"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Disaster of Obamacare

This comment, left at this post by Ed Kilgore:

Ed, Watertown MA on June 29, 2012 10:57 AM:

To all the handwringing, all I can say is look to Massachusetts. We already have a working model of how this will play out.

1). After initial griping, and a few longer doctor's waiting room delays as previously uninsured people hookup with their new Primary Care Physician, both patients and Doctors will become supporters.

2). Less than 2% of people will decide that they would rather pay additional taxes than get covered by health insurance.

3). Insurers will come up with a variety of different and innovative insurance plans that they will offer through the exchanges. Almost everyone will find something that they can afford that will allow them to get at least a minimum level of coverage and avoid being forced into bankruptcy by a medical emergency.

4). After the first few years, savings will start to appear as people go to their Primary Care Physician for preventative care as opposed to going to Emergency rooms, forcing the taxpayers to pay for the most expensive type of medical care.

5). Those of us working as Independent Contractors and Entrepeneurs will finally be able to find affordable coverage on the exchanges. People will no longer feel forced to stay at a job they hate just to keep health coverage. Now they can take a chance on starting new businesses without fear that they are putting their family at risk. New startups in Massachusetts are among the highest in the nation.

6). I don't know if it will translate across the country, but Massachusetts since instituting "RomneyCare" has been growing faster than almost all other states. As of May, we are now down to 6% unemployment. Much better than the national average of 8.2%: http://lmi2.detma.org/Lmi/News_release_state.asp

7). Paying for all this has increased the state budget by only 1% which has since been more than offset by the increased tax revenues from more employed workers.

So my final word? Chill out and stop listening to the people with the dire predictions. They have an alternative agenda. They are not trying to do the right thing for America. They just want to win the next election no matter how much damage they do.

There's not really a lot to say past that -- it's going to work, which is the part the right wing hates most of all. I still think Roberts voted to uphold the mandate because it means more customers for insurance companies -- business was largely silent on this one, except for a few who supported the mandate. No corporate interests seem to have been opposed. I think that explains Roberts' vote well enough.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Correction du Jour

The best -- from HuffPo:

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to the large hadron collider as a large "hardon" collider. Unfortunately, that's not what it is.

Thanks to Ed Brayton.

Disgusting Person du Jour

Tyler Cowen, on what the right should be looking for in health care policy:

2. A rejection of health care egalitarianism, namely a recognition that the wealthy will purchase more and better health care than the poor. Trying to equalize health care consumption hurts the poor, since most feasible policies to do this take away cash from the poor, either directly or through the operation of tax incidence. We need to accept the principle that sometimes poor people will die just because they are poor. Some of you don’t like the sound of that, but we already let the wealthy enjoy all sorts of other goods — most importantly status — which lengthen their lives and which the poor enjoy to a much lesser degree. We shouldn’t screw up our health care institutions by being determined to fight inegalitarian principles for one very select set of factors which determine health care outcomes.

Read the whole thing -- it's by turns appalling and head-in-the-clouds (as only a libertarian can do it -- remember the free market doing away with segregation?).

This summed it up for me:

You can think of this post as an “ideal type” analysis which may or may not apply to many actual people.


I'm very fond of Oreos.

And of course, the usual suspects are screaming for a boycott of Kraft. I guess they haven't stopped to think (do they ever?) about what they're going to eat:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

David Blankenhorn has "Evolved"

He's now coming out in support of "gay marriage" in an OpEd in NYT. First, some background:

I opposed gay marriage believing that children have the right, insofar as society makes it possible, to know and to be cared for by the two parents who brought them into this world. I didn’t just dream up this notion: the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which came into force in 1990, guarantees children this right.

The link used for the Convention goes to Unicef's summary/explanation. Here is a link to the actual treaty. If you look at Article 7 and Article 9, that guarantee has one very important qualification:

Article 7

1. The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.

. . .

Article 9

1. States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. Such determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect of the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made as to the child's place of residence.
(Emphasis added.)

It's not a blanket declaration and takes full cognizance of the fact that it may be better for the child to be raised by adoptive parents or legal guardians.

