Thursday, November 27, 2008

Post Titled: The Mongoose and the Weasel. amazing. a-mazing!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Post Titled: Gas Wars (a Journal entry by David Byrne)
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Post Titled: WERK!
Cory (DJ PEOPLE's CHAMPION, Berlin/D.C.) is having a baby tonight (not a real one), event info:
WERK! (also to be an internet radio site)

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

post titled: susanna berivan


_DSC1942-1033.jpg, originally uploaded by seleniel.

special thanks to susanna berivan for playing an amazing set the other night. her music can be heard HERE

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Post Titled: From Todd at Opium Magazine...
Enter the 500-Word Memoir Contest Now!
500-Word Memoir Contest Judged by Tom Perrotta!

The 500-Word Memoir Contest--judged by author and Oscar-nominee Tom Perrotta--is wide open, and ready for you to submit your blazingly brilliant entry.

The rules? Easy. Write a memoir that of 500 words or less. The winning memoir, along with a handful of finalists, will appear in Opium8 which will debut on May 1, 2009. For a shining example--a finalist from Opium5--check out Giancarlo DiTrapano's heartaching memoir.

So enter now, and tell the world so they can enter, too!
The Deadline: February 22, 2009
The Reward: $1,000, and publication in Opium8.
The Cost: $10 for a single entry; $17.50 for two (or you can now subscribe and enter for $25!)
How to Submit: Go to Opium's new submissions system and enter!
The Odds: We can't know this until all entries are in, but know that we do publish many stories from our contests (7 appear in Opium7, 10 in Opium6, along with over 30 on OpiumMagazine.com).

Tom PerrottaThe Judge: Tom Perrotta has written six novels, including Election, the New York Times best seller The Abstinence Teacher and Little Children. Election became an acclaimed movie directed by Alexander Payne, and Perrotta received an Oscar nomination for the screenplay of Little Children. Perrotta has taught at Yale and Harvard, and lives near Boston.

www.OpiumMagazine.com
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post titled: bring the kid

_DSC1908-1003.jpg, originally uploaded by seleniel.

Lubee cauight in a rare moment of stillness inbetween otherwise causing a ruckus in the apt.

good stuff.

location: "KILL A SAILOR" tar art rat curated art and music show. More images by Constantin HERE

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Monday, November 24, 2008

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Post Titled: a moment of silence for the sheer beauty of jordan and pippen

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Post Titled: Lately when I get on the U-bahn in the morning with the other zombies I have been listening to the tongue-in cheek 18-year old sentiments of:
MGMT

Time To Pretend lyrics

"I'm feeling rough, I'm feeling raw, I'm in the prime of my life.
Let's make some music, make some money, find some models for wives.
I'll move to Paris, shoot some heroin, and fuck with the stars.
You man the island and the cocaine and the elegant cars.

This is our decision, to live fast and die young.
We've got the vision, now let's have some fun.
Yeah, it's overwhelming, but what else can we do.
Get jobs in offices, and wake up for the morning commute.

Forget about our mothers and our friends
We're fated to pretend
To pretend
We're fated to pretend
To pretend

I'll miss the playgrounds and the animals and digging up worms
I'll miss the comfort of my mother and the weight of the world
I'll miss my sister, miss my father, miss my dog and my home
Yeah, I'll miss the boredom and the freedom and the time spent alone.

There's really nothing, nothing we can do
Love must be forgotten, life can always start up anew.
The models will have children, we'll get a divorce
We'll find some more models, everything must run it's course.

We'll choke on our vomit and that will be the end
We were fated to pretend
To pretend
We're fated to pretend
To pretend

Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah"

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

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Post Titled: back factory coffee hokusai's wave made out of mickey mouse hands
(waiting to interview jaybo (aka monk) on a cold sunday morning

tar art rat show and tell *coffee and artist interview -sunday! on 12seconds.tv
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

post Titled: downsizing...

found out that I am getting let-go at the end of the year (well, if you count Christmas break then it is really just about a month more of work). with debt mounting and options running out, the next months will be very interesting for this here blogger... maybe I should go stay with my folks in england for a few weeks extra after Christmas to finish the novel and look for work while trying to clear my head... ugh. Dunno.
but regarding this particular new obstacle,
I feel up and down about this.
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Post TItled: Hexapod Dance Competition - Hagenberg/Austria
so cool...

