Why You Should Support Marriage Equality in Washington State

31 10 2012

It’s been a while since I wrote a political blog entry, but this issue is so important that I couldn’t ignore it.

On 6 November, Washington state voters will decide whether or not to preserve a law passed by the state legislature back in February to legalise marriage for same-sex couples.

Opponents of the measure have raised several concerns over the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the state.

One of these concerns is that churches and clergy would be forced to perform same-sex marriages. This is false. The law, as reflected in the ballot language itself, explicitly protects the rights of churches and clergy to refuse recognition of same-sex marriages. Same-sex marriage solemnisation would remain an entirely civic proceeding. Hence, churches win, and same-sex couples win.

Another concern opponents of the measure have is that gay marriage will be taught in public schools. This, too, is false. It rests on the slippery slope argument that if gay marriage is legalised, public schools will start teaching about it. The current measure has nothing to do with any public school instruction on anything to do with homosexuality. Hence, to get from point A to Z, you have to jump through hoops to get to your goal.

Finally, people are concerned that the traditional definition of marriage is changing. Honey, it was changing back in 1967 with Loving vs. Virginia, when a black couldn’t marry a white and the Supreme Court decided they could. Besides, that argument is so fallacious in so many ways. It’s an argumentum ad antiquitatem. A thing isn’t right just because it is traditional.

For these reasons, you should support the passage of Referendum 74 in Washington state. It is fair, it is compassionate, and it is humane for all loving, committed families.





Julie Gentron and the Lady League (Vol. 1, Ep. 8): Hot Tub Secrets

28 10 2012

In the last episode of Julie Gentron and the Lady League, Lady Fairfax forced her girls to undergo a brutal martial arts training session as punishment for failing to capture Plastica. Afterward, she promised to reveal the latest MI6 intelligence on their foe. Here are those secrets.

Lady Fairfax turned round and gestured toward the Lady League hot tub, which opened up in the floor below. “Dive in, ladies!” The ladies acquiesced, changing into swimsuits and submerging themselves in the giant, hot bubbles, slapping water at each other and giggling like girls. A weird gynoid entered with a mechanical bleeping sound, but the ladies were delighted with the sight of the awkwardly feminine robot. Suddenly, a giant telescreen lighted up on the wall above the bubble bath.

“Ladies, it is my duty to apprise you of the latest intelligence on our elusive foe, Plastica,” said Lady Fairfax as a servant replenished her drink. The ladies perked up. “The witchy woman who absconded with our beloved community college dropout and professional fashion bitch-hound, Oswald, was born a very normal girl in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston. Her real name is Beryl Ann Rivers, the daughter and only child of an American senator and a British horse breeder and equestrian.”

“Are you feeling comfortable yet, Julie?” said the gynoid as she massaged Julie’s shoulders.

“Yes, P.A.M.,” said Julie. “Thank you. Oh, that feels good. Wait, P.A.M?!” she said, whipping her head round at the mysterious masseuse.

“Yes, Julie. It is I, your loyal onboard computer,” said the gynoid as she continued to massage the Lady League captain’s tense muscles.

“How did you manage to take humanoid form?”

“It was simple,” cooed P.A.M. softly. “I was given my new form by gifted graduate students at the A.I. department of London University, in conjunction with a special research unit of the Secret Intelligence Service on artificial intelligence.”

“Amazing,” said Julie. She relaxed and let the gynoid grind away, pleasantly pleased at the surprise. The other ladies seemed too transfixed by the bubbles and the telescreen to notice the exchange.

“Beryl spent her childhood between her mother’s upper-class Boston townhouse,” continued Fairfax, clicking buttons on the telescreen console, “and her father’s country estate in Wiltshire. As a young girl, she had a private tutor and thus engaged in little contact with others her age; at around age 14, yearning for a social life, she persuaded her parents to enter her into public high-school—but even this time was spent largely between Boston and London, splintering the weak bonds she had managed to forge with her peers and creating an ideal environment for bullying. She was tormented by her classmates; this only nurtured her rage.

“Given her family’s wealth and her own genius, she entered Oxford University and sailed through her studies.” The telescreen showed slides of an increasingly unnatural-looking, but strangely beautiful Plastica. “With amazing celerity, she earned a dual-major in business and biology, and, after taking a gap year to explore the Continent and the Far East, went on to earn a master’s in bioengineering at Harvard. She then took another hiatus to explore the beauty culture and aesthetic traditions of the Vega star system, where she learned a great deal about colour and branding. She returned to Earth and earned her PhD in genetics and dermatology at L’école de la Peau—The School of Skin—in Paris. During this time she worked as a fashion model, but once she had finished her academic career she established her own plastic surgery firm and soon became its chief executive officer. The business flourished and emerged as the pre-eminent plastic surgery firm on Earth.

