Mount Sutro: An Electronic Periodical

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Attack of the Homosexual Agenda!

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help

I find the accusations detailed in the following BBC news story unfathomably ridiculous.
US right attacks SpongeBob video
[original article]

US conservative groups are up in arms over a music video featuring children's TV heroes such as the cheerful cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants. Focus on the Family and other groups say the video - a remake of the Sister Sledge hit, We Are Family - is a vehicle for pro-gay propaganda.

The video's makers plan to mail it to US schools in the spring to promote tolerance and diversity. They say the attack is based on a misunderstanding.

The video also features children's favourites like Bob the Builder, along with characters from Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.

But James Dobson, founder of right-wing Christian group Focus on the Family, singled out SpongeBob at a black-tie dinner in Washington in the run-up to President Bush's inauguration, the New York Times said.

SpongeBob - who appears on the children's cable channel Nickelodeon - is seen as an icon for adult gay men in the US, apparently because he regularly holds hands with his sidekick Patrick. His creators deny that he is gay, but he is not the first such character to cause controversy.

In 1999 conservatives claimed handbag-carrying Teletubby Tinky Winky, an import from the UK, was a bad role-model.

'Easy lesson'

Nile Rodgers, who wrote the song and is founder of the We Are Family Foundation (WAFF) which released the new video, says it is intended to help teach children the values of co-operation and unity.

"We believe that this is the essential first step to loving thy neighbour," he said. "And the fun and exciting format makes it a lesson that's easy for children to learn."

But conservatives say it sees the video as a cunning attempt to promote homosexuality. They point to the fact that the WAFF is linked to a pledge being promoted by some liberal groups which includes a recognition of tolerance of sexual identity.

"We see the video as an insidious means by which the organisation is manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids," Paul Batura, a spokesman for Focus on the Family, told the New York Times.

Mr Rodgers said the groups may have confused his foundation with an unrelated organisation with a similar name that supports gay youth.

WAFF spokesman Mark Barondeso told the newspaper that anyone who thought the video promoted homosexuality "needs to visit their doctor and get their medication increased."
I must have let my subscription to the "Convert the World" newsletter lapse, because all this agenda talk is new to me. The Focus on the Family group must have nothing better to do then come up with these absurd analyses of cartoon kids programming. So SpongeBob and Patrick hold hands, right? Hello, this is a program for children. Children hold hands with their friends. How can people so instantly jump from a simple friendly hand-hold to homosexual agenda?

The basis of the conservative view that homosexuals are promoting an agenda to gain "special" rights and brainwash the balance of the population is intrinsically flawed. The only agenda I see in action is similar to the one Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior embarked on in 1955 when he staged the city-wide boycott of Montgomery, Alabama's public transportation system in response to the Rosa Parks arrest.

Irrelevant of anyone's personal feeling on whether or not homosexuality is moral, unnatural or dirty, it was the intention of the founders of this country that every citizen had the unrestricted ability to conduct their lives as they see fit. As such, rules were established to ensure equal treatment regardless of those beliefs. While it has taken a considerable amount of time to attach these rules to minorities such as African Americans and women, it was eventually done because it was the right and equal thing to do.

I am not seeking any "special" rights. I want to be able to receive Federal tax benefits should I choose to officialize a long-term, loving relationship with another human being. I want that person to automatically receive the legal privileges as a next of kin and to have the final say in matters exclusive to the union. I do not want to have to worry about being terminated from job where I perform above and beyond all expectations because someone has a problem with who I happen to be romantically attracted to in my private, personal, non-work related life.

Someone please explain to me how those requests are "special" in any way.

I do not identify myself by my sexuality. I exist as a human being and therefore should be judged by my actions, not who I date. That is nobody's business but my own and personally not something I feel the need to advertise. I will not hide the fact, however. Why should I bother? I do not hide the fact that I have grey eyes or that my right hand is dominant. In the larger scheme of the universe, those attributes hold the same weight as sexuality: very little to none.

And even if you do not choose to accept that argument and still hold the opinion that homosexuality is something one consciously selects, why still should it matter? Does my choice to purchase a Honda vehicle over a Ford vehicle somehow make me inherently different from someone who would select the Ford over the Honda?

In closing, if you think I am going to go to hell for having committed unequivocally detestable sins against god and nature, so be it. I am not planning on finding out if you are correct in the near future, so in the meantime, I am the same as you and deserve the same rights and privileges. Period.


