemen... smaller and better things...