The Truth about Legal Marriage: None of Your Business

We simply must divorce marriage from religion, and religion from the law. Religion is private, the law is public.

You are free to worship as you choose, and practice whatever moral code you wish as long as you do not harm or deny property to someone else. Your sexuality is none of my business, and the sex lives of our fellow citizens are none of our business.

The law is a public commodity, available to all citizens and residents of this nation. If two people are allowed to join in a shared partnership with intentions of remaining so for the remainder of their lives, it makes no difference what gender either person is.

Religion is held by individuals, often in relationship to a religious order – a church, temple, parish, denomination, sect, ashram, faith, circle, whatever. If two people are to exchange vows in front of an assembly gathered in a church, learning of and agreeing to the covenant of marriage with the blessing of that community and their deity – that’s none of our business. It’s a private ceremony. The couple asks the congregation for their blessing and support, and that blessing and support may come with a mutually-held moral code.

The law does not make a marriage last, and neither does religious ceremony. The relationship between two individuals evolves. The community can influence the interactions and decisions the couple make about the relationship, but it does not keep them together nor tear them asunder. So family integrity may be supported by religious belief and fiscal consequence, but it is most certainly not assured.

Thus make no law you cannot enforce. Do not deny couples the right to be together when one is sick. Do not deny couples the right to make a long-term financial commitment, such as a mortgage, together. Do not discriminate against another solely because their morality and views do not agree with yours.

It’s a simple matter of respect. You would not tolerate a ban on heterosexual marriage no matter how many hearts have been broken, people swindled, children traumatized or infidelities committed in the name of marriage.

Now, let’s stop arguing about the stupid stuff and fix the nation.

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Fame & Misfortune at the McNay

The McNay Art Museum is exhibiting a special collection of Andy Warhol’s most iconic reflections. Cat and I met poets Don Mathis, Lia Fagin and Rod Stryker. The following is my “review” of the exhibit.

Stand before me, American Reality,
Strike a pose
I will paint you as I perceive you
I will construct and deconstruct
I will screen your pixelbits

Say I portray your worst
Say I merely copy
Say it’s unAmerican
Say myths of my parties
Say I can’t be understood
Say I am contrived
Say it a lot
I like that

I come obsessed with your obsessions
Beimaging your guilty deaths
Portraying the denizens of your pantry
Massaging fame images you proliferated
Here, partake of this, our communion,
European masterwork iconography you learned to cherish
Visages of Jesus I bounced off the walls of the American living room

Question my motivations
Question my madness
Question my quiet revelry
Question my orientation
Question a lot
I like that

For all the answers are the same:
“nothing behind it”

Three Mirrors

My dresser has three mirrors
And not one has the truth.
Left outrages when wrong, yet
Plays so strong when right
Right cringes with who I am
Frightened by the actual
Center accepts the whole,
Resting in faithful fortune.
These are the man that travels
To meet his son known for eight years
Through an exchange of words,
Personal and scholarly
Heart and mind
Such gift cannot be deserved
The man I am travels this Friday.

I Marched with Dr. King on Monday

I marched with Dr. King on Monday.
He was Pregnant and pushing a Stroller,
Committed to raising all Children,
Red and Yellow, Black and White,
Rich and Poor, raising All Children
to Fulfill the Dream.

I marched with Dr. King on Monday.
He was wearing a Corporate Volunteer tshirt,
Committed to making Opportunities for all Workers,
Management and Laborer, Hourly and Salaried,
Investor and Freelancer, opportunities for All Workers
to Pursue Happiness.

I marched past Dr. King’s House on Monday.
He had Signs out front, not fancy mass produced signs,
He had Hand-Lettered Signs, Old Signs, Signs inked that very Morning,
Signs of Free Speech, Signs of Faithful Belief,
Calling, “Use well your Voting Rights
We fought too hard to win them for you to let them pass unused.”

I heard Dr. King speak on Monday,
Not on the Big Stage with its megascreen displays,
But on the Martin Luther King Freedom Bridge,
All the way down Martin Luther King Boulevard
Across the Pittman Sullivan fields,
100,000 Strong he was, People making use of the Banker’s Holiday,
Making their Stand One Step at a Time, Singing:
“Do what you must to us, take all the advantage you must, but
Freedom will Last, Freedom will Last,
Thank God All Mighty, Freedom will Last.”

– gary s. whitford

Every tune, perfect to the moment

The mathematic construct of music offers a mathematic perfection, seemingly able to precisely recreate a performance, right down to the inhale and true to the exact expression. Be not so foolish as to believe this.

Disregard recorded music for the moment, reserve it for an advanced discussion.

Live performance cannot be duplicated. Play it once, now play it again. Not only did the first iteration inform the reprise, but now is a different moment – each playing exists in a unique moment.

Consider, then, the judgement of a “bad” performance. Some critics can dis a rendition based on one flat note. Occasionally, a performance will completely fall apart, with one or more players losing their way, playing the wrong changes and the tune falls apart. Allow me, please to defend the worst and redeem the rest.

We are playing the song, in this moment, at this time, for this audience – sometimes only the players are present. We are using our minds to navigate, but we are playing with our fingers and feet, our lungs and throats, our mouths and shakin’ booties. This is the performance of this moment, coming from the understanding and emotion we hold for this song, this band and our own souls. It can be no less than perfect, just the way it is.

It is quite possible we could play it “better” – more mathematically accurate, more natural, more dynamic, whatever. It is equally possible that this performance is the apex, we may never play it better. But you know what?

It’s perfect, just like that. Every tune, every time, right on moment, oh yes.

do

do

unfinished gifts

don’t go back to sleep

MANIFEST your self, destiny, purpose

love without money is open to question

the door is round and open

take care of busine$$

now

I am

deserve

here

this

a minute is a terrible thing to waste

connect mind and action for positive result

in the arc of the mallet

you must ask for what you want

tao

the only way anything gets done is when you do it

work for a true living

plant more, till more, pay attention to the farm

the breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you

people are going back and forth across the doorsill

d’etre

BE

get ‘er done

* – italics are excerpts from Rumi poems used in Philip Glass, Monsters of Grace

072411

friend

friend

No treasure more valuable than a person you can count on time after time

dance

long time comin…

perception

wisdom

joy

righteous fatherhood

some serve by knowing how it begins, how it ends and what song comes next

musicality

peace

God bless a soul who takes dreams seriously and does somethin’ about it

for John Whipple by noblsavaj 091711