So this little gem happened about two streets away from where I live in #Astoria. I’m hoping this douche gets his due when the complaint is filed. If any of you New Yorkers see him out and about, be sure to say hello!

michaelhartney:

This afternoon, my partner Turtle walked out of our apartment to grab a bite. Before he even left our block, a man called him “faggot” as he passed. Rather than let the guy get away with it, Turtle decided to confront this man about his hateful behavior. And he filmed it.

Notice how well Turtle handles himself in this video. No need to fight hate with hate; calling him “slick hair” is as hateful as Turtle gets (which is hilarious and awesome). He lets that ignorant clown have it with poise and decency. Not surprising, considering Turtle is the absolute best guy around and I couldn’t be prouder of him. 

Our neighbors saw this altercation, and told Turtle that this man has been harassing their thirteen year-old son for years, sometimes even calling him “faggot” while the kid was in recess at school with his peers.  They know who he is and where he lives.  They’ve been too scared for the kid’s safety to do anything about it.  But it’s going to end today.

Turtle called the cops and is going to file a complaint tomorrow morning. I don’t know what’s going to happen yet, but hopefully this jerk will learn that we’re not going to put up with this crap in our neighborhood anymore.  

On the bright side, this charmer is already in talks with DC Comics to illustrate Orson Scott Card’s Superman story. It’ll be the first comic book drawn completely in douchey hair gel.

Someday somebody’s gonna make you wanna turn around and say goodbye. 

(via avcnyc)

I find it condescending when a random guy calls me “buddy.” Unless he wants to sleep with me. Then I find it kind of hot.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. — F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

I’m limited if I were to write a haiku

"God Damnit, California."

I had a hard look around this vast and long state for an answer, and it just doesn’t seem to come in words or expressions. It’s home. Somewhere here, there is home and I can’t pinpoint it or find it. I always knew it, all along and all my life. 

This is home.

Ten reasons why I am happy Rick Perry is no longer running for President

Texas Governor Rick Perry dropped out of the Presidential race yesterday, and I think it’s about time. I am going to give my best go at a list of plusses we can all glean from our time spent with the ol’ buckaroo, but my list is peppered mostly by the fact that Perry entered the national spotlight from Texas, proving to us once again that the job of running the Lone Star State does not groom a good and cultured President.

10. What department was it again?

The guy got a LOT of flack for this one. And sure, we all make mistakes. I actually feel a little bad for him that we hang on to Perry’s debate performance last fall. But the fact will always remain: If you are running for President, you must know your game. You want to eliminate departments? Fine. Tell us which ones, why, what is projected to happen if you do, and how you plan to compensate for that loss. But if you can’t remember which ones, then please don’t try to charm us with your absent mindedness. Ronald Reagan was President once. (Too soon for that? I don’t know…)

9. It’s an eye for an eye in these here parts!

Perry is notorious for being a strict upholder of the death penalty. Closing in on nearly 250 executions in his decade as governor, a Perry White House would feel a special sadness, like something was missing. Or maybe Perry would have brought the death penalty to a federal level. Maybe I would be persecuted for this editorial. Fortunately, we will never know what that is like.

8. Ann Richards was awesome

OK, so maybe this has little-to-nothing to do with Rick Perry running for President, but waxing nostalgic always does us a little good. Ann Richards was Governor of Texas in the early 1990s, losing to Bush, who then left his post to Perry. Richards was a vibrant, larger-than-life Texas liberal who easily could have done much for the reputation of Texas had it not been for a conservative sweep that took her out of office in 1994. Though Ann Richards died in 2006, a politician of her caliber turned heads. If a Richards-esque Texan ran for the nation’s highest office, the lights may embrace the unique mixture of progressive charm with southern know-how.

7. Didn’t we almost have it all?

As though entitlement didn’t already smack through the race for the GOP nod, The New Yorker published an article online in the wake of Perry’s departure suggesting that the race was wide open for Rick Perry to come in and swoop it up. There is a sadistic side to me that remembers an NPR piece on Perry earlier last year when he entered the race. It suggested that Rick Perry was entering the race never having been defeated in his life. There’s a first time for everything.