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Post Titled: ANAVAN
a band from LA playing Berlin on Monday, Nov. 24th. I can't go because it is the same night as FLEET FOXES, schade. great video of a song called "You're Taking Me Out"
You're Taking Me Out

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

post titled: one or two more (musik) things before I run off into the night... ninja academy plays idiothéque by radiohead from BUBBA


&&&

(just thought this was really interesting: Jori Hulkkonen And His Experimental Piece For 10 Roland 303's "So Run The Tears Like Wine"
found in Ben Adair's natural sounds blog.

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TAR ART RAT...
Post Titled:
KILL A SAILOR at a"ROMANTIC CANDLELIGHT GETAWAY" (since most of you smoke and there will be a lot of candles)


Hi boys and girls of berlin,

So -some of you know and some not yet- but on Friday Nov. 21 we are clearing out the main room of the apartment and having an art show with lots of live music which we are calling ROMANTIC CANDLELIGHT GETAWAY

The apartment will be opened from 19.00- whenever, the galleries Crystal Ball and Nationalmuseum (just down below the apt:) are also having openings at this time as well, so I think that works well for everyone.

The catch is we have no power (aka "electricity") so this will be an analog-acoustic space lit by FIRE (and crank or battery operated devices)(candles and mirrors) so I might recommend that contrast-y work might be best, as well as easy-to-hang pieces.

We plan on selling cheap alcohol with a small entry fee and of course those of you showing are free to sell your work commission-free
-also if you have any friends who would be interested in showing work please send them my way. TARARTRAT(at)gmail.com- I'd like to start hanging the work on Thursday.

Also upon request I will send you - ähm, an "open source" -if you will- .psd of the flyer with basic info which we slapped together last night (basic and bland), feel free to play with it as you see fit, and add or remove or whatever you want to do to it- and print and distribute at will.

Off the top of my head, I think that's it. Lemme know if you have questions. We are on Schönleinstraße between the Graefekiez and Kottbusser Damm.

lg,
;p

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Post Titled: some fundamental confusion over the past 2 days between the Quest and the Explorers... I recall the VHS covers.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

pOST tItLED: "Enjoy the duck"
(AKA- a lame email my friend received today...)

"Hey ****,

Sorry I am not going to be able to make it to dinner tonight. I completely forgot that I am meeting my friend ******* for a screening of this documentary done by a fellow Fulbrighter. Sorry I missed ****'s talk today. I woke up this morning and my cold had gotten exponentially worse. I can hardly breathe and can't stop coughing and sneezing. I didn't want to be the girl in the back coughing the entire day!

Also, I really have to apologize about last night. I probably should have told you earlier, but I have a boyfriend back home in San Francisco. We are doing the whole "open" relationship thing this year, while its long-distance, but I am just not really interested in anyone else. I should have been a little more upfront with you last night.

Enjoy the duck and the rest of your time in Beijing,
****"
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Post Titled: News that can only be described as "rad."
Post Subtitled: "Pirates seize giant oil tanker"
By Daniel Howden, Africa Correspondent
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
'As pirates become bolder a tanker could be set on fire or sunk, causing a catastrophe' - Chatham House Think-tank

"Somali pirates pulled off their most audacious hijack to date yesterday, venturing outside their usual waters to seize a Saudi Arabian supertanker laden with two million barrels of crude, in an attack that sent oil prices higher."
from THE INDEPENDENT
which immediately inspired the following work conversation:
JC: I didn't even know there WERE pirates-
Me: SUre, didn't you see that ... the movie... the Tiefseetaucher ... Steve Zissou, what's it called? With Bill Murray...Wes Anderson... Tiefseetaucher...?
JC: Uhm. No I didn't see that one.
Me: Tief... The Life Aquatic!- duh, jeez.
JC: No, didn't see that one
Me: Well, I also read that cruise ships have sound cannons to repel pirates.
JC: (blank quizzical look)
Me: Like... did you see the Incredible Hulk?
JC: Which one?
Me: The new one.. the sound cannons... Hulk... sound cannons...?
JC: No, I didn't see that one.
Me: Oh. Well.. they blast sound... waves.
thinking: perhaps I should've cited Atlas Shrugged...

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Post Titled: Vattenfall shut off my electricity. bitches eröffnet 19. Berliner Märchentage
But seriously, folks, Vattenfall hat meine strom ausgeschaltet, so i got a crank-powered LED licht light and I cook on my coal oven. I have gotten really used to this now, actually.
without electricity one realllly starts to find ways to enterian one's self, so fuck Vattenfall Märchen. I read and draw by candlelight and make stupid faces at my camera.

