Monday, May 28, 2007

A little perspective

Things ain't perfect here, but give me the U.S. over the rest of the world any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I'll bet you a thousand dollars that the horror that occurred in Moscow this week won't happen even in Bush's Washington.


Tim in Italy said...

Yes, that's true. But is Putin's Russia the best example you can find to define us? That's setting the bar pretty low. Maybe you could ask yourself why this administration, in the middle of a war, still insists on discharging gay and lesbian service people, especially the 20 or so qualified Arab and Farsi translators that are in such critical short supply. No other western military discharges gays and they serve with as much courage and alacrity as US troops.

Pink Elephant said...

Point taken, Tim. I do ask myself that, and I am NO SUPPORTER of DADT. I find it a nonsensical and even damaging policy.

I actually approached the post in reverse. Rather than prove that the U.S. is A-OK (it's not) by using Russia, I found the Russia story and it made me grateful that I live here. When other supposedly civilized countries arrest gays when homophobes attack them, I'm thankful that my biggest struggles are for legal recognition of our relationships and ending non-violent institutional discrimination.

KipEsquire said...

I'm sure Judy Shepard agrees with you, as do all the troubled gay teenagers who commit suicide each year because "things ain't so bad here."

matthew said...

You really are a morning person.

Pink Elephant said...

I see that my attempt to be positive in light of unfortunate world events has somehow touched a nerve. Would you not agree, Kip, that there is a difference between the violence of a few individuals against Matthew Shepard, which incidentally was punished with life sentences without the possibility of parole, and violence of a government against gays trying to enjoy the right of assembly and association that we in America are taking advantage of all summer long? Surely you cannot be saying that situations in our countries are equally rotten? Heck, I'll bet Russia has our problems in addition to the ones I highlighted.

Lewd & Lascivious said...

Amen, Pink. I liked your post, and being positive and appreciating the incremental improvements in our country is so important. Failing to do so reminds me of those people who say the America of today is "no better" than that of the Jim Crow or pre-Civil War eras: a patently ridiculous statement.
I'm not gay, but I've had to deal with some very traumatic things in my own life, and I've found that when I focus on the positive and work towards the future with that kind of attitude, I'm happier and more effective. When I wallow in everything that is bad, I'm miserable and don't do any good for anyone.
As for the suicide issue, a great many Americans of all backgrounds commit suicide every year, and it's because they are tragically lost inside their own suffering--whatever its cause. Teenagers are especially vulnerable to the unmooring of their emotions from what we call "perspective"--an often experience-based weighing of our selves in context of the wider world. Gay people are not special in this regard, and I think there's something a little perverse about using the emotional state of the most confused and emotionally tormented people as an index for the national culture. Kipesquire could've just as easily pointed out the many, many openly gay people who are living on their terms and kicking ass at life: there are far, far more of them.

P.S. Totally agree about the DADT policy. What a load of crap that is. Every time that policy is mentioned, I think of Mark Bingham on Flight 93 and I get real mad.