Wednesday, February 3, 2010

ANIMAL FARM democracy

I just finished editing a book about super women...yeah, literally super, like Super Girl. But it was a unique and hilarious handling of the subject, which could be, like, a metaphor for the Modern Woman, and as a comparison, the modern Man, the pig, who can't think except with his little head. The male writer and his alter-ego narrator are brutally honest, while appearing to try being dishonest about his own assets (height, looks, penis...). So the narrator comes across as very likable, all the while completely in awe of the super women he meets, and horny as hell.

My next editing project is not due until mid-month, so I have some time on my hands. So, why not write here?

The Prop 8 trial in SF is over until the judge's ruling. I can't find evidence that they addressed the fundamental issue of denial of rights to a minority group by another larger group. Really, should the majority be able to decide the rights of the minority? I thought in America, all men (and women) are equal; but have we now come down to Animal Farm politics, where all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others? To me, this was the crux of the issue in this trial, and yet it was not addressed in great depth. Instead, the plaintiffs allowed the defense to set the agenda, where they cross-examined witnesses about whether being gay is caused or a choice, whether it is an immutable "condition," whether children raised by gay couples are really as good as children raised by one man and one woman...stuff like that, stuff that the Prop 8 supporters used in their campaign.

I honestly don't hold out much hope that Prop 8 will be declared unconstitutional. I am glad to say, however, that the idea that one group of citizens shouldn't be allowed to vote on another group of citizens' rights.

Everybody: go read Animal Farm by George Orwell. You want a civics lesson in true democracy and the dangers to which it is subject? Read this book. It's not a children's book, although it is deceptively simple.

This is the copy I read in high school. It had a lasting impact on the way I view equality and the way we've constantly had those who would impose less than equality on others if they could. Remember that when blacks and whites were not permitted to marry? Even then, it was never put to a god-damned popular vote. At no other time in our history has the rights of one group been allowed to be taken away by another group—except the freedom to marry by same-sex couples.

To me, it all comes down to the god-damned religious, who really really don't want separation of church and state. We're one of the rare countries in human history that doesn't have a history of being ruled by priests, caliphs, or other religious leaders. We really should keep it that way. Otherwise, we're fucked. Yeah, sure, presidents should look for religious guidance and prayer, if they so feel the need, but we saw in the last administration a little too cozy relationship between the president and the religious right, and it was to our detriment. Let's keep religion in the churches and secularism (and respect for religions) in our public institutions and in our government. I know it insults some people for me to make the statement that every country in the history of the world, either past or present, that has been or is ruled by a strong priesthood (or other religious arm) has been an oppressive country. Our latest example is Iran; a near recent example is Afghanistan; a distant example is Spain, during the Inquisition; another example is the Holy Roman Empire; etc.