Archive for category politics
Okay, call me naive, but it’s been a while, if ever, since I have seen something like this. This line started deep in the back of Specialty’s on Pine Street, snaked out the door, and down the block.
I feel compelled to write something about this tragedy. Fruitvale Bart Station is my stop. I shop at Farmer Joe’s where Grant worked behind the meat counter. Every day this week, as I got off the train, I couldn’t help but try and imagine what happened last week and where it happened. Is it down there, or am I walking by the very spot he was shot? I’ve been imaging all of this because we were in LA when this happened, and up until now, I have only seen stills of the shooting.
Today, I watched three different cell phone videos of the shooting, and man, Oakland is lucky they have seen only a few days of violence, misplaced as it may be.
To me all cops are bent. I sometimes feel bad when I think this, but that’s what it is. I can understand the need to do good and uphold the law, but to do so with a swagger, a uniform, and guns at the ready, as you patrol your beat, I’m sorry, but a cop is not wired the same way I am. And then Bart cops. Not real cops, are they? A glorified security guard with a real gun, perhaps? How many people get their GED, graduate high school, and say, I want to be a Bart cop? Exactly. Yes, many generalizations here, but after all, this is my blog.
Tell me after looking at the videos you can’t help but think that something went terribly wrong here. Look at the body language of the Bart cop, Johannes Mehserle. His animal instinct was to grab a gun, taser or whatever, to let Grant know he had no choice. But Mehserle fucked up. Big time. After the shot, his buddy jumped back, yelled something at him, and Mehserle held up his hands, as if to say I don’t know what just happened. And don’t you just love how the cop buddy turned Grant over like a piece of meat, checking to see that really was a bullet. Not a lot of compassion here.
You’ve got witnesses. Witnesses that were feet away from the shooting, up against the wall, awaiting their fate. Witnesses by the many in the form of Bart police. Witnesses on the train who were taunting, yelling, encouraging, and then scared once they figured out someone was shot. And now you’ve got thousands, if not millions of witnesses, watching these videos on YouTube, and feeling the same way I do now.
Oscar Grant didn’t get his day in court. His verdict came in quickly, noisely, publicly, on New Year’s day in Oakland on a Bart platform. Mehserle can hide all he wants, resign, hide behind his unions and lawyers and due diligance. But give him his day in court. And quickly. Justice needs to happen. We need to start seeing some justice.
It was a perfect day to see a movie. We sloshed our way over to Albany to see Mike Leigh’s “Happy-Go-Lucky.” A wonderful little film and classic Leigh: a well-written character study, great actors, and no-nonsense directing. Of course, now we want to move to England again.
The marquee paid tribute to the film and as is common in the Bay Area, it paid tribute to the times. With just three days left I couldn’t have said it better myself.
On the right is a photo I took while behind a truck today.
Three more days.
When the Budweiser Wassup commercials ran eight years ago, the “wassup” catchphrase quickly became tired and overused, much like those nuggets from Saturday Night Live: “Yeah, that’s the ticket;” “Talk amongst yourselves;” “Well isn’t that special?”, etc.
Tired no more, the Wassup gang is back in time for the election, and they’re brilliant. Wassup!!!!!!
My brother exited the mayor’s office and the first words out of his mouth were, “He’s a good-looking guy.” Yes, my brother has a man-crush on Gavin Newsom. Why? I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the mayor just married me and Shelly, my partner of 17 years.
Rather than getting married on the balcony overlooking the rotunda at City Hall, which is what we did four years ago, Shelly thought it would be cool to get the guy that started it all to marry us. And she did. Because that’s what she does best.
And along with my brother, my parents, Shelly’s mom and sister, our good friends Renee and Cindy, and my pregnant cousin and her husband, we got married in the best place you could be married right now in California.
May the ignorant fools of this state open their eyes and vote No on the anti-marriage proposition in November. Here’s hoping too that this prop doesn’t make it to the ballot.
We’ve been married a few weeks now and things are still going great. Yes, third time’s the charm.
Here’s all the evidence you need to prove that: 1) Gavin was there, 2) we are short, and 3) this really did happen. Great photo by swert!
Fourteen years ago – March 1, 1995 – on Ke’e Beach in Kauai, Shelly and I got married … for the first time. On June 25 of that year we had a party to celebrate that momentous occasion. We had about 60 friends and family at our house and it was 105 degrees in our backyard. We will never forget any of it.
Flash forward to March 1, 2004. SF Mayor Gavin Newsom had declared the existing law around marriage unconstitutional, and so on this day, Shelly and I got married again, the ninth anniversary of our original vows, at City Hall. We were lucky enough to be one of nearly 4,000 couples to get licenses before the state shut it down. My parents were witnesses and our friends Renee and Cindy were there cheering us on. Apparently the second time was not the charm and the state nullified all of these marriages. We still have all the official documents though and our picture ran in the Oakland Tribune.
Which brings me to today. The California Supreme Court, following in the footsteps of Massachusetts, ruled yesterday that the existing law declaring marriage between a man and a woman is unconstitutional.
So, here we go again. We could wait until next March to renew our vows for the third time in San Francisco or we can seize the moment and in solidarity with our sisters and brothers, get married now. There’s a chance that the haters will get a measure onto the November ballot to erase the gains the court has made.
What did we decide? See you at City Hall on June 25. Third time’s the charm?
I cannot think of a better way to kick off this blog than with a travel-related post. Don’t worry, as this blog takes shape it will have more of a focus. Until then, things are going to be a bit random.
So, Shelly and I have done our fair share of traveling: England – twice, France – once, Thailand – once (so far), Mexico – once, and so on. Needless to say we have exited and entered the US of A on a number of occasions.
Imagine our surprise when we discovered on the way back from Mexico that entering the U.S. through Customs in Houston, Texas turned out to be the worst customs experience ever.
We were literally rushing from all points of our Houston “layover” because our plane from Cancun was late and our plane to SF was already boarding. (It sure didn’t help when our airline agent told us to rush when we grabbed our bags.)
We moved through the long line of people, Shelly clutching our filled out form – one form per person or one form per family. Our friends get called to the station next to us and quickly make it through. We get to our station and the agent refuses us as a couple and our filled-out form by stating that we are not a family, not brothers or sisters or what have you. No amount of arguing would suffice for this puffed up wannabe CHiPs agent with the first name of Van. He ordered me back behind the yellow line to fill out my form, as he lets Shelly and others go through, and then had the audacity to scrutinize my form with twisted glee. To say he was an asshole is an understatement.
Did I mention that the Houston airport is called Bush International?