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Post Titled: Post Google's first attempt at a live video blog (vlog) post... fail!

wtf, man, I can+t think about this sh+t now on 12seconds.tv
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Post Titled:STAR TREK TRAILER
looks kinda badass, thanks Dan!

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The Nightmare Is Over, originally uploaded by 133roy.

Election night photo taken in Manhattan by Ms. Messica.
Lots of other amazing images to be found HERE.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Post Titled: 1962 Mashed Potato Time Dee Dee Sharp

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Post Titled: NATIONALMUSEUM (at Schönleinstraße 6a in Kreuzberg), Berlin is pretty bomb new little art space, very barebones with a lot of good work. Raw. Raw work. But good. They have had 2 exhibitions in the last week or so, both of which were far better than average.
HOWEVER, Post Google however has yet to been able to figure out who runs the place. Every time I go there everyone is drunk and too busy smoking a cigarette while slouching on a member of the opposite sex while to care to post a list of artists- although the first show did have a postcard... maybe the Crystal Ball Galerie guys know...
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Post Titled: "Africa conquers the White House."-Juergen Gansel, a state legislator and member of the extreme-right National Democratic Party

Post Subtitled: *D'oh!* not again...

(sorry, using that foto again of Gaba from Hamburg, he's like my Joe the Plumber- love it. Thanks Janna for the link!) If you read the blog during my first year back in Germany (2006), there was a lot of me saying things like "holy shit- you CAN'T say/do THAT!" - i.e. the BILD zeitung cover on the day Obama came to town where several prominent German politicians had been Barack-afro-blackified.
There were posts positively raging on the racial insensitivity and sometimes pure ignorance of my host country- (even the other day Ms. Bean (from Kentucky) told me how someone had made a snide "ausländer" comment to her - someone dressed as a cowboy at a country music festival she was playing at- wow, anyhow.)
But over time, the shock to my P.C.-trained brain has lessened significantly, and I -sadly-get used to the natural born racial insensitivity which much of the European continent suffers from (even with regards to their neighboring countries at times), but generally think Julian Bond (chairman of the NAACP) hits the nail on the head:
"The big difference here is that the United States has been thinking about and dealing with race since we were founded. These countries in Europe are relative newcomers to the conversation about race. They are much less familiar with confronting their own bigotry."


The US is so thrown in the water when it comes to racial diversity and tolerance that the standard is pretty-much unrealistically high. Coming back from the West Coast once again I just realized how amazing and natural and comfortable integration and truly comfortable co-existence of people from dozens of ethnic backgrounds has become, it is unreal- unlike anywhere else, it is the standard, really. London and Paris are somewhere in the running, and Europe may come around in time, but I am not expecting any miracles.
The thing is- if people just grow-up around other people from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds then they are completely normalized, they don't think twice about other people's ethnicity- but in Europe it is rare that a child growing up would have such an experience... and if you grow up only seeing people who are essentially just like you, then of course you would come to think of others as real others... anyhow, hopefully this is the last time I will talk about racial issues in this blog, but it probably won't be...

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Post Titled: CRANK.
Me: was the crank light still on when you got home? I wonder what the charge life is on it... that thing is amazing.
Goldmann: yeh - it was on very dimly when I came back at around 5:30. very very dimly. Does the radio also function w/o batteries? I was afraid of winding in too tight / too much. you'll need to give me a tutorial later on.
Me: yea, I love that thing!!! it was dim when you got home because it was on for 22 hours at that point,
but crank crank crank-! the more the better!
the crank IS a generator! it has no other power source-
the radio works great, but if you run the light and radio simultaneously then you have to crank it more, and there is also a USB outlet where you can charge things- i charged my iPod on it the other day

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Post Titled: "Wow." -Todd Zuniga

and I have to agree, Keith Olbermann really did me one better and basically made me cry here with his soft little rant on the passing of Prop. 8 in California

