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'08 Authors Insider Tips


Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Epublishing: A Different Way
Choosing an Epublisher
Your Milage May Vary
Understand Your Contract!
Reasonable Expectations


FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
The Publishing Biz
Critiquing: To Give and ...
Commerical vs. Literary...
Antiformalism for Fun &...
So You Want to Write a Novel
The Story Idea
Planning Your Novel...


The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
5 Steps to Success
Inspirational
Opening Passages
Let's Get Critical
Writer's Block
Learning Lessons


Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Be a Finisher ...
Listen to Your Characters
Conferences: Act Now ...
Starting an Erotic Story
Exercises & Writing Prompts
Revising & Rewriting
Copy Editing
The Manuscript Critique
How to Submit Your Work
Reading as Craft


Guest Appearances

Adventures in e-Publishing
by Lisabet Sarai

For the Love of Man
by Laura Baumbach

How to...Influence Editors
by Alison Tyler

Marketing your e-Book
by Brenna Lyons


2008 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
Role Play
Busy Doing Nothing
Picture of a Fish & Chip...
What I Did With My Summer


Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
Naughty Cookies...
Tie Me Up, Please …
The Smut-Writer’s Holiday
Never Trust the Narrator ...
Compare and Contrast
Following the Pen
Naked at the Farmers Market
Iím Easy, But Iím No Slut
Good Girl Gone Bad
Pleasures of the Dark Side
Slow, Spare and Sexy


Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Raising Daughters
Jamie Lynn
Utopias
Lust
The Good Old Days
Election '08
Traditional Marriage
Campaign 2008
Free Will


Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Masturbating on SSRIs
Sex and Disability
Besides Ourselves
Adjusting our Contrast


Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Sex Is All Metaphors
Turn-ons and Squicks
Sexual Truth
Fickle Muse
Porn, Erotica & Romance


Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Alison Tyler
Ashley Lister
Debra Hyde
Donna George Storey
Jeremy Edwards
Kristina Wright
Rachel Kramer Bussel


Erotic Hot Spots
by William S. Dean
Interview with Tilly Greene
Interview with Devyn Quinn


Getting Graphic
with William S. Dean
New Times for Readers...
The Future in Words ...
Interview with Fantagraphics


On Writing Erotica

The Accidental Pornographer
by Lisabet Sarai

The End of Innocence
by Lisabet Sarai

Get Them Off in High Style
Helena Settimana

So, You Want To Write Erotica?
by Hanne Blank


Web Gems
Hot Movies For Her

All Worked Up About Traditional Marriage

by J.T. Benjamin

 

J.T. Benjamin

The other day, I saw one of the first signs of the Apocalypse.

I was standing in line at the supermarket, waiting to pay for my groceries, and there it was, among the tabloid magazines documenting the latest shenanigans of the Lindsay/Britney/Jessica/Brangelina crowd; on the cover of People Magazine, no less, one of the more reputable tabloid celebrity gossip-fest mags.

There they were, in all their full-blown end-of-the-world glory, corrupting and perverting the very sanctity of marriage, two smiling, shamelessly happy, shamelessly shameless, beaming brides.

That’s right, brides. Plural. See, the photograph that signals the end of civilization, nay, the world as we know it, was that of shamelessly lesbian talk-show host Ellen DeGeneris and her shamelessly lesbian lover/girlfriend/new spouse actress Portia di Rossi, both clad in white, shamelessly beaming over the fact that they'd taken advantage of the new California law allowing homosexuals to marry.

My first impulse was to wonder whether I'd somehow magically been transported to another country, maybe somewhere with a history of radical, progressive, compassionate thinking, perhaps a nation that had legalized gay marriage, such as Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium…South Africa.

Nope. I checked. I quickly grabbed a copy of the local rag and studied the news. Still in Iraq, football season was starting, Dubya was still in charge. Yup. I was still in the good old U.S.A. What was going on here? A mere four short years ago, the forces of American homophobia had gay rights on the run. Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco, had practically been lynched for announcing he'd allow gay couples to get marriage licenses in his city. Gay marriage and pro gay civil rights ballot initiatives were shot down on Election Day almost with uniformity. My own home state of Colorado had the distinction of voting down not one, but TWO such initiatives back in 2004.

So what’s happened in the four years since? Connecticut, Vermont and New Jersey, have all okayed civil unions, Washington State and Maine have allowed people in gay relationships to enjoy property and inheritance rights, Massachusetts repealed the law preventing non-Massachusetts gay couples from traveling to the Bay State to get married. Just as soon as the California Supreme Court ruled that homosexuals could get married in the state, the usual anti-freedom homophobes got an initiative onto the November ballot to strike down the Court’s ruling. And guess what? The ballot initiative is losing. Back in 2003 California’s current governor declared that “Marriage is something that ought to be between a man and a woman,” but these days, the Governator says he’s not going to speak out against gay marriage.

What the hell’s going on? How could such a solidly homophobic national attitude begin changing so quickly? How could such an intolerant culture so dramatically become so…tolerant?

