That said, maybe you gay folk could make things a little easier for our slower brethren—and for the Democrats who see this issue as a Nader in leather that might lose them this election.
The word that seems to be sticking in everyone's craw is "marriage." I can see why gay couples wouldn't be content with the current alternative: "civil union" sounds too much like "Geo Metro." So, come on, you creative people, can't we come up with a new and better word for this new adventure into commitment so that others can still cling to the sanctity of their precious old word?
I'm not coming up with much myself. Metromony? Nuptialingus? So, a contest: to the person who comes up with the best new name for marriage, I will award a pewter Passion Nail™ necklace, the official jewelry of The Passion of the Christ, and a damn handy thing to have if vampires attack you.
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On another battlefront, conservatives—you know, the guys who want government to stop meddling in your lives—are continuing their full-press war on what you can see and hear. House Republicans, joined by Democrat-hating Democrat Zell Miller, planned to introduce legislation this week to increase fines for broadcast "indecency" from $27,500 to $500,000 per incident. That's equal to the maximum fine polluters face for willfully and fraudulently poisoning us via violations of the Clean Air Act, except, of course, the Bush administration has gutted and all but stopped enforcing that act. So it's a win-win: if your daughter hears Howard Stern say "anal," she'll probably be too wracked with asthma to repeat it.
Miller had the brilliant idea of basing the severity of the fine on the number of viewers or listeners exposed. That might almost make sense in the case of Janet Jackson's January Surprise, but most personalities, such as Stern, perversely would face greater fines for the very fact that they attract more listeners wanting to hear that sort of content. How does that jibe with a free-market philosophy?
Broadcasters are falling over themselves proclaiming their newfound prudishness, and it isn't just Clear Channel. "Alternative" Santa Monica City College powerhouse KCRW just fired Sandra Tsing Loh, one of its best commentators, because she'd used an objectionable word on the air. And you'll probably notice me using the word golly in place of fuck a lot more.
The Ashcroft Justice Department, meanwhile is arguing a case before the Supreme Court appealing a lower court's ruling that a law limiting Internet porn is unconstitutional. Dubbed the Child Online Protection Act, the law would keep minors from seeing online porn by effectively getting rid of it.
Americans like porn. In fact, there are more people who like bush than who like Bush. According to a government study, some 70 million of us view online porn every week, which is a whacking 20 million more Americans than who voted for Bush in 2000. Still, Ashcroft and Co. march on to save us from succumbing to the sight of unclothed people making nice to each other, in order that our kids might instead view nonstop images of people shooting, hacking, stabbing, flailing, rending, exploding, burning and maiming one another.
Golly. Pardon me while I go pound some Passion Nails™ into my eyes.