Words By S.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

My Love Affair With Johnny Weir.

Everyone and their mother is discussing Johnny Weir these days.  He is very much in the spotlight and consistently polarizes people, even more so with his ever popular television show, Be Good Johnny Weir.  My foray into his world is a very new and recent one – and I wish to share my story of Johnny discovery with you all.  It is one of gross misconception, ignorance, and finally becoming enlightened and enthralled. (more…)

Friday, 16 October 2009

1967 All Over Again.

Filed under: Humanity,Interesting News Links,Politics — S @ 6:11 am

Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.

By MARY FOSTER, Associated Press Writer

Friday, October 16, 2009

(10-16) 01:50 PDT New Orleans (AP) —

A white Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have.

Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.

“I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,” Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. “I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else.”

Bardwell said he asks everyone who calls about marriage if they are a mixed race couple. If they are, he does not marry them, he said.

Bardwell said he has discussed the topic with blacks and whites, along with witnessing some interracial marriages. He came to the conclusion that most of black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society, he said.

“There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage,” Bardwell said. “I think those children suffer and I won’t help put them through it.”

If he did an interracial marriage for one couple, he must do the same for all, he said.

“I try to treat everyone equally,” he said.

Bardwell estimates that he has refused to marry about four couples during his career, all in the past 2 1/2 years.

Beth Humphrey, 30, and 32-year-old Terence McKay, both of Hammond, say they will consult the U.S. Justice Department about filing a discrimination complaint.

Humphrey, an account manager for a marketing firm, said she and McKay, a welder, just returned to Louisiana. She is white and he is black. She plans to enroll in the University of New Orleans to pursue a masters degree in minority politics.

“That was one thing that made this so unbelievable,” she said. “It’s not something you expect in this day and age.”

Humphrey said she called Bardwell on Oct. 6 to inquire about getting a marriage license signed. She says Bardwell’s wife told her that Bardwell will not sign marriage licenses for interracial couples. Bardwell suggested the couple go to another justice of the peace in the parish who agreed to marry them.

“We are looking forward to having children,” Humphrey said. “And all our friends and co-workers have been very supportive. Except for this, we’re typical happy newlyweds.”

“It is really astonishing and disappointing to see this come up in 2009,” said American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana attorney Katie Schwartzmann. She said the Supreme Court ruled in 1967 “that the government cannot tell people who they can and cannot marry.”

The ACLU sent a letter to the Louisiana Judiciary Committee, which oversees the state justices of the peace, asking them to investigate Bardwell and recommending “the most severe sanctions available, because such blatant bigotry poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the administration of justice.”

“He knew he was breaking the law, but continued to do it,” Schwartzmann said.

According to the clerk of court’s office, application for a marriage license must be made three days before the ceremony because there is a 72-hour waiting period. The applicants are asked if they have previously been married. If so, they must show how the marriage ended, such as divorce.

Other than that, all they need is a birth certificate and Social Security card.

The license fee is $35, and the license must be signed by a Louisiana minister, justice of the peace or judge. The original is returned to the clerk’s office.

“I’ve been a justice of the peace for 34 years and I don’t think I’ve mistreated anybody,” Bardwell said. “I’ve made some mistakes, but you have too. I didn’t tell this couple they couldn’t get married. I just told them I wouldn’t do it.”

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/10/15/national/a124653D11.DTL&tsp=1

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Inspired By the Unlikely.

Filed under: Humanity,Life,Travel — S @ 4:06 pm

I received an e-mail from a friend who recently returned from a trip to East Africa. Something that I should be so brave to do, but that’s neither here nor there.

The e-mail chronicled her adventures and experiences – from the frustrations to the most inspiring moments. The most interesting part of the e-mail was the extremes – from being surrounded by uneducated adults unwilling to learn and better their situation, to meeting a group of children who were so excited to learn that, rather than take their winter vacation as scheduled, they requested school stay open so that they would have a chance to learn from a group of foreigners.

