Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Y Words

The premise here is that if you have a blog and leave a comment on this post, I’ll assign you a letter. You take that letter and make a list of 10 things you love that begin with that letter. Then, you pass on the letter love to the bloggers who make comments on your post. (Or, if you don't have a blog, comment or email me and we'll go from there.) It’s creative and social!

I got this from walkalong, and the letter I got is Y.

SOOOOoooooo.... In no particular order:

1) Yo La Tengo -

One of the baddest and bitchinest bands out there. Not surprising that they made the list.

2) Yes - The affirmation, not the band. Not. The. Band. (I mean, Roundabout is ok and everything, but those guys don't get into the top ten.) The idea of saying 'yes' to things though, to diving in with positive energy and enthusiasm: that makes the list.

3) The Yes Men - both the movie and (especially) the performing/activist group.

These are the guys who brought the suit shown above to a meeting of the World Trade Organization and held their attention for an entire presentation. The guys who orchestrated the switching of voice chips between talking G.I. Joe and talking Barbie. During the Holiday Season. Like Improv Everywhere but bolder.

4) You. Yes, you! You know who you are.

5) Yo Yo Ma - Cellist extarordinaire. Great work in many genres.

6) YMCA - The gym, not the song. Not. The. Song. But the Y around the corner has been my gym for years, and while it's no-frills, it's not bad. That's my answer and I'm sticking to it.

7) 92nd Street Y - Cultural center, community center, performance space, important to New York. I've performed there, and I've seen and heard LOTS of good stuff there. Did you know that this is a YMHA, not a YMCA? You probably did.

8) Yoga - Sure, I don't practice as often or as intensely as I could, but I love it nonetheless. My daily practice has slipped to the wayside the last couple weeks. Maybe this list will spur me to get back into that.

9) Y chromosomes - You know, those little microscopic things that pair up with X chromosomes to make a person a boy instead of a girl. I wouldn't say that I prefer Y to X inherently, but let's take this opportunity to celebrate maleness.

10) Yoni - Let's take this opportunity to celebrate femaleness. I think it's fair to acknowledge a love of Yoni. Not all Yonis. And NOT Yanni. But, the idea of Yoni, the right Yoni, the Yoni for me, yeah, we can celebrate that.

This installment has been brought to you by the letter Y.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In Honor of the Rally Against Prop 8

There's a big rally at the Latter Day Saints' Temple in New York today opposing California's horrifically bigoted Proposition 8, which revoked Gay Marriage in that state, along with the other anti-equality ballot initiatives that passed last week. The good news is that it would seem a foregone conclusion that these laws (and all like it) will be struck down by the courts. It seems likely to me that eventually (soon?) the U.S. Supreme Court will hand down a ruling covering the whole nation - similar to the one that revoked all laws banning interracial marriages in 1967.

For now, we have to contend with "religious" groups acting out their sexist fears in appalling ways. Well, I guess we appall each other. Don't mean to offend any Mormons who have seen the light (or what I call the light - you know, that thing that clarifies sight). As for any of the closed-minded ones who happen to be reading this, I'd recommend that you let go of your fear, if you're in the mood to listen to my recommendations.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Quick Notes

Life has been busy for us all, yes? Quick notes for now about some (certainly not all) of the things that have been going on:

  • Election Party at Cory's in Chelsea - so much fun, such good company, such an amazing, important night. Missed out on some of the dancing in the streets, but got the benefit of very good food & drink, and more reflective revelry.
  • South Park Election Episode - Bwahahahahaaaaaaa!
  • (Not) Just a Day like Any Other - New full-length show from the NY Neo Futurists. Caught opening night - very cool workshop production, seeds for future brilliance.
  • The Hold Steady at Terminal 5 - Rock and Roll Means Well
SUCH a good band. As Frank put it at dinner before the show (he'd never seen them before) "This band... One of the regrets I have in my life, as I look back and examine what I've done and what I've seen, one of my main regrets is... that I am not in The Hold Steady." And once he got a taste of the ironic jubilance of these guys, he liked them even more. Drive-By Truckers opened: it had been reversed the night before - we totally got the better end of that deal. Not that they were bad - on the contrary, they were fantastic. But The Hold Steady is the band you want sending you off into the night. Thanks to Barry Yanowitz for this photo by the way! If you'd rather I not use it, just let me know and I'll take it down.

more to come... lost the links due to some computer nonsense. I'll fix those up later.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

November 4, 2008

It's kind of worn territory to say that this is an historic election. Kind of really well worn. What can I add to the discussion? Report that the lines were longer in Hoboken than they've ever been, in my experience? Old news.

