In Which I Introduce Andrew Sullivan to Brown v. Board of Education

Andrew Sullivan says:

My advice to the marriage movement: educate, speak, reach out. Stop the litigating. Resist the impulse to revel in victimhood. It may be justified and I certainly know how it feels, but it doesn’t change any minds. That’s what we have to re-focus on. And that’s the only reason we have had the success we have had. Patience, diligence, charity: these are what a civil rights movement needs to stand for.

To which I reply–Why should the marriage movement stop the litigation?  Litigation is exactly an appropriate tool for seeking justice and exactly a way to educate, speak, and reach out.

Here’s the thing I don’t get about Sullivan.  If he understands the psychic importance of marriage–that being able to stand in front of an officiant and your families and vow to become one family and to have those vows recognized as legally binding by the state, how can he pooh-pooh folks taking any legal recourse they can?

Maybe lawsuits don’t change the mind of the people being litigated against, but they sure can fix things.  Why should gay people sit around and wait for bigots to change their minds in order to have their rights recognized?  That makes no sense to me.  That seems like victimhood–“Oh, well, there isn’t really anything we can do, so we might as well just try to be a good example.  Oh, poor us.”

How is taking action somehow playing the victim?  That makes no sense to me.

Listen, when you have rights that are compromised by unjust laws, you have to come into conflict with those laws in order to show their unjustness.  Sometimes you come into conflict through litigation–i.e. Brown v. Board of Education–and sometimes you come into conflict through breaking those laws–like the sit-in movements–and sometimes, if you can, you push to see those laws applied to everyone.

I think asking the courts to rule on whether the people of the State of California all have to live by the same laws is a pretty ingenious way of pressing the issue.  Or are gay people the only ones who get to have the validity of their marriages decided by strangers?

Gay Californians tried being nice, they tried educating folks, they tried pressing their case in a civil manner.  What’s wrong with now trying to get the cruel and unjust law they have to live under spread out to everyone?

If Californians don’t like folks messing around in their marriages, well, perhaps they shouldn’t mess around in other Californians’ marriages.

Edited to add: Sullivan says “And we need patience and relentlessness in explaining our lives. And how human they are. It’s not fair; we should have it all already. But we don’t. And in a democracy, that means persuasion, not fiat.”

I can only imagine if Sullivan had been blogging in the lead-up to the Civil War.  “Dear Sirs.  Can’t you see how wrong slavery is?  No?  Okay then, we’ll talk about it some more later.”

Guess What, Anonymous Commenter, Now It’s 2000

The Tennessee Democratic Party better start walking back their war on bloggers right about the fuck now because I’m more than happy to put my metaphorical dog in that fight.

So, dear readers of Tiny Cat Pants, all 1,250 to 2,000 folks a day, I invite you to watch how this anonymous Tennessee Democratic activist tries to take after GoldnI.

Yes, that’s right.  First they lose, then they blame Obama, and then they blame the bloggers, and now they’re making the attacks personal.  Way to go, Tennessee Democrats.  I hope for your sake that the first thing the Republicans do is loosen the restrictions on gun regulations so that you can just get a gun and literally shoot yourselves in the foot, because, right now, the only people in the state who are getting the word out about the Democrats and what we stand for and what we hope to accomplish are people like GoldnI.

You guys aren’t.  You don’t send press releases.  You don’t send emails.  You barely update your own blog.  And you’re going to patronize the shit out of the young people who have enthusiasm for Democratic ideals?


There’s enough mistrust between liberal bloggers and the TNDP right now so that, if that anonymous commenter doesn’t speak for you, I’d advise you say so to GoldnI and assure the rest of us that you’re not trying to start a war you have little way of winning (since you don’t get on the internet).

Also, I’m with Granju:

Second, let’s assume that the blogger really does only get 200 visitors each day to her site. That’s one hell of a lot of potential voters over the course of a campaign season. I know that when I have done political work – making calls or hitting the streets to shake hands and hand out literature on behalf of a candidate – getting 200 people each day to hear my message would have been considered a pretty great day.

Right now, you’d think the TNDP would be begging for 200 people a day to hear or read something positive about being a Tennessee Democrat.  And you’d think that anonymous Tennessee Democrats would realize that.