Speaking as a keen observer of the national condition, as a student of cultural mores and trends, I can only say…

I dunno.

Maybe people are tired of intolerance. Maybe they've begun to realize that homosexuals are people too. Maybe they've begun to realize that when the Holy Terrors and their whores among the Powers That Be start mouthing off about the end of civilization as we know it, they might be blowing smoke out their collective asses.

Maybe the public has begun following the credo I myself set forth a while back that when it comes to sexual relationships between consenting adults, people should just mind their own damn business. I like the idea that people have been following my advice.

In any case, the forces of intolerance and homophobia are of course not tolerating this pro-gay momentum lying down. They’re mobilizing, they’re circulating petitions, they’re hitting the stump, they’re doing everything they can to remind us that if gay people are allowed to marry, we can expect those ol' Four Horsemen to come ridin' round the bend at any moment, breaking seals and blowing horns and punishing the evil and lifting the righteous up to heaven and otherwise bringing forth the Apocalypse.

The coalition between Protect Marriage and the National Organization For Marriage-California are doing everything they can to get Proposition 8 passed in November, which would re-implement California’s ban on gay marriage. They've accumulated more than $2.5 million to spend spreading their gospel of intolerance and homophobic loathing, arguing that the perceived happiness of Ms. DeGeneris and Ms. di Rossi is secondary to their own sense of self-righteousness. To quote H.L. Mencken, a fundamentalist is someone who lies awake at night with the haunting fear that someone, somewhere is having fun.

Which leads us to the erstwhile senator from Arizona and Republican candidate for President John Sidney McCain III. Sen. McCain has been curiously non-committal when it comes to his positions on the issue of gay rights, and by that I mean that he flip-flops like a freshly-caught trout on the ground.

Last year, during an interview on his Straight-Talk Express, the Senator seemed to have no idea whether AIDS could be spread by such casual contact as by sweat or by kissing. (Dear Sen. McCain: It can't). The Senator once said that he had no problem with homosexuals engaging in commitment ceremonies so long as such ceremonies had no legally binding effect. He’s also gone on record as opposing the rights of gay couples to adopt children (after earlier indicating that it was up to the states to decide that sort of issue). In 2006 the Senator voted against a Constitutional amendment which would ban gay marriage, (AGAINST IT!!! I KNOW!!!!) and yet in every public pronouncement since then, the Senator’s been adamant about denying homosexuals every single opportunity to indulge in the acts and rights that other citizens enjoy.

Senator McCain's website tout his credentials and his determination to protect the concept of “traditional marriage,” and he beats that drum like Ringo Starr. After a careful consideration of the Senator’s public pronouncements about traditional marriage and his own private behavior, I have to conclude that at least in this case, Senator McCain is being entirely consistent.

But let’s back up. As has been previously documented in this column and much more thoroughly documented in Stephanie Coontz's excellent book, Marriage: A History,traditional marriage had much more to do with business, property, the accumulation of assets and power than it did with such silly notions as love and affection.

According to Ms. Coontz, Director of Research and Public Education at the Council on Contemporary Families, “traditionally,” marriages were engaged in for the purposes of sealing alliances, strengthening property rights, producing heirs, and for otherwise legal and romantically boring reasons. Love, sexual desire and companionship were reserved for such persons as mistresses, lovers, prostitutes and fuck-buddies.

Which gets us back to Senator McCain. See, when John McCain met his future second wife Cindy, he was still married to his first wife, Carol. Cindy was young, pretty, and the obscenely rich daughter of an obscenely rich beer baron. Carol was older, poorer, and had been tragically disfigured in an auto accident while Senator McCain had been interred in a Vietnamese prison camp. The story goes that when John McCain arrived home after having been released from prison, he didn't recognize the wife who'd loyally supported him during his internment. As soon as younger, prettyer, richer Cindy came along, he dumped Carol as fast as you could say, “Your father has how much money?”

So…let’s just play, “What if?”

I'm John McCain, and I'm running for President. I oppose the rights of homosexuals to marry because all that love and affection stuff is just icky. I'm a supporter of traditional marriage, the right of people to dump disfigured first wives in order to hook up with young, rich second wives for the sake of money, power, influence, and personal advancement. I mean, it worked for me.”

"I'm John McCain, and I approve this message.”

J.T. Benjamin
jtbenjamin.blogspot
September 2008


All Worked Up with J.T. Benjamin in ERWA 2008 Archive.

______
"All Worked Up" © 2008 J.T. Benjamin. All rights reserved.

About the Author:† J.T.Benjamin says, "I'm a generalist. I write about what interests me, which is just about everything." His resume reflects the diversity of his interests. He's been a disk jockey, insurance salesman, private investigator, journalist, college professor, child advocate, political activist, truckdriver, thief,...doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief. He's currently trying to start a hippie commune in the Denver/Boulder area.
Email:† J.T. Benjamin



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'08 Book Reviews

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