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Friday, April 20, 2001

I'm having one of those days where I'm really glad I'm a Californian.

First Ian sent this a link to this article from the Austin Chronicle. In Texas, it's illegal to sell anything that has the purpose of stimulating genitals. Thank god we've got nice tasteful sex stores here in the Bay Area. I love browsing in Good Vibrations. It really takes the tawdry, tacky feel out of the task of selecting good sex-positive literature or a great lube. Of course, Good Vibrations would be illegal if I lived in Texas. Oddly enough, selling porn isn't illegal in Texas. Isn't the purpose of that to stimulate the genitals, albeit less directly than your average vibrator.

Then there's the article in the Palo Alto Daily News about the one dance club in Provo, Utah. The only dance club in Provo, Utah. A new ordinance was passed that says they have to install surveillance cameras and hire security guards. In fact, anyone wishing to hold a dance party of any kind (uh, Gaskells?) has to have surveillance cameras and security guards. Why? Well in the last three years, there have been 9 calls to the police for disorderly conduct from people there. Of course, the bar down the street has had nearly 25 calls in the same time period. But they don't do anything sinful like dancing there! It brings to mind one time at Janelle's in Sacramento when we were having a dance party there and her crazy next door neighbor called the police because of the noise. (Mind you, this is the same woman who complained the night of the poker party because she could hear the chips rattling.) The police arrived to a roomful of dancers waltzing to Strauss and Tchaikovsky. They were very, very confused and didn't quite know how to deal with us. They asked if we could consider trying to keep it down. We cheerfully said, "No problem. Do you waltz?"

Then I was listening to NPR on my way to the Stanford Linear Accelerator for a tour last night. I got so incensed that I started writing stuff down at the stoplight. It seems that the public television station in Idaho now has to get approval for everything they show, even if it's distributed by PBS and shown nationally. All this is because of a couple of shows that seemed to portay homosexuals as fairly normal people rather than deviant freaks. (Imagine that!) Two shows: It's Elementary and Our House got poeple so riled up that they now have the Idaho Board of Education approving every program prior to broadcast. Plus, the channel has to show broadcast disclaimer before EVERY show that says that they are not promoting illegal activity. It is actually illegal to live as a homosexual in Idaho, and there they don't take it as some weird leftover law on the books from a hundred years ago. Nope. They're serious. If you're a man, living with your life partner, doing nothing untoward in public, they may just arrest you in Idaho. Yikes! Oh and what about that pesky First Amendment anyway? Well, since the Idaho public television station is funded with taxpayer dollars, they shouldn't be able to broadcast anything controversial. No really! The guy they were interviewing really said that! I couldn't believe my ears. I couldn't believe he actually said they shouldn't be able to broadcast ANYTHING controversial. The real punchline is that in the next breath he suggested that there should be equal airtime for non-evolutionary science programs. Not that creation-myth-as-fact is uncontroversial or anything.

Add to this the actions of our charming new president last week when he decided to cut contraceptives out of the health plan for all federal workers. Wasn't there a court ruling about that sort of thing recently? Hopefully Planned Parenthood is preparing a legal case now. I don't think I've made it through a single week since George W. took office that I haven't wanted to scream over something asinine that he's done/been responsible for. Please, oh please, let the democrats come up with a viable candidate for 2004. Please please please!

Meanwhile, in California, or San Francisco to be exact, city workers there are about to get coverage for sex change operations added to the benefits of their health plan. Thank god I live in California. Call me a wacky liberal, hippie, tree hugging, granola-eating, fornicating pagan if you will, but I just can't take offense.


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