Daily Archives: October 28, 2008

California’s Prop 8 and other thoughts on this election season

I feel like I’ve done a darn good job of avoiding the typical run-up-to-the-elections-political-bullshit that happens every election year the weeks (and even months) before the elections. I don’t have a television, so I don’t see those repetitive advertisements during commercial breaks. There’s plenty of things to read on the internet other than politics. And until recently I avoided most of the political chatter on radio shows.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to be voting, and I consider myself an informed voter, but rather than following what in my opinion resembles a circus more than politics, I read up on the issues in a few editorials, talked with friends whose opinions I respect and then did a pretty good job of shutting it all out.

That all changed recently when my favorite radio show, KPBS’s These Days (affectionately referred to as “The Tom Fudge Show” around here) started talking politics nearly every segment sometime last week. I started getting annoyed, but kept listening, at least while in the car, segments that I missed when they originally aired I would just delete from the podcast before listening to them.

One segment I did listen to was the debate over Proposition 8, the measure to define marriage in the state constitution as only between a man and a woman. I’ve known how I was going to vote on this since the moment I heard about it. So I started listening to the debate knowing that nothing either side said could sway my opinion, I just wanted to hear what they were saying.

I was half listening when Ron Prentice, (the yes on prop 8, meaning anti-gay marriage) guest on the show, President of the California Family Council and chairman of the Protect Marriage dot-com Coalition said something that totally caught me off guard. As is often the case in these loosely moderated debates they got slightly off topic and started talking about children growing up with gay or lesbian parents, then Ron said:

“I think it would be beneficial to say, lets go back to the reasons that governments and societies over the course of ages have chosen to give a special right to a man and a woman in marriage. And that purpose is not for two people in love, that purpose has been for societies sake for the next generation.”

I couldn’t believe what I just heard. Is this guy arguing marriage isn’t about love but about a duty to society and the next generation? Sure, I understand the societal aspect of marriage. But to me marriage always seemed like something a lot more than that duty to society. I have to wonder, what is the role of marriage in society when the divorce rate is somewhere around 40 percent?

If I felt like that were the purpose of marriage, I would unequivocally say right now that there is now way in hell I’d ever get married. And I would wonder why anyone would want to get married under that definition. That definition seems to lack authenticity, to betray oneself and ones partner, even if the two people getting married are in love, their marriage should be about their love, not for societies sake.

You can listen to the segment on These Days at their website.

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Lucha Libre in Tijuana

Last Friday night we went to a Lucha Libre wrestling match in Tijuana. I know very little about Mexican wrestling, but really wanted to check out a match.

We got to the Auditorium pretty early and bought tickets. General admission tickets were 150 Pesos, about $11.50US at the current exchange rate, but as we approached the window a man offered to sell us his tickets. He said his wife was sick so they couldn’t go. He had two front row tickets that he was willing to sell for about half price, just a little more than two general admission tickets. We asked the ticket sellers to verify they were good and bought them.

With some time to kill we went to Carnitas Uruapan, a restaurant across the street. We got some chips and salsa. When I ordered a beer they brought me two, Kinsee pointed out the “Cerveza 2×1” sign hanging on the wall, at the right time it seems like everything in TJ is two for one. We ate some delicious nopales and then went back to the auditorium.On our way back we saw these fans who were more than happy to pose for a picture.

We didn’t realize how close the front row was, until we sat down. We were right there about 5 feet from the ring. We got some beers, 20 Pesos, about $1.50US, sadly not two for one, and waited for the match to start. I don’t think either of us really knew what to expect. This guy was my favorite. He walked around the ring making sure the cables were taut before the match, and then stayed on the sides making sure nothing went wrong the entire time. He seemed like the only person involved that wasn’t an actor.

The first match was two on two and one of the guys wasn’t wearing a mask. I never figured out how they decide to wear masks or not, but at one point in one of the later matches one guy tried to take another’s mask off. Aside from the masks Mexican wrestling doesn’t seem that much different than American professional wrestling. It was silly but fun.

The second match brought out an older guy in white chinos. He seemed to be the Vince McMahon of TJ wrestling — everything he did was over dramatic.

I think the second match was four on four. As the night went on the wrestlers got bigger and better. At one point a guy was thrown into the flimsy railing right in front of us. As they came over you could smell the sweat and mildew of their clothes. It was really disgusting.

A lot of the matches involved silly slapstick humor that the crowd would eat up (myself included). My favorite part of the night was when someone was being pinned and another wrestler held the referee’s hand so he couldn’t count him out. The entire crowd made this laughing noise that (whether he does it or not) I can picture Bumblebee Man on The Simpsons making. It’s not quite a full laugh, but obvious that the person making it is amused.

During the last match one wrestler got thrown over the fence near us and they started fighting and hitting each other with chairs right there. Then someone in the crowd got up and started fighting, it was obvious it was setup, but pretty funny and the crowed loved it.

Speaking of the crowd, there was a man about 10 seats away from us, also in the front row, that was really into it. He would yell at the wrestlers and the ref when he disagreed with what was going on. He would show his approval for things they did. I couldn’t tell if he was somehow involved with it, or if he was just a really excited fan.

It was fun and entertaining. I don’t know how often I’ll go back to Lucha matches, but definetely something to see once.