MSNBC Keith Olbermann on Prop 8, Marriage and more!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Post Titled: ART! links (eye candy to be astounded by as well as to cringe at...
New work by Patricia Piccinini on display in Sydney.
As amazingly good as it is amazingly creepy. Kelsey Brookes, on the other hand is just so damn fun, thanks J. Go!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Post Titled: Non-Fiction, Nov. 2008 & the Happy Dark Ages!
Post Subtitled: and to an absurd level we are accidentally so fresh and so green, like, the greenest motherf#%kers in the neighborhood ever motherf#%ker, don't tell me you give a shit about the environment if you still use electricity and drive an auto-mo-bile. word.
Since the 31st of October when negotiations shut down with Vattenfall (our power company) and our
electricity was shut off life has certainly changed- but I am going to put my neck out there (at the risk of my roommate killing me) and say that I have actually come to LIKE it.
"Why? WHY (and HOW?) is life without electricity so great?" you might ask-
well, the answer is: I am around electronic devices all day long- online, typing, absorbing information, etc-
and then i come home and walk from room to room with candles. If I want to read I position several candles in brilliantly orchestrated
collaboration with multiple mirrors to make it bright enough. Strangely enough I knocked my iPod into the sink three days ago (which was the last
means of importing /carrying
media from the outside world into the apartment) , and it has yet to show any signs
of life since...
moral of that story: only idiots try to listen to podcasts of this American life and shave at the
same time. I am an idiot.

So, yea, I get the candles lit, start a raging fire in the coal oven, then make make tea directly on the heater
in my new authentic metal prisoner
cup (a reproduction from Alcatraz) and sit back to read the dual-language book of T.C. Boyle short stories I
picked up, or the ridiculous German Superman / Gerechtlichkeitsleague (Justice League) comic from 1978 I found at the fle market for €1 and which is now totally falling apart, or the David Foster Wallace Lobster book on loan from Tod- or even play tetris on
my old RAZR -which has been useless for the past 2.1 years ever since cingular refused to unlock it for me
when I moved to Europe... when i get tired I break out my laptop and watch the first half of Risky Business, which
I torrented- and was pleasantly surprised to find that it is an 80s teen movie, who knew???
There are sounds at all times, and especially before I fall asleep - just listening to these transmissions coming from various parts of our building and the street below: babies crying, drunks grumbling, boy-girl fights,
Turks having serious discussions, couples in bed talking or fucking (also trying to figure out if the noises are real or if it is just the sound
someone watching porn, clue. real life tends to me much more irregular and less repetitive/clockwork in its animal noises) and the occasional bark of a dog...
Without electricity the senses are heightened (one visualizes rooms and their contents/objects because one is too lazy or has forgotten to bring a candle, and the sounds- all the little sounds come out of the woodwork, any sounds you'd've never ever noticed before but now that is all that's left... one is left only with simple pleasures and activities to entertain one's self. A huge leap, actually, and
the laptop battery life now limits me severely- not to mention the lack of internet... I am not in front of the computer glotzening endless Daily Show / Colbert clips online...
will all this newfound still-life get old? probably. But for now I am just so fascinated by it... that firewall of still you pass through when you pass through the front door.
So,
CONCLUSION: lemme go out on a limb here and say that I think this is actually HEALTHY. It is like camping in your house, and with complete saturation of technology and information (especially post-election) I feel like this might be exactly what I need, it hits the spot. Completely. TV TURNOFF WEEK is one thing, this is a whole different animal -and an animal I#d highly recommend taking home with you- at that.

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Post Titled: How adorable is she???
Rachel Maddow on Colbert.

I just learned of Ms. Maddow's existence when i was back in San Francisco last week, my comment after watching her 2 nights in a row: "She#s great! Her haircut is kinda dykey, though."
Bubba: "That#s because she's a lesbian."
Me: "Oh. Guess it is just fitting then."

Admittedly, since the election ended I have been just floating along happily in a News Free Sector of Analog Land (even dropped my iPod in the tolit, -hasn't made a peep since! &%#§! I thought I couldn't live without that thing, but apparently I can...

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Post Titled: Black Sheep Obama video

Dres of Black Sheep (who apparently now IS Black Sheep?) re-tools an old hit to the tune of the 2008 Obama McCain election choice... watch it like 5 times in a row, -I did.

I saw Dres/BlackSheep at a small venue in Berlin over the summer, and it was an excellent show- really genuine and talented guy, puts off an extremely positive vibe.

