kottke.org posts about marriage
A few days after the fact, but still a fascinating read on how the political sausage gets made.
Over time, however, championing same-sex marriage had become personal for Mr. Cuomo. He campaigned on the issue in the race for governor last year, and after his election, he was staggered by the number of gay couples who sought him out at restaurants and on the street, prodding him, sometimes tearfully, to deliver on his word.
The pressure did not let up at home. Mr. Cuomo's girlfriend, Sandra Lee, has an openly gay brother, and she frequently reminded the governor how much she wanted the law to change.
Something else weighed on him, too: the long shadow of his father, Mario, who rose to national prominence as the conscience of the Democratic Party, passionately defending the poor and assailing the death penalty. During his first few months in office, the younger Mr. Cuomo had achieved what seemed like modern-day miracles by the standards of Albany - an austere on-time budget and a deal to cap property taxes. But, as Mr. Cuomo explained by phone to his father a few weeks ago, he did not want those accomplishments to define his first year in office.
"They are operational," he told his father. Passing same-sex marriage, by contrast, "is at the heart of leadership and progressive government."
"I have to do this."
Mother's Day makes wives want to cheat on their husbands. Female sign-ups soared on ashleymadison.com (a dating site for married people) on the day after Mother's Day.
31,427 women signed up for AshleyMadison.com yesterday -- which is over ten times the average number of women who typically sign up on any given Monday.
The day after Valentine's Day is even busier on the site.
In red America, families form adults; in blue America, adults form families.
Quite a statement. It sums up the how the red- and blue-state families approach marriage, childbirth, and divorce. The red-state approach worked well until our society changed.
New norms arise for this environment, norms geared to prevent premature family formation. The new paradigm prizes responsible childbearing and child-rearing far above the traditional linkage of sex, marriage, and procreation. Instead of emphasizing abstinence until marriage, it enjoins: Don't form a family until after you have finished your education and are equipped for responsibility. In other words, adults form families. Family life marks the end of the transition to adulthood, not the beginning.
From the Modern Love column in the NY Times this week, the story of a woman who was told by her husband that he never loved her and wanted a divorce. But she wouldn't let him leave.
Although it may sound ridiculous to say "Don't take it personally" when your husband tells you he no longer loves you, sometimes that's exactly what you have to do.
A wide-ranging interview with the always interesting Jonathan Rauch. Topics include blogging, introversion, politics, and gay marriage.
America is divided on the meaning of marriage and is understandably cautious about tampering with an age-old, embattled institution. On the other hand, Americans are increasingly sympathetic to gay couples who are pledged to care for each other (and their children) but who are legal strangers to one another, a situation which just makes no sense.
On gay marriage, activists on both ends of the spectrum conspired against radical incrementalism. One side tried to ban gay marriage forever on every inch of American soil; the other side dreamed of mandating it nationally by court order. To its great credit, the country refused to be hustled. Instead it is taking the truly conservative approach, which is to try gay marriage in some places, without betting the whole country.
Improv Everywhere's newest prank is their best yet: they threw a wedding reception for a random couple getting married at City Hall.
The reception was an incredibly fun time. We had planned to stage the mission for more than one couple, but Frank and Raff were just too perfect. They stayed for over an hour and completely yes-anded everything we threw at them. There were moments where it felt like we actually did all know each other and you sort of forgot you were "acting."
Nate Silver says that "voter initiatives to ban gay marriage are becoming harder and harder to pass every year" and uses a regression model to produce a listing of when the voters of each US state would vote against a marriage ban if given the chance. Some notables:
New York - 2009
Iowa - 2013
Utah - 2013
Kansas - 2015
Texas - 2018
Mississippi - 2024
Today is bittersweet...Obama got elected but it looks as though Proposition 8 will pass, banning gay marriage in California. Fuck you, California.
Update: Fuck you too, Arizona and Florida. Also, several people objected to the strong language I used here, saying that I can't curse an entire state where many voted against the ban, it was all the Mormon Church's fault, and in one case, that it was hypocritical of me as a New York resident to complain. You know what? I'm *upset* about this and a little profanity, a little lashing out, is totally fucking warranted.
You've likely seen the wedding photo of the wounded Iraq War soldier and the woman who stuck by him through his recovery. After being married for just over a year, the couple is now divorced.
"Nothing was ever really wrong. It just wasn't right. Going into the marriage? I'd never been married before. I think we were okay. The wedding - it was so planned. There was this thing... " He breaks off and gets up to retrieve the framed certificate. It's from the state of Illinois declaring his wedding a state holiday. "To call something like that off..." He sits back down.