“Although she looks about forty, her true age remains unknown. The scraps of her early history we have gathered place her birth some time in the early twentieth century. She could be the oldest living human–if you can call her human. We don’t exactly know.”

“Does that feel good, Julie?” asked P.A.M. in her eerie monotone.

“Why, yes, P.A.M. Very good. A little lower, if you don’t mind.” The gynoid proceeded to massage Julie’s back.

“Our bloodthirsty Beryl wasn’t satisfied,” continued Fairfax, regarding the display between gynoid and cyborg with a slight smile. “She started recruiting patients, coercing them into plastic surgery operations and forging their contracts. She expanded her plastic surgery firm—or should I say farm—to the outer reaches of the solar system and then to other star systems, transforming into her likeness the vicious water-snake queen of Intrepida Q-43b and the vampire space-wolves of the Pleiadian star cluster. Her space-travel technology is as great as ours, I’m afraid, and it is all funded by her massive fortune. She can reach the most distant corners of the galaxy in mere minutes.”

“This is awful!” cried Donna. “Why, I ought to implant a telekinetic bubble inside her rectum and cause it to expand until she explodes!”

“Good luck mastering that technique, Donna. Meanwhile, I’ll be mopping the floor of her space-ship with her plastic booty–using my bare hands,” said Rosalind.

“And I will turn her ship against her by commandeering its central computer!” added Julie, sitting erect within the bubbling waters. “I will lead my ladies into the melee with the strong and firm fist of a true, alien-bred technopath!” Here the other ladies noticed the strange gynoid.

“Hey! Keep your hands off her!” whined Donna in the shrill, reedy voice of a Los Angeles mall rat as she saw P.A.M. working Julie. “You just want her for yourself!” With this remonstration, she proceeded to massage Julie’s worn feet with a ferocious jealousy. Initially hesitant, the cyborg acceeded, sliding her body back into the warm waters, and Donna performed an exquisite ritual upon her toes.

“This is bullshit. I am going to plow some pussy,” roared Rosalind. She submerged her gorgeous, glistening Michelle Obama physique beneath a rumble of bubbling waves and made her way between Julie’s thighs. Julie tittered, “Hehe! That tickles, Rosalind!” and stroked Rosalind’s wet head with a strange desire to wrap her thighs around her face like the interior of a warm, wet clam. P.A.M., apparently curious, resumed her massage of Julie’s back, this time in its lower region.

“That’s all very well, ladies,” continued Fairfax, peering down peremptorily at the girls with her imperturbable Bea Arthur face, “but Plastica does not work alone—she has a helper.” On the telescreen appeared a ghastly, wizen face pitted with two baleful, hollow eyes, a hideous nest of wires serving as hair. The skin was a sickly grey-purple. “This creature is known only as Dr. Electro-hag. He is a shadowy figure–his past is a blur. We know he hangs on Beryl’s bosoms like a baby sucking at the teats of Satan, but he possesses genius bioengineering skills. A few scraps of evidence suggest he played a major role in Plastica’s rise to success, but there was a fall-out between the two and somehow she got the upper-hand, assimilating him into her army. The details are foggy, and we’re not yet sure where the hag’s loyalty truly lies, but we think he might prove a formidable ally, if we can offer him amnesty on certain binding conditions.”

“Every mistreated monster deserves a chance at redemption!” cried Julie, withdrawing her thighs from Rosalind’s lips and rising up out of the bath, her trim, toned body glistening. P.A.M. withdrew a few steps, quiet and solemn. “I will not let such an unfortunate creature slip through our compassionate, forgiving fingers to become another trophy on the mantelpiece of that inhuman witch. Why, if only we could save her too. But we can’t, it seems.” After towelling herself off, she stationed herself at the telescreen console and clacked away at the buttons. “Look! She hasn’t gone far. We have been able to capture traces of the monster’s footsteps. Our satellite imaging technology, as well as our spies and ground-based telescopes, suggest Plastica is headed in the direction of the Louvre in Paris. She is targeting Western civilisation at its very core, and we are the only ladies who can stop her!”

“And we have to save Oswald!” cried Donna giddily. “He’s redeemed himself–he hardly deserves the fate which stands before him.”

“Since when did you sympathise with that ice-cold, cutthroat fashion-dick, Donna?” asked Rosalind, stepping out of the tub and drying off her muscular shoulders with a terry-cloth towel.

“Since he said that fashion should fit the woman, and not the other way around!” replied Donna, raising her head proudly and rising out of the tub. “He thinks fashion is a tool for self-expression, not a mould to be shoe-horned into. You would do well to learn more about him, you grumpy old muscle-dyke!”