6. One down in a barrel o’ crazy

Despite the massive entertainment value in the field of GOP candidates, many people agree that every candidate is a human study in mental and social instability. It’s a comedic shame to lose one, but the fact that a handful remains says something entirely more frightening.

5. Those four letter words are mighty catchy!

Rick is a four letter word, but now the field is laden with catchy phrases for Presidential Candidates. Who knew that people of political prominence could be named Mitt or Newt? Santorum has it’s own neat new definition, and well…Ron Paul. Ron Paul is and always has been his own animal.

4. What polls will do

Politicos never trust polls, but boy do we ever pay attention to them. It’s one of the dichotomies of the political world. What more do we have to pay attention to? But as the election of 1948 proved, polls don’t mean everything. Polls suggest that Perry had a hold on a small number of religious conservatives. And in the grand scheme of things, that number isn’t that small. Spread that out over states with their electoral votes being as they are, and you could find that this christian base can actually sway an election in quite a few states. Strong religious conviction can keep people from voting for mormon Romney, no matter how vanilla a choice the Mittster may be.

3. Haven’t we already been through this?

A “maverick?” A Texas governor with strict religious conviction and a tendency to circumvent questions that may prove him more honest or human? This rings familiar. Before, I mentioned that Ann Richards was the last larger-than-life Texan to take the reigns of the state and win a nationwide fondness. That is a charm that Perry does not have. Nor does his predecesor, as evidenced by his approval ratings when he left the White House. Americans are hesitant to repeat the era of Bush, despite their state of contempt with the current administration. Perry reminds us of what we once had, and in this case, absence does not make the heart grow fonder.

2. “Strong”bad

Perhaps the biggest bone to pick with Rick Perry comes in the form of a YouTube video. What was filmed as a TV commercial went viral on YouTube, as videos do these days. Perry proclaimed he was not ashamed of his faith (fine, cool) and that we live in a time of questionable morality (understandable, maybe). But the biggest assertion came when Perry compared children celebrating Christmas in school to his view of gays serving openly in the military as being problematic.

The video, for the record, has 2900% more “dislikes” than “likes.” That should say something. 

1. The summary of all points

Basically, Rick Perry, and any Republican for that matter, would undo the progress made by the Obama administration. When conservatives, tea party loyalists, and those who oppose the President try to go toe to toe with me, I do get defensive. Journalists try to keep things as neutral as we can, but since this is a blog, I have a tiny soapbox on which to stand. Yes, I am a liberal journalist, and we live in an age where polarizing reporters and commentators rule the airwaves. But, in this case, I am looking at fact. Thus far, Obama’s implementations are working

I worry when I hear people of any walk of political life protest taxes and seek cuts in public programming, education, and infrastructure. Seeing someone like Rick Perry drop out of the national spotlight does send a message. His brand of brash anti-progressive rhetoric is not acceptable to most of the nation, otherwise he would have lasted a lot longer than the mere months he did. In the end, Americans want to see two strong speakers with track records and ideas of moving forward. If people wanted leaders who just opposed with “no” as opposed to an alternate idea, congress would have a higher approval rating.

So, farewell, Rick Perry. May you return to Texas and reflect on what you learned. And may we learn too that there is still hope yet since you’re now gone.

How do you solve a problem like Mitt Romney?

Yeah, that’s great.

Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire Primary. First in the nation. The trendsetter and precedent for the general election. Ladies and Gentlemen, the honors this year go to the former one-term governor of a state he hardly lived in; Mitt Romney.

Of course, this being the embryo stage in a presidential election, this mini-victory is being dissected and scrutinized by politicos the nation over. Since this election cycle, I feel further from New Hampshire than I ever have been, I decided to take a close look. The cover of one of the free dailies stacked outside the subway station claimed Romney made history with his win. 

I didn’t realize that a rich white guy who doesn’t answer questions defied historical standards. 

To me, the quagmire of Governor Romney warrants little to no explanation. He looks presidential and he has enough of a mystery to him that people tend not to know really what he is about, or what he stands for. But, when voting for President, shouldn’t the voters know who it is they are voting for? In the interest of clearing my mind a little, and putting down some information on my pal Mitt, I figured I would discuss the record of the potential (I’d put money on it) Republican nominee for President. 