Tobias Wong has made a slick all-black iPhone called the ccPhone. It comes preloaded with videos, photos, music, and the company address book of Citizen:Citizen, the company selling it. Available as a limited edition of 50, each phone is $2000. Another of Wong's projects that I really like is the Tiffany diamond solitaire engagement ring with the diamond turned upside down so the point sticks out (possibly for slashing attackers). A nice play on the marital security that an engagement ring offers the wearer. (via core77)
Ariel Levy tells us about her lesbian wedding that wasn't really a wedding (it was "a party about love") and her struggle to find something she could wear for it. "I also didn't feel okay about spending all my free time on the phone with the flower guy and the tent man, or about making little checklists of who was coming, and who was not coming, and who was staying at the Goodstone Inn. And I definitely did not feel okay about telling the sales staff of half the better clothing retailers in New York City that I needed something fetching to wear to my big fat gay wedding."
John McCain is using Mike Davidson's MySpace template (without attribution) and pulling some images directly from Davidson's server, which is a big no-no in webmaster land. So Davidson modified one of his images displaying on McCain's MySpace page to say that he'd reversed his position on gay marriage, especially "marriage between passionate females".
More men are taking their wives' last names in marriage and are getting more shit for it too. "Van Hallgren received a scathing note from a longtime listener with a subject line that read, 'Sam, turn in your man card.' The listener asked what 'sissy juice' the host was drinking."
Lots of discussion online about this Garrison Keillor piece in Salon where he seems to assert that gay parents shouldn't be flamboyant and immigrants, while siring lovely children, don't hold a candle to the white cowboys riding the plains. More than anything, this piece just confuses me...is he being truthful about his opinions or is he taking a less-than-successful swipe at himself and his outdated views? I can't really tell...more than anything, it seems poorly written.
Rebecca Mead's new book on the state of weddings in America is available for preorder on Amazon. Mead writes for the New Yorker; the book is out in May. "Mead takes us into a world populated by Bridezillas, ministers-for-hire, videographers, and heirloom manufacturers, exposing the forces behind the consumerist mindset of the American bride and the entrepreneurial zeal of the wedding industry that both serves and exploits her. "
Before NBA player Jason Kidd split with his wife, his free throw routine included blowing a kiss to her. After the ugly breakup, he kisses his fingers and wipes them on his butt...kiss my ass!
A couple worth $2 billion did their own divorce in an afternoon over a bottle of wine. "Life's too short, they figured. And why give the lawyers all the money if you can work it out yourselves?"
Two weeks in Ukraine with 30 men hunting for brides. "The vision was Madonna and puttana rolled together, an American male desire shaped in equal parts by the Promise Keepers and Internet porn." (via maciej)
Last week, I reported on a man using the video camera that Apple had set up to record the opening of their new store on 5th Ave in NYC to propose marriage to his girlfriend, one Uschi Lang.
I got an email from Uschi and she couldn't be happier to announce that she said yes to the proposal and that her fiancé James has made her "the happiest woman in the world". Congratulations, you two!
Update: I emailed Uschi and James for some more details and just got a response back. James had been meaning to propose for a few months -- he'd had "the talk" with her father over the holidays -- and was looking for a good opportunity. They were both in line for the 6pm opening of the Apple Store on Friday when James noticed the camera and a proposal idea that was "unique, timeless, and surprising" popped into his head.
At 4:30 am, he snuck out of bed without Uschi noticing it and headed back to the Apple Store. Based on the timing of the time-lapse video already posted on Apple's site, James stood with the signs for about 15 minutes (5 minutes per sign) to ensure that they were visible in the video.
A few days later, James set up a "romantic trail of candles" leading up to his G5, showed Uschi the video -- which she had not seen despite some coverage on the web -- and she of course said "yes".
Fine nerd humor: comparing Girlfriend 6.0 to Wife 1.0. "If you try to install Mistress 1.1 before uninstalling Wife 1.0, Wife 1.0 will delete MSMoney files before doing the uninstall itself. Then Mistress 1.1 will refuse to install, claiming insufficient resources." Would like to see Boyfriend 6.0 vs. Husband 1.0 as well.
Update: Husband 1.0 is already there. (thx, jason)
Update on the Apple Store marriage proposal: she said yes!
Update: Not so fast....that acceptance is probably a fake. I got suckered!
Apple opened a new retail store last night on 5th Avenue here in New York City. Since 5pm yesterday evening, they've had a camera trained on the store to capture the first 24 hours of the festivities and are displaying the results in a time-lapse movie on the store's site. During the 5am segment of the movie, an enterprising Apple acolyte showed up and proposed to his girlfriend by holding up signs in front of the camera:
Does anyone know who this person is? Please email me if you do...I want to know how this turned out!
As it happens, this was the second marriage proposal at the opening...the eighth person in line proposed to his girlfriend right before the store opened and she said yes. Geek love!
Uschi apparently said yes! (I say apparently because this blogspot site has the story and I'm assuming it was copied without attribution from a news site or newspaper but I can't find the actual source.) (thx, robert)
Update: My pal David thinks the acceptance is a hoax...that blogspot site is filled with other fake news stories. I was fished in!!
Two bloggers get married via their blogs. Texas law requires a public declaration of the marriage with local witnesses and their blog posts satisfy that requirement. (via mr)
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes now engaged. What the hell? This is shaping up to be a monster of a train wreck.
I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm gonna be blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died.
How Christian of him.