Argentina Does It! Now Marriage Equality at Both Ends of the Hemisphere as U.S. Held Hostage by Social Stick-in-the-Muds

I’m happy for what happened in Argentina in the wee hours this morning, when that country’s senate by a vote of 33-27 voted for gay marriage, and based on earlier passage by the house and the strong support by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the Senate vote was the final hurdle to be passed.

Wow! Argentina, you as a country have my respect.  It’s almost unreal, that now we have gained rights at both the southern end of the hemisphere (Argentina) and the northern end (Canada).

I’m sad too for my own country.  I used to think of the U.S. as the country of progress–in both the areas of invention and technology as well as culture and civil liberties.

But here we sit, a nation whose industrial and technological might brought an end to World Wars and put a man on the moon–here we sit, stagnant and controlled by our unfettered need for oil and all of the problems it has brought along with it, yes, and here we sit, stagnant and controlled by religious and political conservatives, who in reality want to take us back beyond the Disco 80s, the Love-in 60s, maybe even further back than the Eisenhower 50s.

These Tea Partiers, these Glenm Becks, these bible holders (yes, they really only want to hold them, for some sense of tactile security it brings them) spit out the word progress like its something dirty.  They don’t want a country that’s moving ahead in any way.  Whatever happened to being a country of forward thinkers?  The country that does it first?  The country that others want to emulate?  I really don’t believe that most Americans want to go backwards, but for whatever reason, too many in federal and local governments have given an ear to these stick-in-the-muds, who, if they had their “druthers”, would  take us back to the 1920s, when many in the country gave the same attention to another group: the Ku Klux Klan.  (Do your history homework.  The KKK didn’t just go after Blacks.  They were against unions, Jews, Catholics, and anybody else that didn’t think like they did.)

So, hurray! Argentina!  I have hope that one day soon, this country will put on its hip boots and wade through this languid river, kicking the muddy carp to the side, and follow you to the other side, then keep marching forward, only to glance back at the muck that kept trying to hold this great country back, in this world that does not stand still.

(Take a look at the celebration in the streets of Buenos Aires when the announcement of the vote was made.  Progress–it’s a good thing.)

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I Want My Gay TV: Check Out “Botineras” from Argentina

I have to admit I haven’t kept up with any regular series much this season.  Tonight I caught most of “Brothers & Sisters”, which I had watched religiously through the first two seasons.  It’s still a good show, but there’s a predictability to it.  It’s nice to see Kevin and Scotty’s storyline given equal status to all the others, but something pretty big is going to have to happen before the end of the season; otherwise, I’m ready to call this one “stale”.

Every time I click over to Logo, either it’s current re-runs of “Rupaul’s Drag Race” or re-runs of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, something I never watched even when it came out.  The second season of “Drag Race” is probably one season too many.  It was something unique in season one, but more of the same just hasn’t pulled me in this go-round.

 

Manuel (Cristian Sancho) and Lalo (Ezequiel Castaño) in "Botineras" from Argentina

 

Something that I hope will be syndicated here in the U.S. on Spanish-language TV is a soap opera (telenovela) out of Argentina, called Botineras.  I just ran across some clips on youtube and with a little further digging found out it’s a show that started last fall and centers on the story of a professional futbol (soccer) team and, of course, all of the intermingling lives.  One of the stories is the gay romance between, Lalo and Manuel, two of the players, one of whom is married.

Several people have posted clips containing the Lalo-Manuel segments on youtube.  So far, there are 15-18 parts, depending on who uploaded them, but they are found in different places.  Start here for Part 1 just in Spanish.  If you want to see it with English subtitles, go here.  I only found the first 8 parts subtitled so far.  I found Parts 14 and 15 here and here.

I’m going to try to embed Part 15, which is recent.  If you watch 15, you’ll be hooked and want to go back and start over with Part 1.

So who’s going to call Telemundo or Univison to get them to syndicate this show here?

And What Will the Conservative Republicans Say Now about Sancti-MOAN-ious Sanford’s Revelations and the Sanctity of Marriage? Come’on Now, We’re All Waiting with Bated Breath

Mr. A-List (that’s A for Adultery), Republican Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina was forthcoming with even more revelations about his relationship with Maria Belen Chapur, the Argentinian woman with whom he has been having an affair. It seems, though, that his current mistress is not the only woman he has been involved with during his marriage to his wife, Jenny. “Oh, what a tangled web . . .” If you’re into the details the South Carolinian newspaper, The State has the most.

Actually, I’m not that interested in what Sanford or other straight people do in bed; it’s just that when so many of them give out this “holier than thou” attitude, laying it on thick about the sanctity of marriage and how gay marriage and homosexuality are just about the worst thing that anyone could be part of, you want to sit there and say, “Hey, Sluggo, maybe you might want to re-think your position on love and who can love whom, and maybe your love isn’t really any different than anybody else’s love.” (Wow, that was a long sentence; I got to take a breath myself.)

Anyway, ya gotta dig these cartoons:

First Church of GOPDevout Christian

And So It Goes–Another “Moral” Republican, Presidential-Hopeful “Goes Down” . . . So To Speak . . . All the Way to Argentina

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, another of the "A-List" Republicans

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, another one of the "A-List" Republicans

“Lost” Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina has come back to the States from Argentina, and upon his return admitted to having an affair with an Argentinian woman whom he had met some eight years ago.  This is the same Republican governor who made such a big fuss over the stimulus package and didn’t want to take money for his state, which in the end the state legislature accepted.