This, I think, is where Blankenhorn begins to display his faulty understanding of marriage:

Marriage is how society recognizes and protects this right. Marriage is the planet’s only institution whose core purpose is to unite the biological, social and legal components of parenthood into one lasting bond. Marriage says to a child: The man and the woman whose sexual union made you will also be there to love and raise you. In this sense, marriage is a gift that society bestows on its children.

This is where Blankenhorn has wandered off into fantasy in the past: marriage has never been primarily about children. They have been a normal and expected part of heterosexual relationships, but "marriage" as an institution is not and never has been solely or even primarily about children. It has been mostly about property.

It gets worse:

At the level of first principles, gay marriage effaces that gift. No same-sex couple, married or not, can ever under any circumstances combine biological, social and legal parenthood into one bond. For this and other reasons, gay marriage has become a significant contributor to marriage’s continuing deinstitutionalization, by which I mean marriage’s steady transformation in both law and custom from a structured institution with clear public purposes to the state’s licensing of private relationships that are privately defined.

This is simply not true, on any level. First off, to assign "clear public purposes" after the fact to an institution that has grown organically throughout human history (and even before) is, at best, self-serving, particularly in the context of having defined those "purposes" to suit one's own ideology. It's like assigning "purpose" to human evolution: it's not there. The universe doesn't really care about our "purposes." Blankenhorn has said in other contexts that he has studied marriage from, among other standpoints, anthropology. If he did, he learned nothing. (An interesting note on this, from the decision in Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health:

Without question, civil marriage enhances the "welfare of the community." It is a "social institution of the highest importance." French v. McAnarney, supra. Civil marriage anchors an ordered society by encouraging stable relationships over transient ones. It is central to the way the Commonwealth identifies individuals, provides for the orderly distribution of property, ensures that children and adults are cared for and supported whenever possible from private rather than public funds, and tracks important epidemiological and demographic data.

Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. "It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects." Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 486 (1965). Because it fulfils yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life's momentous acts of self-definition.)

Let me explicate something I've stated before, and that the majority recognized in Goodridge: marriage, in its essence as a social institution is a life-stage marker, a recognition by the community of a change in status for the married couple. Long before there were governments, a couple would announce to their community that they intended to marry, i.e., to establish a new household. It was the community's recognition of this new household that established the couple as married. (If I had time to search through six or seven books by Joseph W. Campbell, I'd come up with a quote -- he stated the definition of marriage both elegantly and concisely, as was his habit.) To claim the "de-institutionalization of marriage" against that background completely misses the point. Marriage is not being transformed into a "private relationship" licensed by the state in any way that's discernible. Again, from Goodridge:

In a real sense, there are three partners to every civil marriage: two willing spouses and an approving State. See DeMatteo v. DeMatteo, 436 Mass. 18 , 31 (2002) ("Marriage is not a mere contract between two parties but a legal status from which certain rights and obligations arise"); Smith v. Smith, 171 Mass. 404 , 409 (1898) (on marriage, the parties "assume[] new relations to each other and to the State"). See also French v. McAnarney, 290 Mass. 544 , 546 (1935). While only the parties can mutually assent to marriage, the terms of the marriage - who may marry and what obligations, benefits, and liabilities attach to civil marriage - are set by the Commonwealth. Conversely, while only the parties can agree to end the marriage (absent the death of one of them or a marriage void ab initio), the Commonwealth defines the exit terms. See G. L. c. 208.

Why does Blankenhorn think that "marriage" as a label is so important? The majority of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court responded to an inquiry from the Legislature about the acceptability of "civil unions" thusly: "The dissimilitude between the terms 'civil marriage' and 'civil union' is not innocuous; it is a considered choice of language that reflects a demonstrable assigning of same-sex, largely homosexual, couples to second-class status."

Blankenhorn comes back to the erroneous idea of "private partnerships" in his rationale for -- finally -- supporting "gay marriage":

Perhaps some of this can be attributed to the reconceptualization of marriage as a private ordering that is so central to the idea of gay marriage.

There, I think, is the central flaw in his arguments, and one that he doesn't seem to be prepared to let go: I can't see that marriage is being reconceptualized, except insofar as any institution changes over time. It's certainly not being recast into a state license for private behavior. In fact, there are a number of court decisions, starting with Griswold and running through Lawrence, that state specifically that the government has no business licensing private behavior.