I think that what struck me most was reading about children who loved learning so much. The complete contrast of American children who jump at the chance to have extended time off from school.

I’ve heard that African children are amazing people in terms of their willingness and desire to learn – who hasn’t heard that story about Oprah and the girls from South Africa who wanted a school rather than a car or a shopping spree? However, to hear about it from someone I’m relatively close to makes the impact of it much greater.

It’s strange, really, that the most inspiring and amazing are the people that have nothing, and the people who consistently have the opportunity for greatness almost always let it go to waste.

It got me thinking, were I in school and I had been in a similar situation – having an opportunity to learn something from a group of visitors – would I jump at the chance to do so like these kids did?

Probably not.

But, why is that?

It’s certainly not because I don’t like to learn. I do.

I’m not particularly lazy.

Is it my culture?

But, how is there such a vast difference between these two cultures?

And, how many people can say that they would rather learn than have a vacation?

In about a month’s time, I leave for Eastern Europe. A place I’ve never been before, to relish in three different countries that I’ve only imagined going to.

I can only hope that I have as amazing a time as my friend did in Africa.

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

The Human Condition

Filed under: Humanity,Life,Ramblings — S @ 12:39 am

I’ve had several discussions today about humanity, in general.

One was in terms of technological and evolutionary advancement. It is absolutely amazing to know, or rather to be aware of and to recognize, that humans were able to create so much from absolutely nothing. To know that billions of years ago, there was no such thing as language, and then a group of humans came up with this intricate way to communicate that began to evolve and to manifest into different forms, and into the hundreds of different languages we have today.

It is also amazing to see what Early Man was able to accomplish within the realm of technology. The idea that agriculture, hunting tools, building shelter, making clothing, coming up with a currency system all stemmed from curiosity, survival, and general intelligence. It’s amazing and admirable at the same time.

However, to now be at the point where Evolved Man is gradually destroying and undoing billions of years of work and curiosity, and evolution is incredibly depressing. And that’s what I mean when I say “The Human Condition”. Humanity has reached a point where there is the feeling of entitlement and superiority. Where we can bastardize hard work and take everything for granted. Where nothing has any sort of sacred meaning anymore.

Humanity, as a whole, does not appreciate the technology that has been accomplished. A prime example of this is the notion that in not too long from now, humans will be able to colonize Mars. Thoughts like this upset me the most because I look at how Man treats Earth and each other. How we feel entitled to infiltrate other ways of life and completely destroy it for the sole purpose of cloning our own cultures. We destroy Earth, our own planet, and decide that we’re too great to stay here and that we must expand onto other planets within the galaxy.

This leads me to believe that the Human Condition is to destroy everything around us.

Think of one of the most basic entities to come from Early Man’s beginnings of civilization – mythology. Creation stories to explain how life works. Different theories to explain natural rhythms. Yet, the Human Condition has lead us to become so egotistical and superior that we’re able to have Holy Wars to try and prove that one mythology is better than the other. And unless it comes from Ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt – don’t you dare refer to it as mythology. When referred to as a mythology it then becomes trivialized, and can no longer be treated as Dogma, Religion, Doctrine, what ever it is you choose to refer to it as.

Another symptom of the Human Condition is the manner in which we treat each other. When “feeling” becomes a mere thing that can be objectified. When “future” doesn’t matter – only the here and now. How I treat you today matters only today, and only to me – there are no future repercussions, and you are merely an object to me. You are something with which I can play, brag about, and use to boost myself. “I” am the only one that matters.

We live in a time where everything exists only in terms of the Human. When if some organism exists in opposition to the Human, the Human’s duty is to destroy it. When Human becomes the “be all” and “say all” in terms of culture. When everything must look alike, act alike, think alike and exist alike (Big Brother syndrome). If it is different, then the Human must destroy it.

Thus, the purpose of the Human is to live in terms of the Human Condition – no more curiosity, discovery, trial and error – unless it is to service the ego of the Human.

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