Spring is finally here.
It was a long and hard winter.
I decided not to bother blogging during this kind of rough time. Funny enough, the traffic here remained pretty well the same. Not sure what that says about my traffic. I suppose it is still mostly Google picture searches. Hehehehe.
At any rate, I ended my last post with a quote from Mark Twain about being in the majority and having to pause and think about this.
This is kind of what I did.
Over the last year or two, the public ratings on two issues that serve as a cultural Zeitgeist barometer have soared from less than half to well over half of the US population supporting. Mind you, this is not California's population, or even a sampling of young people. This is the majority of everyone in the US! Southern states, Utah, Idaho and Arizona included.
The issues I am talking about, naturally, are Gay Marriage & Marijuana Legalization.
It should come as no surprise that these are non-issues for young people, progressives and libertarians... but we have reached a tipping point where huge numbers of people are now lined up to support these issues. Something that even in the heights of the 70's was never the case.
Some pundits have been trying to draw parallels between these two sea changes in opinion. Some of their connections are valid... like the fact that both shifts have coincided with a massive shift in the visibility of these once-fringe issues due to entertainment channels like TV, music and film. Some of what they say is simply horeshit IMHO. But when is that not the case with punditry?
One point, for me the most salient point, that seems to have gone un-reported... is the acceptance and humanity angle. As it turns out, though somewhat overlapping, the percentages of people who self-identify as homosexual or weed smokers are very close. Officially, both groups contain over 10% of the population... with the actual numbers possibly being much higher if you factor in the continued stigma of admitting to either lifestyle.
Naturally, the definition used, can swing these figures considerably. The number of people who have tried marijuana in their lifetime is near 40% by some estimations with 10% admitting to having tried psychedelic drugs! On the other side of the fence, many leaders of the gay community are saying their numbers could be significantly less, if one doesn't include people who have experimented or the bisexuals. (see this recent article http://news.yahoo.com/no-longer-10-percent-233400705.html)
I think a quote in this article applies quite powerfully to both "drug" users and to the gay community.
"Why on earth does it matter if we make up 10 percent or 1 percent? A minority’s civil rights are not dependent on how many of them there are or how large a segment of society they form. Do we say: sorry, guys, you only form 2 percent, you don’t meet the minimal bar for becoming a minority?"
How can anyone sincerely support persecuting groups of people that are clearly not only harmless, but include many of our best and brightest? These communities are so large that if they had lobbies, they would be bigger than the NRA, the Anti-Castro Cubans and the Pro-Israel lobbies combined.
Gays and stoners are not going to go away.
Now that public support is up around 60 or 70% for both issues, and this with polling being done during the day on landlines, skewing the demographic towards the elderly, you would think that this would be a done deal. Sadly, this is not the case just yet. There is still a lingering taboo about both issues. I believe we will see the right thing done nationwide eventually... not just on these two issues, but other hypocritical social stances like that on prostitution and other drug use. I just think that it will take its sweet time if people don't stand up and demand democracy be done.
As far as weed and gay marriage go, what our current policy amounts to is the sanctioned oppression of at least 20% of our population. This would be like oppressing all of our nation's African-Americans and Jews. Incredible? In fact, the number of LGBT Americans and drug using Americans far outstrips this. So, with a majority of support that in the Senate would be called a super-majority, how long will it take for us to stop persecuting these most creative and non-violent elements of our society?
I hope it won't take long.
The Drug War is harsher than forcing gay people to have civil unions rather than real marriages... This might be costing LGBT people money and pride, but it is costing weed smokers their entire lives, their right to vote, and putting them in cells with true criminals who don't hesitate to abuse these non-violent felons. The extreme irony of this situation is that it is often easier to get marijuana in jail than it is to find it on the outside.
This is pure madness, and the longer we take to stop it, the more lives are being ruined. The opposing of these modern civil rights issues is just as wrong-headed as was the opposing of the civil rights issues of the 60's... and history will judge it so eventually. This is not in doubt. It is only a matter of how long it will take.
As long as US government agencies are locking up close to a million citizens a year for simple marijuana possession (something two thirds of the population doesn't think should even be a crime), and NOT locking up any bankers for robbing, lying, and cheating in ways that caused a global economic catastrophe (something 72% of the population thinks we should be doing)... then the word DEMOCRACY, and the phrase LAW & ORDER are both utterly and profoundly meaningless.
Let's fix this people. Sooner than later.
Here is a free music mix for all and sundry in honor of the spring. Feel free to pass it on. It is over 2hrs long, and will have a little something for most everyone. Needless to say, it is pretty damn dope. http://8tracks.com/omniverse/spring-into-action