I suppose it's to the good that one of marriage equality's most prominent opponents has come out in favor, after all this time, even if it's obvious he doesn't know what marriage is. At least it gave me an opportunity to post my own summation of the question.

(For more on the anthropological understanding of marriage, note this post at Box Turtle Bulletin, with links to further exchanges between Glenn T. Stanton and Patrick Chapman.)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Marriage in Illinois

May happen quicker than I thought. It seems that, while the legislature is busily trying to avoid the issue, the citizens have taken matters into their own hands.

Two recent lawsuits against Cook County Clerk David Orr claim that not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the Illinois Constitution.

The state’s attorney’s response, filed today, agrees with that claim.

“We believe the plaintiffs are correct in their assertion that the Illinois Constitution upholds marriage equality for same sex couples just as it does for opposite sex couples,” spokeswoman Sally Daly said in an email.

It gets better:

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) will be joining Lambda Legal and the ACLU in arguing that Illinois's civil unions law does not meet the state's constitutional guarantees of equal protection, raising the question of what the Cook County clerk of courts -- the named defendant -- will do in its response to the lawsuits.

The Cook County Clerk -- David Orr -- has already made his support of marriage equality well-known, and as you can see from the first quote above, the County is not going to contest the suit. (Governor Pat Quinn is also in support of marriage equality.)

But never fear, oh ye stalwarts of discrimination: there's always some bigot ready to ride to the rescue:

Peter Breen, executive director of the Thomas More Society, a private bar association that represents the Catholic Church, said the group "will be seeking relief from the court," though he didn't say exactly what that would be. Some experts have suggested the society could seek the right to defend the ban, though that's considered a long shot.

"You can't just say you feel it's unconstitutional," said Breen. "This ... puts people of the state of Illinois in a difficult place because their elected representatives are not defending their interests. If there is no argument or disagreement, then you'd really have a hollow judgment."

For starters, he's going to have a hell of a time establishing standing. And if he manages to come up with someone to represent -- and I'd love to see how he pulls that off, since the defendant, Orr, has no intention of contesting the suit -- what's he going to use for an argument?

As for Breen's comment -- well, I would say that our elected representatives -- the AG and State's Attorney -- are certainly representing our interests. Oh, and Mr. Breen? When you have no argument or disagreement, that's generally known as "consensus."

Good luck.


Digby has a trenchant comment that I thought worth noting:

It's hard to believe sometimes, but when leaders lead on issues it often forces people to "sit down and think about it". Certainly not the haters or the hardcore ideological opponents who will never vote for them anyway. But others, the people who aren't quite sure, often find leadership to be a helpful guide.

It's a simple formula that goes back a long way. I'm surprised more politicians don't use it.

Maybe Obama should have figured this out three years ago?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

It all comes together

You've probably noticed that I've been focusing a lot on gay superheroes in comics lately, and marriage is a long-term issue here. So of course, I love this story:

Midtown Comics, a hub for New York City comic book fans, has been the site of many news conferences, book signings and midnight sales.

On Wednesday, the store will have its first wedding.

In honor of the release of “Astonishing X-Men No. 51,” in which the mutant superhero Northstar marries his boyfriend Kyle, Midtown Comics will present the wedding of Scott Everhart, 39, and Jason Welker, 33, a couple from Columbus, Ohio, who were selected from more than 50 applicants.

Which reminds me -- I have to get to the comics store.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DOMA on the run

If you've lost track of the various lawsuits against the government because of DOMA, Chris Geidner has an intelligible and useful summary: the government (which is to say, Congressional Republicans) is losing on all fronts.

Of course, given the make-up and record of the Supreme Court, it's anyone guess what will happen once one or more of these suits gets there -- and they will. Scalia, who specializes in answering the wrong questions, will find that nothing in the Constitution guarantees a right to "homosexual marriage." (This is no stretch -- he's already said so.) Of course, nothing in the Constitution guarantees a right to marriage at all, but that's not going to bother him. Thomas will not say anything and will vote with the Republican platform.

Given the level of corporate support for equality in the U.S., Alito and Thomas may very well vote in our favor.

I'm not really sure whether I'm willing to count on Kagan and Breyer to vote in our favor on this one. I'm more sure of Ginsberg and Sotomayor.

