The week that was

Whoa! What a week.  From the minute to the momentous. From everyday slights to the evisceration of things we hold dear.  From personal triumphs to the deathbed of a world hero.

What a difference a week makes.

The Supreme Court taketh away and the Supreme Court giveth (with caveats).  But before all the epic decisions, the Supreme Court punteth the ball. Yep, punt on affirmative action, gut the Voting Rights Act, and hold that the Federal government cannot demean or injure what a state seeks to protect, in matters within a state’s purview.

So if you are a gay, non-white Democrat in a Red State, you can’t get married to your partner, you may not be able to vote and you certainly cannot have the totality of your identity and your life story considered in any application to higher education.

If, however, you are gay, white, Democrat in a Blue State, you probably get to claim an iPad as a winning contestant in the Supreme Court sweepstakes.

How’s that for “equal protection under the laws”?

I am thrilled that Edie Windsor, who in her own words, was “just an out lesbian suing the United States of America,” prevailed and DOMA is DEAD.  It was a thrill and an honor to go to Sabbath Services on Gay Pride Weekend to hear Edie, who talked about her spouse, Thea (of blessed memory), just a little before Edie started to cry, and then have hundreds of people standing up to cheer her. 

Get the documentary on them.  It is beautiful and sad and just simply a true (non-Hollywood) love story.

People sometimes ask, “why gay PRIDE?”  Because if you have felt marginalized, shamed, invisible, unwanted, a veritable punching bad for angry people and all of society’s ills, then you need to own your identity and say that you are proud and not ashamed.  It is important for those still in the closet — of any kind — and our children.

I suspect that Mandela is hovering between life and death only through the curse of modern medicine, while politicians figure out the best time to announce his death.  Call me cynical.  The world will be different on the day that the man who presided over immense change in Africa and, indeed, the whole world, is declared dead.  One person can make a difference, but there are only too few in any generation who are truly capable.  We will have lost (or did we already lose) a hero.

SOS went off to sleep away camp for seven weeks.  Both POB and I were happy, sad, scared and proud that he hopped on the bus with someone he met previously who was also going to the same camp.  Hugs, but no tears.  A watershed moment in our baby’s growth.

I stopped a client in the hallway of our firm and greeted him.  He was momentarily caught off-guard and then said, “[Blogger], you look great; I would never have recognized you!!!”  And then he dug himself deeper to a point at which I had to say, “Don’t worry, a little hair color and make-up can really make ALL the difference . . . ”  I expect that from Dad’s mother (“You look so gut, I vouldn’t recognize you, dahlink.”) but not anyone born after World War II.

Fom petty slights to soaring heights.  From a widow’s indignation to liberation for so many.  From tiny family triumphs (and the funny slights) to a loss for all humanity.  From the mundane to the immortal.   From the set-backs to the steps forward and then reluctance to decide.  The juxtaposition of all of these make the important events stand apart, in stark relief — some to be celebrated, some to be worried over, one to be mourned.

What a week it was.  Good thing I fastened my seat belt.

Random Thoughts

I realized that I was talking to someone on her cell while she was in the office bathroom.  I heard people talking and flushing.  I need to sterilize my ear.

I am for universal health care coverage, but I will not pay for hearing aids or ocular implants for people who blast music in their ears.  Especially on my subway car.

I saw a man standing just outside the employees entrance at a funeral home looking at the traffic going by.  Was he waiting for something to happen?

My partner promised to handle a matter but left my cell phone number.  Lesbian merger or dumping it back into my court?

How nice do I really have to be?

Would I get away with driving a person off a bridge if I promise to devote my life to public service (even though that wasn’t the quid pro quo for Teddy)?

If a bald, portly nerdy guy doesn’t see that he is lucky to have the girlfriend he has, will a baseball bat knock sense into him?

How come men think they are way better looking and way more desirable than they really are?

If you are blasting Karla Bonoff or The Pousette Dart Band and dancing around thinking you are cool, should you be entitled to social security benefits out of pity?

Did Sarah Palin drop off the face of the earth or was that just a fantasy I had?

Does Dick Cheney sometimes crawl back into his secret bunker for old time’s sake?

Do I have to go to the gym or can I imagine just how gross it is?

Sen. Ted Kennedy, part 2

I have been reading that many wonder whether such a flawed person could have been re-elected so many times in the age of the 24-hour news REcycle.

I would like to believe that we recognize that we all have flaws and moral failings.  It is hypocrisy that we cannot abide. And maybe, too, the lies that seek to cover up the hypocrisy. 

Sen. Kennedy was human and so he is flawed.  He was born into wealth and into the closest thing this nation has to an aristocracy.  He lost his brothers by violence, two of them by assassination.  The dreams and hopes of a mourning nation broke his shoulders.  He also is responsible for the death of a young woman and possibly two passengers on a private plane.  He was the adult at a drinking party where a rape occurred.  He had affairs and abused alcohol. 

He never pretended to anything other than a flawed man and he used his wealth and name to do good for others.  He didn’t use others to create his wealth and name.  That is why his political career would have survived the 24-hour news REcycle.