Edited to add: Yes, I’m still steaming.  This part–“Finally, party unity is most essential after a loss. I do not believe posts such as this, or attitudes reflective of the sort calling for Sasser’s ouster produce anything innovative or courageous.”–especially.  First of all, when was the last fucking time we saw anything innovative or courageous from the Tennessee Democrats?  Second

No, you know what, it’s obvious what a dick move this is.

And it does require action.

Half-Naked Day in Charleston?

Apparently it’s “Half-Naked Day” here in Charleston.  The park below is teeming with half-naked college students, some in bikinis, some in just shorts.  Do you know how hard it is to sit in a conference when every time you look out the window, you see half-naked people enjoying the beautiful weather?

Charleston, is it too much to ask that you provide some fake rain so that I can at least pretend like my time wouldn’t be better served rolling in the grass?  Which, I might add, smells fantastic!

Um, yes, so, in library news–AHAHAHAHAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  The library is going to die!  No, it’s not.  Yes it is.  Ahhhhhhhh.

So, same as yesterday.  But, like I said yesterday, it appears as if the book is no longer dying, but is instead transforming–what we thought was a coffin was just a chyrsalis.  And the book will break free of paper, break into thousands of useful parts so it can be configured and reconfigured and reconfigured some more and then–and this tickled me–reconfigured into books and printed out using Ingram’s Espresso Machine.

I am so excited and intrigued by this I can’t even tell you.  Of course, we’ve heard something like this has been coming for a long time, but this is a machine that will have access to all the participating books in Lightning’s database (and let me be clear, that’s all the books that are in Lightning’s database and also choosing to participate in Espresso, not all the books that are in Lightning’s database) and, so, say you go to the library and you’re wanting a copy of A Tale of Two Cities and you go to the shelf and you see it is not there and you go to an electronic edition and you read a little and you’re like “Yes, oh, I so want to read this but it hurts my eyes to stare at the screen that long,” you may see an option that says “Print book?” You hit it and five minutes later you have a perfect-bound, four-color cover, real book.

Now, I’m unclear who will pay for this copy of the book you’ve printed–you would in bookstores obviously, but I don’t know if you or the library would in a library situation and, if so, if you’d have to return it like a library book.  I guess I should have thought to ask those questions but I’m sure my sources at Ingram can enlighten me at some point.

But then, the Espresso machine will, in under five minutes, print and bind a book for you, when you want it, but not before.

Here’s the thing I wonder?  Why wouldn’t small presses, who usually have tremendous warehouse costs and then tremendous stock costs, chuck the warehouse, ask their designers to keep in mind the medium the book will be printed in, and then get a little office space to use as a virtual warehouse, stick an Espresso Machine in it, hire a person to run and maintain it and ship books out to customers, and NEVER, EVER AGAIN PRINT A REGULAR BOOK UNTIL YOU NEED IT?

Yes, you’d have to have stock of some books–books with pictures, books with color, books larger than 8×11–but the amount of space those books would take up is immensely less than the amount of space you use in a whole warehouse.  We’re talking about a couple of rooms in a regular office building as opposed to, well, an actual warehouse.

Mark my words, we’re about to see the return of small publishers actually printing most of their own books.  But not until we know for sure we have a customer for them.

How Can You Not Love a Man Who Loves Poetry?

And if there were reading of said poetry out loud?


You know, every day it’s a wonder how men piss and moan about their near-constant struggles to get laid and yet, and yet, I see very few walking around in well-cut suits reciting poetry.

And yet, isn’t that what won Nora for James, B. for Hov?

The Hotel is Creepy at Night

Yes, yes, I did go looking for ghost stories about this hotel before going to bed last night.  And yes, it was stupid, but I was homesick and tired of yet again looking at antique Spanish pornography.  And then I had to lie there in bed with my eyes shut, listening to every weird creak and moan wondering if a young guy with half a head is going to crawl into bed with me.

Finally, I was just like, “Please do not show up here because I will cry.”

And then, when I did finally fall asleep, I dreamed all night of a woman named Sarah, in a long, old brown plaid dress, working at a stove, here on the grounds, in a large kitchen, with the door open to the outside, and how she, because she was up the earliest would find the kids who had hung themselves here.

But really, it’s quite charming during the day!