The general consensus, though, is that it will all come down to Kennedy. He's been supportive of Constitutional rights in the past, at least for gays and lesbians, but marriage may be a bit of a stretch. It's going to depend on the case.

Anyway, take a l ook at Geidner's post to bring yourself up to date.

Update on the latest anti-gay junk science

The Heritage Foundation is apparently nonplussed at the criticism of its latest pet pseudoscientific study. This is telling:

The author of a new study showing some negative outcomes for young adults whose parents had same-sex relationships is under attack because his findings conflict with what, in some corners, has become conventional wisdom.

Apparently, the idea that there is “no difference” between children of same-sex parents and their peers raised in traditional married mother-and-father households has become so entrenched among some advocates that new research presenting a contrasting picture is unwelcome—to put it mildly.

University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus’s New Family Structures Study (NFSS) is a large, nationally representative random sample of 3,000 young adults ages 18–39. It found better outcomes for those raised in intact biological families when compared to peers in seven other family structures.

The article is so badly thought out that the author, Jennifer Marshall, apparently doesn't even realize that this last paragraph contradicts the one before. Or she hopes her readers don't notice.

Zinnia Jones does a good take-down.

The homophobic right-wing seems genuinely taken aback at how poorly received theirprecious Regnerus study has been. Clearly, being widely and loudly called out on shoddy science with a hateful agenda isn’t something they’re used to. And in another decade, these results might have been accepted at face value despite the study’s many flaws, simply because it aligned with the conventional wisdom of the time that gay people must be bad for children, society, and everything. This is no longer the case – these traditional assumptions aren’t assumed anymore, and the anti-gay movement have found themselves out of their element.

It's also instructive that the majority of the comments take the author to task for not addressing the real objections to the study.

Apparently Marshall's readers are smarter than she had hoped.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Idiot du Jour

Of course, with Rick Santorum, it's hard to know if he's stupid or just completely out of contact with reality. This sort of jumped out at me this morning. It's one thing to question the president's power to institute a sort of mini-Dream Act (although at least one conservative Republican thinks he's on firm ground), but here Santorum goes off the deep end (and you know he had to get DOMA into the conversation -- it's what he does):

"You need to hammer the president on this now habitual abuse of power, saying that he's not going to defend the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA]," the former candidate explained. "You know, 'I'm not even going to go to the Supreme Court and stand up for the law that, you know, I'm charged as the chief executive to do.' So you're seeing a pattern where the president says, 'I'm going to pick and choose what laws I'm going to enforce, what laws I'm going to stand up and fight for in court.' That is not the job of the president."

"There's a difference between saying, 'I don't like the law, I wish the law were different, but I'm the president. My job is to faithfully execute.' And he has not faithfully executed," Santorum added.

The president is not required to defend a law in court. He's required to enforce it, which he has been doing, which is why there are so many lawsuits now. The fact that the law is unconstitutional -- at least in the eyes of three or four federal courts at this point -- puts some foundation under Obama's position on DOMA, but that doesn't bother Santorum at all.

Actually, reading over Santorum's comments again, I'm going to vote for "liar."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Real Science

Via Huffpost:

While female sexuality appears to be more fluid, research suggests that male gayness is an inborn, unalterable, strongly genetically influenced trait. But considering that the trait discourages the type of sex that leads to procreation — that is, sex with women — and would therefore seem to thwart its own chances of being genetically passed on to the next generation, why are there gay men at all?

Put differently, why haven't gay man genes driven themselves extinct?

This longstanding question is finally being answered by new and ongoing research. For several years, studies led by Andrea Camperio Ciani at the University of Padova in Italy and others have found that mothers and maternal aunts of gay men tend to have significantly more offspring than the maternal relatives of straight men. The results show strong support for the "balancing selection hypothesis," which is fast becoming the accepted theory of the genetic basis of male homosexuality.

The theory holds that the same genetic factors that induce gayness in males also promote fecundity (high reproductive success) in those males' female maternal relatives.

So much for the "It's a choice!" argument. Not that actual facts are going to have any effect on those idiots.