“Ladies! Stop your bickering,” said Julie, her rich, brown eyes growing large with domination. “We have a greater goal in mind—the salvation of humanity—and I rely on you to help me achieve it! Once more–cease your petty squabbling and lend me your loyal assistance in this daunting task. London, Britain, and Earth need you! Now! You know what to do.” The ladies obediently rose up out of their comfortable water-kingdom and placed their feet on the firm, cold surface of MI6 ground.

“Girls,” cried Fairfax, tapping the remnant of her broken cane against her wheelchair to get the women’s attention, “Heed your leader’s words. We have one thing left to do, and my gin and tonic needs topping off anyway, so have with it!”

“Lady League, unite!” cried Julie. The ladies joined fists and shot a bright, white-green column of light through the roof of the MI6 headquarters into the night sky above Lambeth. London was aglow, its great landmarks glittering, and below, patrons of sex-bars and gay bathhouses alike looked up in awe at the brilliant spectacle, dropping their half-opened condom packages and plastic cups of warm beer. Fairfax surreptitiously pulled the plug on the gynoid, who went limp.

Find out what happens at the most famous museum in the world in the next episode of Julie Gentron and the Lady League!





Julie Gentron and the Lady League (Vol. 1, Ep. 7): Karate Chop!

19 10 2012

In the last episode of Julie Gentron and the Lady League, the ladies were blown away by the exhaust fumes from Plastica’s subterranean Parisian spaceship. After the plastic witch escaped into space with a horde of unlucky fashionistas, including their charge Simpson Oswald, the ladies were forced to return to London empty-handed. Furious at their failure, Lady Fairfax, the ladies’ boss and Chief of the MI6, forced her girls to undergo a rigorous martial arts training session.

Swerving round nimbly in her wicker wheelchair, Fairfax whipped the ladies into shape like a sadistic lesbian prison warden, a cane in one hand and a gin-and-tonic in the other: “Right, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and left, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and right, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and—”

“–Ugh, Lady Fairfax, I can’t keep up,” groaned Donna flailing in exhaustion and panting like a pregnant cougar. “My knees are sore and my pants are stuck in my crotch!”

“It’s your awkward bosoms getting in the way, girl, not your knees,” snapped Fairfax in her prim British accent.

“Wh–what?? I can’t believe you actually said that!”

“Silence, you shrieking sow! For every moment you spend protesting”–Fairfax wheeled her way behind Donna–“the fiend strikes at your heel!” She crouched like a viper, tripped Donna to the ground under her cane, and resumed her stiff position in the wheelchair. “You may be able to move objects with your mind, Donna, but you had better learn to concentrate, lest an old, wheelchair-bound coot like me should stab you in the back from behind. If you want to save this daft fashion critic from the demon’s clutches, you must think fast! Our time is limited!” She raised her cane perpendicular to the ground and gave a toffy-nosed grimace. Rosalind suddenly grabbed her from behind in an effort to retrieve the cane, but Fairfax deftly smacked her backwards in the face with it, swivelled her chair round, and grabbed her opponent’s thighs in her arms, dragging her to the ground. Rosalind had to use above-average force to extricate herself from Fairfax’s unusually strong grip.

“That wasn’t fair!” cried the proud Zaghawa tribeswoman.

“What do you mean it wasn’t fair, you unwieldy oaf?” countered Fairfax. “You possess super-human strength, Rosalind; hence, I rely on skill. Why, I could barely even do what I did!” Rosalind nodded apologetically, and Fairfax placed her gin-and-tonic gracefully on a nearby table with a gruff harrumph. “I look ahead, anticipate your next move, and prepare to strike”–Rosalind threw a punch at her, but the feisty sexagenarian blocked it with her newly free fist, clipping Rosalind on the side of the cheek with the other, cane in hand–“and thus emerge the victor! And next time, Rosalind, remember that MI6 protocol strictly forbids the use of mutant powers against a superior officer. Learn to govern your reflexes, you ill-bred country-woman. Carry on, ladies!”

Rosalind and Donna ganged up on the aging martial artist, but in a sudden swirl she knocked both to the ground with her cane and a fist. Julie intervened, pressing forth her large trunk and flexing her sinewy muscles. A tango ensued between the two, and Julie showed unusually precise movements in response to the cane-thrusts of the crippled but nimble woman. Fairfax darted about like a cat in a wheelchair for disabled pets, but Julie made few advances, finally surrendering in exhaustion.

“You have beaten me,” said Fairfax.

“What do you mean, Lady? I have not,” replied Julie, pacing about like an African lioness.

“My loss was inevitable. You have surrendered too soon; you have far too much integrity to give up so easily. You are being lazy because you are fighting an old coot in a wicker wheelchair. You must always stick it out till the end,”–she made a jabbing motion with her cane–“and that end is the triumph of the British people!” She gave her cane a stomp. “We shall proceed with a rematch.” She retrieved her gin-and-tonic, took a long, delicate sip, and set it back down on the table, noticing Julie’s discomfiture. “You are far too serious, my dear. Lighten up.”

