Monthly Archives: July 2003

Gay Marriage

Last week I mentioned that I wanted to comment on Maggie Gallagher’s piece on the marriage debate for it angered me greatly when I read it (of course reading this ultra-conservative approach will always anger me so I don’t know why I do it). Of course, there’s a whole blog related to the topic at marriagedebate.com.

Apparently, losing the marriage argument ‘means losing the idea that children need mothers and fathers’. How? Why does the fact that you allow same-sex couples to marry suddenly mean heterosexual couples won’t form unions and families (married or not) and somehow deprive children of their parents?

And how do you get to “The consequences of our current retreat from marriage is not a flourishing libertarian social order, but a gigantic expansion of state power and a vast increase in social disorder and human suffering”?

There is a huge misunderstanding here. Why is it always assumed that, by allowing same-sex couples to form recognised partnerships, that everybody else will stop. It’s not as if all the straight people in the world are suddenly going to decide not to marry because another group of people can. Why would they? If Maggie’s quoted ‘marriage recovery’ exists then it is from a change in the way people relate to each other and not because gay couples can not marry. It’s not a choice of one or the other for gay couples. They will not form heterosexual marriages because they can’t have a legally binding partnership of their own. They will simply continue to suffer.

I believe I have a reasonably wide circle of friends both gay and straight. Of all the gay couples I know many have been together for a very long time. By allowing those couples to marry we do not stop children from having mothers and fathers nor suddenly see an expansion of state power.

So, why are traditional marriage supporters so afraid?

On this day…

2002: Nearly The End of July

Business Like Apples

I am always impressed by the passionate users Apple Computers throw up. Whenever I work with a Mac user they are always 100% committed to the operating system and everything Mac – to the extent many of them will use personal machines in the office if they have been forced to sit at a Windows box all day long (amusingly, Tom has to get used to an office-based Windows machine – an entry I read immediatly before I opened this Windows alert). It really is interesting because with large number of ambassadors why isn’t Apple the biggest supplier of office-based/home-based computing power?

I’m constantly tempted but never have the nerve to jump into the great lake Mac. I was once a Systems Administrator who suffered trying to network a Mac with a group of PCs and a whole stack of Solaris and Linux systems but I accept that was years ago and probably a result of my own failings rather than anything to do with the machine. What is it that is stopping me? I wish I could put my finger on it.

There aren’t many companies that have this level of loyalty and you rarely read about a Microsoft user that has such passion – although there must be some (Americans put Microsoft at number 5 in the best of brands league). I used to be passionate about my trusty Palm Vx machine but now see it purely as a tool (maybe I’ll get excited again if I ever get the cash together for a Tungsten). Perhaps the toning down of my Palm evangelism is more to do with the fact that the PDA concept is now more widely accepted and I don’t have to convert people the way I used to.

Still, there must be lessons to learn from Apple if you’re in the business of inspiring customer loyalty and building a brand. What they are, I’m not sure, but I wish I could bottle it.

On this day…

2004: It's Getting Warm In London
2004: It’s Getting Warm In London
2003: Dannii Minogue 'invents new dance'
2003: Dannii Minogue ‘invents new dance’
2002: Ministry of Truth

Buffalo Soldiers

Buffalo Soldiers was an attempt at a satirical take on the state of the US Army. Of course it was all made before the terrorist attacks of September 2001 and the war in Iraq of 2003 and has spent some time on the shelf until it was decided to release it.

Ray Elwood (Joaquin Phoenix) is the clerk for a supply unit of the US Army and is running every black-market racket he can until a new seargent picks up the scent of the corruption and starts to root it out.

I found it a little disappointing as the story seemed narrow and predictable. Phoenix is good and brooding but not convincingly the type to go up against gang-land Germany in the days before the Berlin-wall fell. Ed Harris as Col. Berman, Scott Glenn as Sgt. Robert E. Lee are notable performances and Anna Paquin as the love-interest was well-played.

You do seem to side with Elwood (who is certainly not the good guy here) over the honesty of the others – which maybe as the writers intended – but you can’t help feeling that you wish this movie had more depth. Comparisons to M*A*S*H may be spot-on.

On this day…

2007: Read The Manual
2005: My Idea Changed
2004: Administrative Apologies
2003: Another Russian Birthday
2003: Not Another Teen Movie
2002: How do you say Happy Birthday in Russian?
2002: Marry Me

Another Russian Birthday

Another year has passed and it’s my Dad’s birthday again. Last year he was somewhere in Russia – actually he’s in Astana which I know isn’t Russia – and I was asking if anybody knew Happy Birthday in Russian.

Well, this, apparently, is it (although clearly it could say anything):

Apparently this text says Happy Birthday in Russian

So, for next year I just need the sound file. How do you actually say that?