In the service of ideology. I'm sure you've heard by now about the latest study of children of gay parents, which isn't actually a study of the children of gay parents. It's by Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas, and . . . well, here's Jim Burroway's first analysis. Burroway somehow got hold of an advance copy (it's slated for publication in July, I believe). His initial comment is revealing:

This study finds “numerous, consistent differences, especially between children of women who have had a lesbian relationship and those with still-married (heterosexual) biological parents.” The results of this study would up-end some thirty years of established scientific research which showed that gay and lesbian parents are, on the whole, just as good as their straight counterparts. It would, at least, if the study’s methodology were designed to prove that point. But as is the case with all studies, the conclusions drawn by this study are only as good as the methodologies used to inform them.

It's the methodology that's fatally flawed, in my opinion. Essentially, according to Burroway's analysis -- and Regnerus' own comments -- what the study does it compare the children of heterosexual parents who have been married for at least eighteen years to the children of everyone else -- single parents, broken homes, foster children, you name it -- as long as at least one parent has had, at some point or another, a same-sex relationship. Sorry, that's not the same as being raised by gay parents. The attempted end-run in this case is apparent from the title of the study: “How Different are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study.” Ostensibly it's about family structures; however, the conclusion doesn't confine itself to family structures. (Burroway did a follow-up on some of the critiques, which are instructive.) John Corvino pointed out the major flaw:

Regnerus’s analysis purports to debunk the claim that children from same-sex families display no notable disadvantages when compared to children from other family forms, including intact, biological, two-parent families—what Regnerus calls the “no differences” paradigm. Had the study actually focused on “same-sex families,” it might have shed some light on the issue.

Instead, Regnerus—a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin—asked respondents whether their mothers or fathers had ever had a same-sex relationship, regardless of the duration of the relationship and “regardless of any other household transitions.” He then allowed those answers to trump others in order to increase the “Lesbian Mother” and “Gay Father” sample size and treated all of the family-form categories as mutually exclusive, even though they are not. (To use the Haggard example: although he is still technically in an “intact biological family,” he would be counted among the “Gay Father” families in this study.)

Rob Tisinai noted that very flaw in a blog post titled, aptly enough, "Regeerus Admits He Lack the Data to Critique Same-Sex Parenting (*so why is he doing it?)" And Timothy Kincaid has some pertinent comments on what he calls the failure of Regnerus's study:

Regnerus did not set out to say anything about orientation, he simply set out to prove that a certain family structure is superior. And that’s where he failed.

When discussing heterosexual parents, he did compare family structures. The distinctions and differences between the groups were determined by marital status, divorce, step-parentage and the like, all of which address the structure of the families. However when it came time to discuss children of parents in which one was same-sex attracted, Regnerus played a sleight of hand. He redefined his terms such that ‘having a gay parent’ became in and of itself a family structure.

BTB commenter Straight Grandmother contacted Regnerus with some of these questions; the e-mail exchange was published in the blog, with what has become, quite frankly, the expected result:

Your accusations are getting more heated, and I’m afraid unless we can correspond civilly, I may have to call a conclusion to this.

You can read the exchange yourself to see if Straight Grandmother's "accusations" were heated. It turns out the flaws she's pointing out are resonating among social scientists in general. To give you some idea of the credibility this study has among psychologists, check out the American Psychological Association's statement.

Now, in an ideal world, I'd be with Tisinai in saying that the study should stand on its own merits, without regard to political leanings of its author or his funding sources. But Tisinai makes one key point:

You only find this out through dialog, through analysis, through holding responsible for what they’ve said and done. The other side wants to side-step all that. Too many of them positively thrive on shadowy innuendo about hidden agendas driven by secret motives. Don’t take the conversation to that world.

The average undecided person isn’t going to remember who financed which study. The average undecided person is going to remember their reaction on hearing the stupid crap the researchers tried to pull off. That feeling of disgusted wonderment will stick with them, even if the details do not.

By the way, the study was financed by two right-wing foundations, and first given notice in the Deseret News, which some take as the quasi-official organ of the LDS Church. What to they all have in common? Robert P. George, who also happens to be a founder and chairman emeritus of the National Organization for Marriage. Do you see where this is going?

Speaking of hidden agendas -- or maybe not so well hidden, Timothy Kincaid has put together a very interesting timeline on the actual process of publication, which is at sharp odds with the length of time normally taken to ready a scientific paper.