Related Article: Best Gay News Blog: Mount Sutro

A Bank's Math

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
On the television last night I overheard an advert for a financial institution at first I assumed to be a joke, not unlike the Geico Insurance spots that mimic infomercials and Old Navy commercials. Amazingly enough, it was no joke: the Fifth Third Bank is legitimate.
Fifth Third traces its origins to the Bank of the Ohio Valley, which opened its doors in Cincinnati in 1858. In 1871, that bank was purchased by the Third National Bank. With the turn of the century came the union of the Third National Bank and the Fifth National Bank, and eventually the organization became known as "Fifth Third Bank." Since its beginning, Fifth Third has provided superior customer service and followed sound banking principles.
Given that historical information, would it not be logical for their name to be the Eighth Bank?

Swedish Shopping

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help

Do you shop at I would really love it if instead of going to their website directly you use You receive the same shopping experience but I receive a small amount of money per purchase via their affiliates program. It is fun and free! Help me out financially and have fun thinking about Muppet chefs at the same time.

Bookmark this for shopping:

Thank you in advance!

Flash That Does Not Suck

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help

It is no secret I am against many implementations of Macromedia's Flash web technology. While there are so many wonderful things that can be done with Flash, I find the majority of sites that feature it do in a way against basic design principles, web standards, interoperability and, well, taste. On occasion there is a site or two that uses Flash in such a way I cannot help but like.

Today's example is the US corporate website for the Dyson Appliances company. After reading another rave review about their super-powerful, yet pricy vacuum cleaners I decided to hop on over to their site to read some technical specifications. As I write this I still have not gotten past the first page, mesmerized by the two figures with the telescoping attachments vacuuming the borders of the page's navigational elements. They even have a Flash game to demonstrate some of the telescope functions.

Why I Love Technology

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help

As I have mentioned in the past, I am one of the few odd IT people who still use older equipment at home. My primary computer is still the Gateway Solo 2500 (link to non-related, but interesting article about installing Linux on a GWS2500) I purchased in mid-1999. While it may not be able to run the latest games and such, I worry not because it does what I need it to do and does it pretty well. I always run the latest and greatest software and some how this old machine figures out a way to manage, even with Windows XP, Office 2003, Photoshop and Illustrator.

The only thing about having an older PC is the simple reality that compatibility issues are sure to come up. Back when I finally relented and upgraded from Windows 2000 to Windows XP, one of these inherent issues appeared. Turns out the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) chip on my motherboard is not supported by Windows XP. The result: any time a power saving feature is enabled by the operating system, a critical error occurs and my system stops cold in its steps.

So far I have lived with this issue simply by turning off the power saving features such as hard drive spin-down and LCD turn-off. They were pretty moot to be anyway, as I generally put the system to sleep or hibernate when not actively using it. I decided the other day, however, that I wanted to go to sleep to the sounds of SomaFM a favourite streaming audio site. While it would have been simple enough to just close the LCD lid and hit the sack, I decided I wanted to try to nip this issue once and for all.

I searched around online and found the consensus solution for those not wishing to reformat (a process I already meticulously conduct every six months or so and recently just completed). It was a simple enough procedure: tell Windows your computer is not an ACPI-compatible machine. After a reboot, all system hardware is re-identified and installed and ACPI services are non-existent.

Since I turned on System Restore in case the situation hit the fan, I was ready to step-back the change because I immediately did not like the fact the power button no longer launched the Windows dialogue with options to sleep/hibernate, reboot or shutdown. Instead, it either acts as a power button or a sleep toggle, as directed by the BIOS. Sleep is no longer an option, only hibernate. I decided to let it stay for a while and just see how things operate.

It is absolutely amazing how much better my system now runs without the dark ACPI overlords stalking around. I always thought my video card simply sucked, but with ACPI gone, video (streaming and otherwise) are as fluid playing as they should. The obvious lack of sudden system lock-ups is to say the least, a plus. And the one problem I had succumbed to, destined to never find a solution: DHCP and intranetworking. Lo and behold, my system automatically accepted an IP and all networking goodies from the network AND every machine on the network can see every other machine on the network.

Amazing. Absolutely, incredibly amazing. I cannot even fathom how many countless hours I have spent trying to get all the machines on my network to operate as they should. And now, I just connected a foreign system to the network (a machine I am doing work on for a client) and *poof* with no hassle what so ever, the new system is visible by everyone and transferring backup files to my server.