First off, I find it interesting that the same person who became the first governor in the United States to authorize same-sex marriage would, less than a decade later, vehemently oppose the very same right on a federal level. In fact, a neat fact is that Romney used to support allowing states to decide for themselves what it is they would like to do. In an about face, staring in the eyes of the nomination, Romney has again (shocker!) changed his mind.

It’s not that I am a Democrat and fueled by an upcoming election, but I don’t hold much trust for someone who can’t stand to his position. Being Governor for a matter of a few months in Massachusetts, then dashing off to national platforms has made the argument that Mitt Romney has been running for President since he was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002. Yet, still, Romney continues to waver on his positions time and time again. When confronted about whether or not he would have someone arrested for possessing medical marijuana, Romney shirked from the camera and pretended he had answered the question already. He did not. Look here.

Yet, to much of America; an America that did not live with the “Governor Mitt Romney” on their lips for four short but painful years, Romney remains a Reaganesque figure. The classically handsome family man with Patrician roots and a religion he stands by (granted it’s one most Americans do not comply with). Without being accusatory, I wonder if comfort with Romney translates into a discomfort with a black president. 

Despite a disenchanting period, Americans are approving more of the job President Obama is doing than they are with the job congress is doing. In fact, the outlook is bleak for anyone running for congress in 2012. Americans are not happy, but is Mitt Romney really the Captain America we are looking for? Or is the heroic figure the one sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office now? 

Either way, Americans will head to the polls ten months from now to decide who their trust is in. If the current trends play out, they will choose between a man who has been at it for nearly four years. A man who has accomplished much for his time in office and has hardly been recognized in the shadow of the remainder of a crooked and stymied Washington landscape. They will weigh the incumbent against a man who is like a fish out of water in most situations. And fishes flip and flop, do they not?

I put a lot of faith in my fellow Americans. But then again, people like this exist. So, November will either prove me a cynic or a hopeful enthusiast. 

Christmas tree, my Christmas tree

I really don’t want to take down the god-damned Christmas tree.

For a fan of the Christmas season, my friends and loved ones are appalled that I don’t have a real tree in lieu of the fake 4’ Balsam Fir I acquired at Target two years ago. But, needles and space restrictions in my living room prevent me from getting anything but a fake tree. 

And aside from that, I keep the tree up for two months.

And everyone hates me for it.

Well, not everyone. Like most issues that drive adults to years therapy, this can be traced back to my mother.

Christmas was the biggest deal for us in our family. Or, it was Mom’s biggest deal. Boxes of magical plastic wonder were hauled out of the closet every Friday after Thanksgiving, and the plastic tree would be splayed out, only to be reassembled by my dad in front of the picture window and carefully decorated with ornaments that did not match, but somehow turned spectacular. And, especially spectacular every December 24-25th when the tree would stay lit all night long. Along with the tree came Santa and Mrs. Claus salt and pepper shakers and a ceramic village worth thousands of dollars, that would span half our living room. My family didn’t believe in saving for retirement or investing in companies or real estate. Instead, they believed in collectibles. 

Now I am an adult, and I have inherited half of the plastic decor made famous by a couple dozen Christmases and the photographs that filled the time gaps in between. And since it has been Christmas since October, I have been hesitant to now remove the glowing ornamental pyramid in the corner of my living room. 

The issue I have is that every Christmas is a significant bank of memories. The traditions, the process, the gifts, the songs, the movies and the people. And now, it’s over and I am mourning Christmas 2011. 

Traditional holiday stories tell you that you can “keep Christmas in your heart the whole year through.” And, I believe that. Once, while driving through Vermont with a boyfriend of mine, I barreled into a parking lot for a year-round yuletide gift shop called Christmas Days. A place my mom frequented. It was July. He wasn’t happy. I was. Christmas is, hands down, the greatest time of the year. And I refuse to buy anything else.

So, it’s January 4. And my tree is still lit, and still decorated. The world be damned!