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Post Titled: FOUND: "If you find this you will win €1,000,000 in the next week -or die"

"If you find this you will win �1,000,000 in the next week -or die" on 12seconds.tv
-nothing spectacular actually, it just weirded me out a bit. the gallery mentioned was a show called "Nationalmuseum" and apparently it was one night only, even though they spent a month rennovating the space. I was actually a bit ruffled by the huge turnout- the sidewalk was packed with people all night- hipster art scenester-y kids... grr. I know it is selfish and that I play a role in the gentrification if Kreuzkölln as well, but I kind of prefer Schönleinstraße to be a quiet, mildly depressing and nearly forgotten little stretch with no Americans except myself, which is how it was 2 years ago when we moved-in... alas.
Anyhow, I am going to try to start to use the site 12seconds.tv to upload videos, -there is something terribly attractive about the 12 second rule. Thanks to Ariel Waldman for the heads up .

tags: found purse note kreuzberg germany berlin kreuzberg, berlin, germany

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Post Titled: the Cowboy Killers, Berlin 2008 THE MOVIE!

video
(a video Buck and I just finished);

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Friday, November 07, 2008

Just been TWITTERING lately- (see right-hand side) sorrrrryyyyyy. Long story.
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Monday, November 03, 2008

Post Titled: regarding "Sarah Palin is a c***"
Post Subtitled: leave it to old friends to keep us in-check

A message i recently received: ".. ok- i did not want to comment on your blog...i'm timid when it comes to politics... i generally try to keep to myself- my views are not the same as all of my friends- and unless it is super super super important i'm generally quiet... but after i decided not to comment i kept thinking about it so here is my comment


as far as the sarah palin is a c*** clarification....(getting so technical)

Let's put her politics aside

i'm sure i'm not your only friend that happens to be a mother- (i could possibly be your only friend that intends on having 5 children).....lets show some respect to mothers/women in general... i don't like to wish pain on another person... but for your post (and to all men who dare to make such statements) i wish you to pass at least one kidney stone in your life time...and let it be a big one!!!!!!
ok, i take that back... i do not wish pain. Besides... at the end of your pain when going through child birth you get a cute baby- (but once i miscarried and went through most of the pain and did not get a cute baby at the end- but that is another story) but women go through a lot physically and emotionally in the birthing process and mothering process...
So... show some respect!!!!!! Bag on her politics- bag on her policy, bag on what ever.. but remember all of the mothers....especially the ones that want to have 5 kids....

so don't go there.

i'm saying this with the sweetest tone ever and did not want to get into an argument over this... i was not even going to comment in fear of public retaliation. So, as far as you being technical with birthing and anatomy (even though you used the naughtiest of words for it)....never underestimate the power of Kegels...

and excuse my mis spellings, and mis use of these (.) and these (....) and these(( ))...

and i don't expect a public apology.


late"

ME: "there ya go:
http://tarartrat.blogspot.com/2008/11/post-titled-regarding-sarah-palin-is-c.html
thanks for your thoughts, I guess I rarely even take politics seriously anymore/.. . I was very politically active up until about 2004 and then after Bush was re-elected I just gave up, but before that I was out getting teargassed at the WTO, out protesting the Iraq War every weekend, volunteering for the Nader campaign, etc. anyhow, so there's that and then there is just LIVING in seattle for so long - which really is a strange environment where nothing is sacred except film and literature... I guess all of that has made me more or less un-offendable and then when I offend people I can't even understand why they are offended... a bit odd, guess I'll have to work on that.
anyhow, thanks Ms. ***** *** for keeping me in-check! I will keep your words of wisdom in mind in the future!
best,
****"
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Saturday, November 01, 2008


Post Titled: "Why so serious?"
Post Subtitled: Heath Ledger the Joker Halloween Costume, San Francisco 2008

This this is (was) my Halloween costume- or rather the remnants of it at 3 am before I washed it off, the hair was actually much greener before the rainfall:

Materials: acrylic paint, charcoal, lipstick, Salvation Army clothing, black grease paint and white face paint. I love and miss Halloween terribly.
&
R.I.P. big guy.

...

BUT, in more important news:

Post Titled: "Hello Loved Ones, Acquaintances & Otherwises,"
Post Subtitled: (An important letter from John regarding Proposition 8 on the California Ballot which kinda made me want to cry)...

"I apologize for the mass mailing, but since I don't do this often I hope you'll bear with me as I talk about something very personal and very important. It'll only take a few minutes to read, promise. And yes, I wrote this myself.

I know that not all of you live in California, but even so, I hope you'll read on and share this with others who might. There is a proposition on the ballot here, Proposition 8, that aims to eliminate the rights of same-sex couples to marry in our state. I oppose this proposition and I am voting NO, and I hope you'll join me in both voting NO and sharing your stance (or at least mine) with everyone you know in the next week. Please talk to your friends, families, neighbors, co-workers, anyone who will listen.

