Sunday, September 12, 2010

Political Art..and Gay Marriage

Written on 9/8/2010

Today we listened to some Arabic Hip Hop (in Arabic) with an English translation in front of us about the patriotic value of Palestinian clothing. It's a political song/rap/thing instead of just a rap/song/thing to make money like lots of songs in America are (but NOT NEARLY ALL OF THEM). When I went to Europe 2.5 years ago, our tour guide Tim told us that European graffiti isn't like American graffiti in that a lot of it is political instead of "Tim was here" or "Nick and Joanna 4EVA."
Is this because Americans don't care much about politics, or don't want/don't feel like advocating for change, or just because they're too lazy to pay attention? I think a lot of people's thought processes are "He/she's in my party. I'll vote for him/her" or "OMG OBAMA'S A MUSLIM WE MUST DO SOMETHING!!" Or, if you're like my great grandma, it's more like "He's cute. I'll vote for him."
Honestly, I fall into the third category. I'm interested, but I don't take the time to really look into the different candidates (of course, I haven't been alive for/old enough to really care about more than one election). During both of the Bush elections, it was basically "Daddy, who do we want to win?" "I like Al Gore a lot." "Okay." and then "Who do we want to win?" "Not Bush, which means Kerry." "Okay."
This past time, I knew that Obama was pro-choice (at least, more so than McCain), and I knew that he supported gay rights (at least, more so than McCain) which is supported by this article I just found. Quote from said article:

"President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes that...we need to enact legislation that would ensure the 1100+ (I believe it's 1138, if I remember correctly from my research for my speech last fall) the federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions."

So basically, he doesn't want same-sex couples to use the term "marriage," but he wants them to have equal rights to heterosexual legally-joined couples. 
Which is fine by me, actually. The only reason I would prefer being married to my hypothetical husband as opposed to being in a civil union with him (assuming at this point the civil unions have equal rights to marriage) would be that the term "civil union" is looked down upon. Which is also the only reason I'd rather have same-sex couples be able to be married.
John Barrowman (the guy that plays Captain Jack on Doctor Who and Torchwood) says "Why would I want to use a term from a religion that hates me?" when referring to his legal bond between him and his partner whose name I don't know.

And that's pretty much all I knew about Obama other than the obvious (he's our first African American president, and he's a democrat, etc.). Those were two issues I cared about, and he matched the criteria. I didn't bother researching any of the other stuff (actually, I didn't even research this stuff- I just heard about it), and I even if I hadn't known, I'd have gone with the "John McCain's a old conservative Christian white man (and while none of those 5 things are necessarily bad in and of themselves, all of them combined pretty much guarantees the stereotype, from what I've noticed), therefore I probably disagree with him, therefore I will support Obama."

But I'm still stereotyping in that case, and even though I care about these issues, am I doing anything about them other than writing this post and my speech last year? No. other countries simply care about their countries more, or are we just particularly awesome at ignoring the problems we have? Or is it just that the majority of us don't think that they're problems, or aren't even aware of the problems?


  1. I have wondered the same as you. Interesting tidbit about the graffiti. Although I am much older than you, I wasn't a child of the 60s...during the Vietnam war years. I was still a baby so my memories of that are based from the news. It seems we had a different group of people in that era: they cared about the war, they cared about race relations, they cared about equality. I feel that in our nation now, we have the Snookies and the Situation as our stereotypical citizen, who care nothing -- and are ignorantly blissful -- about what our nation, and our world, is going through.

    I am not an active political person. I probably do a tad bit more than you, at my age, and do a little bit of research on those who I think align with my thoughts. I tend to keep the stereotype of Republicans (like yours) and know they won't have anything common with my views.

    So in summary, it can either be said: 1. Europeans care more about their politics than the US or 2. Americans are so shallow that it makes it appear that Europeans care more about their politics...

  2. Same here. I think politics are interesting, but at the same time, I don't really get into them. I, too, am a Democrat, but if we had a great, brilliant person running for Republican and a dumbbell as a Democrat, I'd vote Republican (that is, provided I was legal age).

    PS. I support gay union.

  3. I have been with my partner for twenty eight years. I still remember how scary it was to come out in the 70's -- even in NYC. I'm an artist now living in Ithaca, NY and for several years now I've been working on a series about marriage equality. It really feels like we're on the tipping point, and I could hardly be more excited. I don't believe civil unions will ever be enough -- it is akin to the "separate but equal" laws that were abolished by the civil rights movement of the 50's and 60's.

    If you're interested, check out my work at


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