That the people in those lines were friendlier and more cheerful to be waiting than people on almost any line I can remember? (other than maybe the lunatics - including me - who stayed out all night for R.E.M. tickets freshman year, but I think there was vodka involved.) It's all over the radio and the internets.

That I'm happy that my polling place was moved from the firehouse to the retirement home a few years ago, because the line at the firehouse was MUCH longer - like, out the door and around the corner long? [Ok, that one may actually be original - though I should add that the people in that line looked pretty happy too.]

That a friend in Brooklyn reported things like being 33rd in line at a quarter to 6 this morning, and another referred to the crowd at the polls being "a bit of a Bed Stuy street party"? This stuff has been ALL OVER THE MEDIA. Oh, and a Bed Stuy blogger whose work I like a lot had a good post on that scene too. Really like his tag line: "Let's make some goddamned history."

So while the Supreme Court listens to arguements over just what constitutes a dirty word on TV, let's do that, shall we? Let's make history. Go to the polls; cast your vote; listen to 'Yes We Can,' or 'Give Peace a Chance,' or 'Fanfare for the Common Man,' or 'Stars and Stripes Forever' or 'I'm Proud to be an American' or whatever, on your way home; do some door-to-door or make some calls if you can spare the time; then gather with friends and lovers to watch the returns over some patriotic food.

But take it from a Red Sox fan: take it vote by vote. Please consider leaving the Champagne in the fridge until you hear a concession speech.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Crunch Time

Welcome to November. Hope you had a Happy Halloween. If you are running the Marathon, I hope you are doing it swiftly, and with no extreme discomfort.

The Month of Mick is over. Now, it's all about Getting Out the Vote.

Are you ready for Tuesday? Will you vote? No matter how long the line is?

There has been some fun around this election - for instance the young gentleman in Decatur, Georgia who used Halloween to get out the vote.

There has also been some real nastiness. Lots and lots of nastiness. There is almost no end to the nastiness.

And not all of it has to do with the Presidential Election. There are many important State Elections, including the now-famous Proposition 8 in California. Which is essentially a manifesto of intolerance couched in terms of protecting traditional values.

Is it an exaggeration to compare same-sex marriage to interracial marriage? Is it unfair to suggest that the culture war that is fueling the McCain/Nameless campaign - indeed keeping it alive in the face of overwhelming opposition - is couched in racism and fear? (to clarify for those who wonder why I refer to her this way, I refuse to name her until she makes herself available to the media in a serious way. My heart was warmed when I saw that Christopher Hitchens wrote an article to this effect as well.) I don't think so.

But everywhere you look, people are responding to the hate with logic, eloquent rhetoric, tenacity, and positive energy. And also with some silly good humor. Lots of people. Millions and millions of them.

Some in places you wouldn't necessarily think of. Like Nebraska.


And even Arizona, in groups large and small.

Is it a real movement? It has felt like it at times. I hope it is (and those of you who have known me for a long time know that this whole 'support a Democrat who actually has the nomination' thing is kind of a step to the right for me.) Because it's only through real social movement, with follow up that goes way beyond the election that real change actually happens. And there are moments that this feels like that. And the momentum has felt strong. Dizzyingly so at times. Right now in the key 'battleground state' (man, those war images keep popping up) of Pennsylvania, Cory is getting out the vote in Pittsburgh, and will do her lawyer thing to make sure the polls are safe and fair on Tuesday; and JP is in his hometown of Erie, working insanely long hard hours in his unique fashion, and proving essential to the campaign as their resident 'local' - even advising on the location for an important Bill Clinton appearance on Monday.

Please keep your focus, and keep your energy. Take it moment to moment, as the actors say. Keep your eye on the ball, and take it pitch by pitch, as they say in baseball. Drive through to the finish line in your best final kick, as the marathon runners say.

Are you ready for Tuesday? Will you vote? Will you check on your friends to make sure they vote? Will you make a call to your family (or, if you have time, to a whole bunch of people) and find out if they need help getting to the polls, and that they will cast a vote? No matter how long the line is?

Please say yes. And please vote for Barack Obama.