We probably should start making some tick marks on the calendar to see how many weeks in a row, these Republican big-wigs are going to “come out” admitting to breaking some biblical rule.  It was just last week that U.S. Senator John Ensign admitted to having had an affair with an employee, who was also the wife of one of his top aides.

These types are the same ones who rail against gay marriage and espouse the “sanctity of marriage”.

Just once I’d like to hear from any of the bible-beaters and have them show where that book says there is anything wrong with love, either gay or straight.  What I don’t understand is where they get all so quiet and seem like the shyest little girl in the corner, when one of these conservative Republicans breaks one of the 10 commandants from their own holy book.  I mean, one of the 10 commandments; that should be like really a big deal, but they’d rather go on harping, campaigning, and spending money trying to tear down gay people based on a few debatable verses.

Vicuña, Chile–One of Those “Magical” Places

Valle de Elqui (The Elqui Valley)--if you look closely you can see the tops of some of the buildings of Vicuña.

Valle de Elqui (The Elqui Valley)--if you look closely you can see the tops of some of the buildings of Vicuña. It may not look "magical" but it is.

I was sorting through the box of photos that I have, both tonight and last night, remembering old friendships and re-visiting past trips.

It makes me wonder, in these digital days, whether in the future people will be able to enjoy this kind of collection–either in the hodgepodge of envelopes still from the developer like I have or in nicely arranged albums that others have. I just can’t see much pleasure involved in pulling out DVDs and slipping them into the computer as a way of enjoying photos. And what about all those images that just got deleted? My photo box contains lots of “mistakes” that I can enjoy today and some, not necessarily mistakes, but ones I might like to cut someone out of. But this dilemma is not really my point here. Let me share some of the photos from my box.

Grape vines and the Andes Mountains near Vicuña, Chile.

Grape vines and the Andes Mountains near Vicuña, Chile.

Amongst all the others, I have a couple of full envelopes from trips to Chile. I’ve been there a couple of times, the last in 2000. Chile, that long thin country in South America, has as its border with Argentina the Andes Mountains and its other limit the cold Pacific Ocean. Because of its geography, it’s an absolutely beautiful country, which goes from almost arid desert in the north to cold and wet the further south you go.

Chile is a country with so much unspoiled nature that it’s almost hard to believe. I was fortunate enough to have friends whom I had met through internet chat to welcome me there and show me around.

There is a place there that has to be one of earth’s “magical” places, something like what I’ve heard about Sedona, Arizona.

Vicuña is a town that lies a good day’s bus ride north of Santiago up in one of the many valleys of the Chilean Andes, where the run-off from the snow flows from the mountains in a westerly direction, eventually into the Pacific. A lot of this water is used for irrigation. In the Valle de Elqui, where Vicuña sits, much of the water is used for the grape vineyards, but other fruits and vegetables are also grown in the area. Vicuña is a center for the production of pisco, a brandy-like liquor that is processed in several distilleries in the area. I had a chance to visit the Capel pisco plant there. I still can make a mean Pisco Sour, one of those drinks that tastes so good, but might have your socks knocked off after just a couple.

The church and the old German Bauer Tower sit in the center of Vicuña.

The church and the old German Bauer Tower sit in the center of Vicuña.

But let me get back to the “magic” of this place. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything like it before. I guess I might attribute this feeling partly to the quaintness of the town itself. It has a unique old tower that was originally built in Germany but was brought in pieces by immigrants and re-constructed in the center of town. But I’ve been to many other quaint towns, so I really don’t think that’s it.

It could be because the sky there is absolutely clear, and the view goes on for miles. In fact, there are at least two observatories that have been located right in the area just because of this clear, clean air.

Maybe it’s the quiet, slow-paced atmosphere of the place, where even the dogs on the street couldn’t be bothered to lift their heads to bark at an intruder trudging down their narrow street.

One of the quiet streets of Vicuña.

One of the quiet streets of Vicuña.

I really can’t say what gives Vicuña this special feeling, but I do know that I felt it when I arrived and felt its absence later. I doubt, too, that I am able in any way to convey this magic through a few photos, but I remember it well and I have the urge to experience Vicuña’s special magic again.

New Interpretations Bring Modern Fusions into the Classic Argentinian Tango

“Meloncholic” is how I think about tango music, not really a genre that I’m pulled towards very often. But just like in the previous post, which focused on some of the music coming out of Australia, I “stumbled” again, this time onto how gay artists in Argentina are bringing “new life” into that classic style of song and dance.

Gerar Flores and Agustin Rombola make up Kurdha Tango Gay, which is giving a gay flavor to some old tango classics; the one they are performing in the video is called “Los Mareados” (I’m not going to bother going to my dictionary, but it means something like “The Seasick Guys” or “The Guys with Hangovers”–take your pick or have a laugh at my translating.) The original comes from the 40s, but these guys are giving it, what some are calling a “gay tango fusion”.

When it comes to dancing the tango, another pair of dancers, Augusto Balizano and Miguel Moyano, are steaming up the dance floors in Buenos Aires, putting their own personal style into the dance that is thought to have started in rough port neighborhood of La Boca (that’s the area of the city we think of when we envision the old, multi-colored buildings).