And there's a very instructive comment from Regnerus that starts to cast the whole thing in a new light, as noted by David Link:

In describing the methodology of his research, Regnerus says, “I realize that one same-sex relationship does not a lesbian make, necessarily. But our research team was less concerned with the complicated politics of sexual identity than with same-sex behavior.”

I can’t think of a statement that more clearly reveals the chasm between the way the extreme right views sexual orientation and the way most everyone else does today. Not knowing much about Regnerus, I have no idea what his political proclivities might be; all I can say is that his statement incorporates a view of homosexuality that is widely accepted only among the political and religious right today.

Scott Rose has some history on Regnerus and his attitudes toward gays. He's not what I would call unprejudiced. (Note: Rose has a tendency to be a little shrill -- try to get past that. The substance seems to be accurate.)

Ed Brayton calls it like it is: "Bogus".

Am I saying there's a political agenda here that coloring the science? Given the author's past history, the sources of his funding, and the audience that received advance copies, the integrity of this study starts to look questionable. Let me point out a couple of things: DOMA is under challenge in a number of court cases, and is losing badly. And, it's an election year in which voters will vote on marriage in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington State. And what has always been the anti-gay right's trump card? "Save the Children!"

Draw your own conclusions.

Friday, June 15, 2012

And now for some good news

Cougars, it says here, are recolonizing the midwestern U.S.

Cougars are recolonising the mid-western United States, according to scientists, reversing 100 years of decline. The population of big cats, also known as American mountain lions, has rocketed in these states, from less than a hundred in 1990 to about 30,000 today.

Michelle LaRue from the University of Minnesota said that the midwest population of cougars had been "effectively zero" two decades ago. "That's why this is so exciting," she said. "We have hard evidence that the western population has spread."

The cougars are one of my must-sees everytime I visit the Zoo, simply because they are so beautiful.

I thought we needed something happy-making today.

I Don't Do Facebook

And here's one reason why:

Max Schrem is a 24-year-old Austrian law student and the leader of Europe vs. Facebook, an organization trying to compel Facebook to become more responsible about its users' privacy.

He founded the organization when, after 22 emails, Facebook finally sent him its data on him — a pdf file which ran to 1,222 pages — including much information he thought he had deleted.

I'm not always as careful as I should be about online privacy, but here are limits.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Earth 2: Green Lantern

I did pick up Earth 2, issue #2. (Backstory here.)

Alan Scott doesn't actually come out. He gets off a plane and his boyfriend is waiting for him.

I've ordered issue #1, since I hate starting a story in the middle. This one looks good, if a little disjointed right now. Probably worth following -- besides, Nicola Scott did the pencils.

I Never Do This

I'm in love. With this guy, who is the cutest thing I've seen in about forever. He's from a clothing ad that keeps popping up on just about every site I visit.

And he's a lot easier to deal with than the news.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

It's D Day

Why do I want to attack somebody?

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Gay Superheroes

Well, it's official: Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, is coming out of the closet.

Here's a bit more of a preview.

Needless to say, the clueless right is up in arms. The notorious OneMillion(minus 960,000)Moms posted a warning on their Facebook page -- which they promptly took down when the comments were flooded with congratulations to DC. David Badash has a screen-cap here. Given their success with the boycott of Toys R Us and Archie Comics after Kevin Keller's wedding, I suppose it's no surprise that the OMM decided to duck and run.

What strikes me is that they seem to have no clue that gay superheroes have been around since at least the early 1990s. That would be Northstar, originally with Alpha Flight and now in the Astonishing X-Men series, where he is scheduled to marry his boyfriend next month. (And to add to the insult to the guardians of all that is decent, it's another interracial same-sex marriage.) And don't forget Wiccan and Hulkling from Young Avengers (who I discussed here), and Rictor and Shatterstar in X-Factor. (I reviewed the first collection of that series here.) They got together in X-Factor #45, say 2008?

And gods help us if OMM ever figure out that there's a manga genre (very popular among teenage girls -- and I'm sure a certain number of teenage boys) devoted to male-male romances, some examples of which are much steamier than anything you're going to find in American superhero comics.

I just find it highly amusing that these arbiters of what's proper in our culture have no clue as to what's actually going on.