On this day…

2007: Read The Manual
2005: My Idea Changed
2004: Administrative Apologies
2003: Buffalo Soldiers
2003: Not Another Teen Movie
2002: How do you say Happy Birthday in Russian?
2002: Marry Me

Not Another Teen Movie

This is Chris Evans from Not Another Teen MovieWhen we returned from Pride in the Park 2003, wet and exhausted but having had a thoroughly fantastic day, PY and I set about eating and watching a movie on Sky Box Office (more Pride in the Park at The Independent and at
BBC News
).

We chose Not Another Teen Movie, simply because we thought it wouldn’t actually tax us and therefore we could just enjoy it. Well, it’s not a great movie, there’s plenty of toilet humour and it’s not that well acted. But it certainly taxed us. We spent the whole 90 minutes or so trying to guess all the references to other teen movies (and I spent just about as much time lusting after the lead actor, who has the unfortunate name of Chris Evans – if you’re British you’ll understand why it’s unfortunate). Even
Molly Ringwald
got a look in!

Verdict: As a night in it’s much more fun to play guess the movie than try to follow this film. A fun film for sure!

On this day…

2007: Read The Manual
2005: My Idea Changed
2004: Administrative Apologies
2003: Buffalo Soldiers
2003: Another Russian Birthday
2002: How do you say Happy Birthday in Russian?
2002: Marry Me

Pride

Well despite the weather and the somewhat officious woman searching by bag on entry, this year’s Pride in the Park in Hyde Park was fabulous – the best I have been to (probably ever – although my first Pride on Clapham Common was pretty cool too).

After breakfast at a friend’s house, PY and I headed down to Embankment for the parade. This is the first time I’ve ever marched with the crowd and it was brilliant – the only downside of actually taking part is that you do not get to see it all. In a bid to overcome this, we ran ahead and watched part of the parade (including the fabulous OutEverywhere bus) and then joined in at some point (for a great deal of the time we marched near a float that Josh from a previous Big Brother was prancing about on). The atmosphere was superb and the crowds watching were huge. Coming up to Piccadilly Circus was just a mass of people – it was quite exciting really.

Then we made the park. We made our way to the main stage and seeing Liberty X (who were surprisingly good), Ulta Nate (who sang a whole stack of songs that I was familiar with) and Blue (who were also very good). Later in the day we caught Tom Robinson and Jimmy Sommerville (this after standing on the sidelines singing along to Bananarama – but as nobody has a picture of that I will deny it at a later date).

At some point in the afternoon – just after it started to rain – we had a wander around the market stalls (which seemed more varied than other times) and had a poke in some of the dance tents (although it’s not really my thing). By late afternoon, the rain was pouring but spirits were not dampened (and. luckily, for most of the afternoon the ground in Hyde Park held up).

It was an exhausting day but it was worth it and it was great to be with a bunch of other homos just having a good time. There will be some pictures in the gallery, eventually.

UPDATE: Other sites:

On this day…

2002: Back To A Normal Life

Home again

I have been North – both for pleasure and business – which was an enjoyable break from London. On my travels I took in a great restaurant in Halifax, The Lowry at Salford Quays and the countryside around Burnley. Sometimes, it’s a shame you have to come home. I may post pictures soon.

So, what have I missed? Well, to be honest, not a great deal thanks to the wonders of Google News and the advanced search feature (how did I miss that before?). I was able to keep in touch thanks to the blog aggregator service at Bloglines – which I can’t help but recommend to all. I also managed to buy a walking hand (which pleased me greatly) and solved a birthday present problem. And, before I forget, Jason Kottke came up with another entry that derves a link (Another? It’s the second I’ve linked in as many weeks).

On a more serious note, I paused in my ranting about Blood on Blair’s hands after reading a very considered piece by David Aaronovitch in Tuesday’s Guardian:

Perhaps their authors would like to speculate on the other 4,500 people who committed suicide in England last year, and who – exactly – drove them to it. It might help the coroners [Source: Why suicide? Only one person knows, The Guardian, via Politx]

I was irritated by Peter Cuthbertson’s piece on Michael Moore – who I do believe does some good work – but, after consideration, accepted that Michael Moore is not only an astute political commentator but also in the business of selling books and TV shows. Therefore, I concede, he may be prone to some exaggeration for effect on occasions. I don’t think what Peter has written (or quoted) really proved that anything was fabricated in Stupid White Men or, my personal favorite of Moore’s work, Bowling for Columbine. Of course I only read Cuthbertson’s Conservative Commentary to be irritated so I’m not sure why I was surprised.

Cuthbertson also pointed me to a piece at National Review Online about gay marriage – which I feel compelled to comment on, but not now.

On this day…

2005: Button On The Podium
2002: City Hall