Okay, so, I haven't posted here since late August, which means I have a lot of recapping to do. A lot has happened since I last wrote, both in my personal life and, obviously, on a broader scale.
So, firstly, I've now been in college for about two and a half months. It has indeed been interesting, and so much new stuff has come along that I hardly know where to begin. (Classes, maybe? Classes sounds good.) I'm taking World History, Cultural Anthropology, Theatrical Design, and Spanish. The first three are epic win and everything I ever expected from college courses. Spanish, however, kinda sucks. I don't know if it's because the approach is so different from that which I was accustomed to (or spoiled by) in high school, but it just isn't a very dynamic course in my mind. Ah well, only two more semesters of it. ;_;
Interestingly, TD has awakened in me some previously untapped little rivulet of artistic interest that doesn't pertain to photography. I've made several collages, both for the class and at my own indulgence, and I've enjoyed the process of finding usable pieces that are visually striking or powerful, in terms of color and form. So, that's been fun.
Obviously, I've made a bunch of new friends since I've been here. My roommate is a very cool guy, and he plays violin like woah. I think his only vices are smoking weed and telling really inappropriate jokes. I also now have a bona fide urban exploration cohort. We've already had fun finding ways of getting into the technically off-limits sections of the library, and we are now plotting to explore the steam tunnels that run beneath campus. As usual, I think that I once again have a larger proportion of good female friends than good male friends (about nine to four, IIRC), so that's interesting. On the whole, I've pretty much adapted myself to the routine of being here.
Clubs, we have clubs. I'm currently pretty heavily involved in our on-campus branch of Amnesty International, which does its share to fulfill my general jones for lefty activism. My friends recently started a juggling club, and that's coming along quite well (I'm up to two balls with my right hand, although I still cant actually juggle three balls at all). Lastly and probably most importantly is Colby's totally awesome LBGTQ-ally club, The Bridge. Weekly meetings can cover everything from politics to pop culture, and we are almost always planning some sort of social event. At the end of the day, though, it's really nice to have a group of people with whom to commiserate about various things.
I think that that serves as an adequate segue into talking a bit about some current events-type stuff. First and foremost is the election. Wow. That's really all I can say. Wow. Not only did I get to vote for the first time ever in my life, I got to cast that vote for the man who, at the end of the day, carried the contest and will become the first African-American president in the history of our country. This is no time to rest on our collective laurels, though. Barack Obama got elected by promising some pretty earth-shaking changes, and now we as a country need to hold him to his promises. Something tells me that this won't be a major struggle, and I have confidence that the office of the president will now be more receptive than ever before to the voice of the people.
Unfortunately, the amazing joy that everyone I know felt on the evening of November 4th turned to numbness later in the evening. Propositions 2, in Florida, 102, in Arizona, and 8, in California all passed, basically banning same-sex marriage in those states. The passage of Proposition 8 was especially depressing, because it stripped away rights that were already granted to the citizens of California. This is only the second time in United States history that rights have been actively taken away from people (the first was Prohibition), and it's the only time ever that people have voted to strip a minority of their extant rights. Why are the rights of a minority being put up to popular vote, anyway? When can I vote on the right of straight couples to marry? The people who ran the campaign to get Prop H8 passed based their arguments on a couple of core ideas: a.) kids will be forced to learn about homosexuality in schools, and b.) churches who preach against SSM will be forced to close. These are both, obviously, outrageous lies. The legality of same-sex marriage has absolutely nothing to do with school curriculums. If anything, kids will be taught that some people live different lives than they do. O noes, it's the end of the fucking world. On the second point, churches are protected by freedom of speech, no matter what kind of bile they spew. The legalization of SSM does not force churches to perform gay marriages; it allows same-sex couples to enjoy the same rights under the law as straight couples do. Marriage, as it is used here, is a secular institution; the religious aspect is and has always been entirely optional in the eyes of the law. Basically, though, the big meta-meme pushed by the backers of Prop H8 is that SSM will somehow damage heterosexual marriages. I have yet to receive a logical explanation of that stance; for the most part, the people I've asked end up shoving Leviticus in my face (on that note, when are people going to start calling it a sin to shave or wear clothing of mixed materials?)
My take? The people who want to ban SSM are scared. They are scared of things that don't fit their nice little white-bread view of the world. This isn't about "protecting marriage" or "protecting families" or any of that horseshit; if they wanted to do that, they'd be trying to ban divorce and child abandonment. What do they really have to be afraid of? Happy families? I've never understood the fear, and I doubt that I ever will.
In closing, I want to talk a bit about the protests that have been going on every day now since Prop H8 passed. I've heard from a lot of people that this sort of thing is uncalled-for, because the people have spoken; we should "get over ourselves" and shut up. This isn't just from the real hardcore right-wing haters; this is also from people who wouldn't otherwise care less. So, a majority mislead by bullshit info put out by the haters just voted to take rights away from people and all we're expected to do is smile and tell them that it doesn't hurt as they fuck us over.
Fuck That Shit.
It hurts, and it hurts a lot, but we're channeling that hurt into righteous anger and action. It took the Supreme Court of the United States to declare segregation unjust and to strike down laws against interracial marriage; it looks as though the same thing will have to happen here. So yeah, we're angry, and we're going to go out in public and show the world that, frankly, we're mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore. Protest brings visibility, and visibility brings change. As of November fifth, I am standing up for the rights of myself and everyone else who is not yet equal in this world, and I'm not going to sit down again until that happens.
Haters, your time is over.