You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Rant’ category.

Today was my first day home in two months.  I was out of the apartment before 7am and headed to Murray’s Bagels for breakfast.  A quick haircut and a coffee in Union Sq. to follow.  Walked to Beth Israel Medical Center to meet Sue.  Sat in the waiting room and listened to my neighbor chatting with his son.  He was in his 60’s.  He was saying things like, “A man kissing another man, disgusting!”  “Putting a ring on another man’s finger?”   “Two men married?  I don’t understand it!”

In 1909, I may have been able to say, “Black men able to vote?”  and “Equal rights for women?”  In 1964 I would have been labeled a racist/sexist.  I was born in an era that thought beyond such negative thinking and close-mindedness.  I’ve traveled the world to determine for myself what truth there may or may not be in stereotypes (and yes, there are many truths within stereotypes).  I was raised in a well educated home with strong values and unclouded by religious dogma.  Am I free of negative thoughts and feelings altogether?  No.

So why am I particularly offended by opinions held by anyone who watches FOX News?  People who voted for McCain/Palin?  People who consider O’Riley or Limbaugh prophets?  Well, I usually don’t care.  They embarrass themselves with ignorance.  I’m ashamed of anyone who, 45 years ago, was not allowed to vote and was not allowed to eat or drink in the same places I would have been able to and yet still believes others do not deserve equal rights in the United States.

I’m not saying that the man next to me in the waiting room is wrong for having his feelings about homosexual men (I do not agree with him either).  I’m going so far as to saying that anyone considered a minority in this great country who had great people like Martin Luther King jr., Elizabeth Cady Stanton, John F. Kennedy jr., and Rosa Parks fight for their rights CANNOT turn a blind eye to equal rights for others.  Shame on you if you believe that benefits should not be extended to families of same-sex partners.  Shame on you, unless of course you are willing to give up your own rights.

So welcome home.  Land of the free and home of the brave.  I’m unbelievably happy to be home after 2 months of travel.  I was quickly reminded of how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go.  In FDR’s inaugural address in 1933, he uttered the famous line, “…let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”  The unknown equals fear.  Back then the unknown was the great depression.  We again face similar challenges, so the speech is worth a read.  Today one of the ‘unkowns’ is still equal rights for all.  Wake up America!  We can do better.

I got on the E train at West 4th heading home from a seminar. When I stepped on the train, I think I was listening to “Welcome to the World” by Bobby Weir and Ratdog. There was something savory in the bass line, something bluesy in the guitar. The lyrics weren’t beautiful or poetic beyond measure, but they had heart. I wouldn’t concede that my musical taste is the highest form of absoluteness or that the tunes that fill my iPod would be considered classics to all. I think I can concede that, when I heard that song – like many songs – I felt that I wasn’t missing something. There wasn’t the emptiness of pop or the trendiness of hip-hop, the tragedy of emo or the angst of punk. All that was left was a feeling that a thought had been completed. An appreciation was born. A need to fill a void didn’t exist.

So how does this transpire to a new age of enlightenment? My thoughts that follow targeted the people surrounding me on that train, pondering their levels of consciousness.

Read the rest of this entry »