I'm gay, and I obviously have a personal investment in this issue, but my interests extend far beyond myself, and I hope the same is - or can be - true for you, whether you're gay, bi, straight, or asexual. I live my life everyday in the best way that I can. I try to be decent and fair to the people I know and the people I don't. I work hard, I stop at crosswalks, and I pay taxes. I love my family, my friends, and my dog Riley. I recycle, I volunteer, and I try to be conscious of the world I inhabit. My guess is that a lot of these proclamations could have been made by any of you. I also happen to be gay, and like all of you, no matter your orientation, I just want to love and be loved at the end of the day. While I'm not married now, I hope one day to meet the guy of my dreams and raise a family together. And sadly, if Prop 8 passes, I might not ever have a chance to do that.

California recently granted gay couples the right to marry legally. In fact, many of my closest friends have already tied the knot, including a couple who have lived together for 8 years. I cannot tell you how moving it was to watch these two people who love each other finally have the right to legally join in marriage. Their wedding was bigger to me than the two of them. It was a symbol of total freedom and equality, something I've always thought, as a gay man, I would never have.

Judging by the current polls, I may never have the privilege of experiencing that equality firsthand. Today, I walked into work wearing a NO ON PROP 8 sticker, and my co-worker gave me a horrified look and asked why I would wear this sticker. She knows I'm gay. I was just as confused as she was. Come to find out, she misunderstood the proposition and thought a yes vote meant yes to gay marriage. A lot of us probably know this is not the case, but if my smart, good-hearted co-worker thought she should vote yes in support of gay marriage, my guess is that a lot of people do. The race is extremely close on this proposition, and this misperception alone might cause Prop 8 to pass. And to be clear, we want it to fail, which means a NO vote. Prop 8 strikes down California law and writes discrimination into its constitution.

Some of the campaign for Yes on Prop 8 is deceiving to people like my co-worker, which certainly doesn't help. And even worse, much of it is filled with lies. I won't go into the laundry list, but please know that voting NO ON PROP 8 absolutely does not mean that children will be taught about homosexuality in kindergarten or that churches will lose their tax-exempt status or be sued if they choose not to perform same-sex marriages. If you want more clarification, it's broken down quite nicely online (http://www.noonprop8.com/about/fact-vs-fiction).

I have been volunteering at the call banks for NO ON PROP 8, reaching out to voters and helping them understand what Prop 8 is really about. I recently spoke with a young man who was voting in his first election. I told him why I was calling and asked him if he would commit to voting NO. He said, "I don't understand the gay lifestyle and I don't agree with it." My heart sank. He continued, "But it's not my right to judge other people or stand in the way of civil rights. I don't believe the government should tell me who to love or how I can do it, and they shouldn't do that to anyone else." While his first statement gave me pause, he went on to underscore something important - that people who might not like the fact that some of us are gay are willing to put that aside in the name of justice. It certainly gave me hope, and courage to share his argument with people I might not otherwise approach. I know that most of you are already joining me in voting NO because of our social like-mindedness, but it's empowering to think that we might change even one mind by simply pointing out that, gay or straight, it is unfair to deny anyone equal rights.

I also volunteer as a counselor for the Trevor Project, a suicide and crisis helpline for gay youth. Many of the young people I talk to are hopeless and considering suicide, because they are being bullied in school and/or their families have rejected them simply because they are gay. Some of them have been kicked out of their homes, others have been sent to conversion camps, and others are being physically and verbally abused. Taking these calls has been a grim reminder to me that we still live in a world where a child can be driven to take their own life because of our cultural negativity toward homosexuality. Taking steps toward equal rights sends a signal to everyone that it is not OK to attack others just because you don't identify with them. Voting NO ON PROP 8 takes that step.

I'm not asking you to donate money (although that would be fantastic!) or volunteer your time (which would also be amazing). With only a few days left until the election, I'm making a plea to you to talk to everyone you know about Proposition 8, and encourage them to vote NO. It's easy to take for granted that we're all on the same page, but this is a really complex issue for many reasons. So please, talk to your parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, friends, co-workers, everyone! You're more than welcome to forward my email along to them, but your thoughts will probably mean more coming from you.

Thank you for reading this and considering my thoughts.

Much love,
John"

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