What the hell?
We should talk. Or perhaps not.
[Trigger warning for homophobia and violence]
As you are undoubtedly aware, on Saturday, May 28, Moscow police stood idly by as protesters attacked participants in Moscow’s pride parade. Following the attack, [TW] police arrested several victims of the attack, including at least two Americans. Just prior to the parade, Russian authorities revoked parade organizers’ permit. Irrespective of the veracity rumors of police officers’ participation in the beatings, this last minute withdrawal clearly set the stage for this year’s parade to become the scene of violence, as has been the case in past years.
While I know you’re busy, I ask you to indulge a personal tangent.
Ten years ago this March, my partner and I went on our first date. We spent a week traveling throughout Estonia and Latvia (how this came to be our first date is a somewhat longer story). It was truly a magical experience, and we both cherish our memories of holding each other close while we explored Riga’s streets as winter sighed its last gasp.
Over the past ten years, our lives have changed. Seemingly ages ago, I came out as a transsexual woman. My partner and I are a very happy openly queer couple. We can’t go back to Riga. We fear that even in flusher times, we won’t be able to show our daughter the countryside from whence her ancestors fled war and poverty for life in the United States.
All that has changed in the last ten years is that my family no longer fits the narrow image that reactionary forces are willing to accept. This, and this alone, is enough to expose us to the threat of state-sanctioned violence.
Latvia is very proudly not Russia, and this is not about tourism.
There are people throughout Russia and throughout the world who are living in fear because of their governments’ distaste of their gender or sexuality. Some of these people are American citizens, such as those beaten and arrested this past weekend.
I understand the importance and delicacy of America’s relationship with the Russian government. However, I also understand the importance of our relationship with the Russian people– all of them.
I ask you to condemn the Russian government for its hateful, violent actions, and to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to human rights.
Blogger is down and Twitter is over capacity.
CELEBRITIES ARE SAYING STUFF AND I HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING WHAT.
:takes pill, breathes deeply:
In the aftermath of the decision to raid Osama bin Laden’s house, the U.S. government has eagerly passed the media any bits of intelligence. Bin Laden is dead. You can’t see his picture (although CBS News seemed perfectly willing to display post-mortum images of his son on May 4– the relevant video is still up online, BTW), but he’s dead. There were computers, a lot of computers. It turns out al Qaeda was contemplating attacking the U.S. Maybe it was going to go after Amtrak. Fine, I’m suitably: a) terrified, and b) convinced the raid was a really awesome idea.
However, I’m a storyteller. I have to say that I’ve found none of this (including the bit that resembled a Steven Segal vehicle) particularly interesting. Terrifying terrorists are terrible. :Yawn:
We sent six guys with cameras into Bin Laden’s house, and they took all sorts of goodies out. While I know (or perhaps hope) the New York Times wishes to avoid being confused with US Weekly, there’s value in learning about al Qaeda’s inner-circle on a more personal level.
Bin Laden’s three wifes were with him in Abbottabad, and are now in U.S. custody. For obvious reasons, the military’s current focus is on what these women know. That’s mighty important, but I also want to know what they think about, well, anything. Please, please, please tell me that I’ll be seeing more stories like this in the coming weeks. While I’m not inclined to see bin Laden’s youngest wife, Amal Ahmed Abdul Fatah, treated as mere spectacle, there’s a lot we can learn about al Qaeda’s humanity (and lack thereof) by listening to those closest to their leaders.
This is not to say that the U.S. needs to upend the lives of bin Laden’s relatives any more than it already has. There are a lot of people around the world who are married to cruel spouses, not all of them in consensual relationships. None of us has control over who our parents are, which is to say that someone had to be bin Laden’s kids. While I think it’s important that bin Laden’s relatives have the opportunity to tell their story, I’d hope that my nation would have the decency to not exhibit them.
However, U.S. troops did, in fact, discover any manner of objects within the bin Laden compound. So, what of it? Read more…
I don’t make a habit of critiquing what groceries other people are buying, but that doesn’t mean I’m oblivious. Tonight, the guy in line behind me was buying potatoes, wieners, and buns. Well, he was buying all of that and a huge bag of straight-cut French fries.
I admit it. I tittered.
On a day when some Americans are celebrating the macabre, I give you the following, shot across the street from the World Trade Center site last May:
[A concrete pole under a knit cover patterned after the US flag]