“H—How can I keep going unless I use my powers?” asked Julie. She swiped at Fairfax, who dodged the blow and parried it with the tip of her fabled cane.

“Charisma, uniqueness, nerve, talent–and lady essence!” replied the crone. “A hard-hewn tool no muscle-bound man can out-manoeuvre. All one needs to topple a locomotive is a misaligned railway track—a single trip, a well-timed block, a clip to the jaw. Do not succumb to fear or distraction, girl. Focus on your goal.” She took another sip from her drink, returned it to the table, and swayed her cane at the ladies. “Lady essence consists of real-life epigenetic phenomena combined in a virulent concoction with supernova gamma ray bursts and high-galactic ectoplasm!”

“Huh?” said Donna in her annoying California accent. Her painfully contorted face belied her brainy potential. “Madam Fairfax, if genes are the script for human behaviour, how can anybody control what they do?”

“They control what they do because they realize they can,” said Fairfax, simply. There was an awkward pause as the ladies gave each other funny looks. “Genes are subsidiary to consciousness and environment. Volition is an inherent part of the lady essence, passed down to us by the cosmic rays of the universe and the many unseen lady-dimensions beyond. All that is required of you is to stop screaming like banshees in heat and focus on the task at hand. That is why you spit and sputter like a Model T Ford, Donna! You abandon yourself to destiny. And yet, with enough focus, you can do such mighty things. I almost fear you.”

Madam Fairfax,” interjected Julie, “respectfully, your observations sound to me like junk science.”

“What, you untrained vessel of womanhood? Are volition and self-awareness ‘unscientific’ to you? You talk like a maladaptive cretin. Never would allow some Stone Age brute to throttle me to the ground and drag me screaming back to his cave, forcing me to pop out a few more babes with random scraps of leftover wooly mammoth meat flung my way as modest incentive!” She raised her cane in the air with a queenly conviction. “Never would I sanction the violation of the yonic temple to satisfy the lusts of monsters who wage war over mates and resources only to mock their female prize with the scant remnants of their winnings. I take my life in my own hands! I am a lady of the future!” Once more the matron gave her cane a thund’rous rap, and this time it went home. In sudden silence, she delicately laid the unassuming weapon across her lap and clasped her hands there like a venerable grandmother. The ladies, stunned, tried to collect themselves.

“You are right, Madam Fairfax,” said Julie, bravely breaking the silence. “How remiss I am to forget my own passion for your cause. I myself gave a speech not so long ago enumerating the many necessities of female empowerment, and how we musn’t bow to biological determinism. All I know is that something inside me–this ‘lady essence,’ as you call it–drives me forth in an endless quest to secure justice for all humankind. Why, something–something makes me want to punch that plastic bitch square in the jaw, grab her by the wig, and toss her unnaturally pretty corpse into the Old Bailey–if only to defend the women and men of Britain, of Earth, and of the galaxy!”

“It is there your sentiment should lie, my dear,” said Fairfax. “Hopefully when it comes to that you’ll have prised poor Oswald from the witch’s clutches unbruised. The daft old queen is so delicate. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it; for now, my worries are soothed. With your fierce conviction, Julie, you have only demonstrated my weird hypothesis, which is that you have control over your destiny. I can tell that in your heart resides true nobility.”

“That doesn’t mean I’m not going to give up common sense, Madam! It’s the only way I can gauge a threat in my environment. Why, if I didn’t have my wits to rely on—” Julie suddenly grabbed the tip of Fairfax’s cane, spun the wheelchair round, and pulled the cane securely against her boss’s neck with both hands. Almost as soon as it happened, she mercifully released Fairfax, who spun back round, regained her composure, and gave a stunned, weird look of awe and delight. The old woman deployed a swift cane-strike at Julie’s kidney, but the technopath grabbed the weapon in her palms and broke it in two over her knee, throwing the pieces to the ground. Bereft of her cane, and with a maniacal look in her eyes, the crippled woman siezed her wheels, swirled round in a circle to gain momentum, and charged at Julie with wheels and legs in the air. Julie leapt up, catapulted herself over the wheelchair foot-holds, and landed crotch-first on Fairfax’s face, squeezing her thighs together. She sat there snugly until her mentor mumbled something along the lines of surrender, and she peeled her buttocks away to reveal a happy face.

“Spectacular!” boomed Lady Fairfax, repositioning her wheelchair with her strong arms and whipping blood from her nose. “You have passed the test! You have mastered the use of a most formidable weapon—the lady strike—a powerful repository of female ingenuity. But you had better know not only when to strike, but whom! Take that to heart. Now let us break and relax. I have some dark secrets about Plastica to tell you girls.”

Find out what those little dark secrets are in the next episode of Julie Gentron and the Lady League!