The Times neatly sums up the sudden eruption of pro-equality sentiment from the NFL:
“I think it’s a transformational moment and seismic shift to see so many folks in the world of sports stepping up and speaking out in support of equality and fairness and, in this instance, marriage equality,” Ellner said. “It really demonstrates what we know, and what’s apparent in the polls, and that the world has changed.”
And another such summary from CNN.
Muslims, Jews, and Christians find common ground:
Around 500 mainly Jewish but some Christian and Muslim protesters gathered in Berlin on Sunday to demand the right to circumcision after a disputed court ruling in Germany outlawing the rite.
Some protesters were draped in Israeli flags, others wore orthodox Jewish dress for the peaceful demonstration on Berlin’s Bebelplatz, infamous as the site of book-burning ceremonies carried out by Adolf Hitler’s Nazis.
One banner at the demonstration accused Germany of reverting to a “colonial power” while another read: “Foreskin? No thank you!”
Next year likely to be the hottest on record.
Obama gets a great big convention bump:
The latest daily tracking poll showed Obama, a Democrat, with a lead of 4 percentage points over Romney. Forty-seven percent of 1,457 likely voters surveyed online over the previous four days said they would vote for Obama if the November 6 elections were held today, compared with 43 percent for Romney.
... Obama increased his lead over Romney in certain favorable characteristics. Asked who was more "eloquent," 50 percent of the 1,720 registered voters questioned in the poll favored Obama, compared to 25 percent for Romney. Asked about being "smart enough for the job," 46 percent sided with Obama compared to 37 percent for Romney.
In fact, Obama led Romney in a dozen such favorable characteristics, such as "represents America" or "has the right values." The only such category in which Romney had an advantage was being "a man of faith," as 44 percent picked Romney, who is Mormon, compared to 31 percent for Obama, who is Christian.
The GOP sues to keep third-party candidates off the ballot in November.
Al Pacino as Joe Paterno?
There are a lot of big books coming out this fall. The Times' has a preview:
Fall is traditionally the biggest season in the book business, the time that publishers reserve for their most high-profile authors. But this year it is especially crammed with writers who are both household names and have not released a book in several years, like the octogenarian Mr. Wolfe, whose last novel, “I Am Charlotte Simmons,” was published in 2004, and Mr. Díaz, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” which came out in 2007.
Salman Rushdie, the author of “Midnight’s Children,” will release a memoir ... [J.K.] Rowling, best known for her phenomenally best-selling Harry Potter series, has written her first novel for adults, “The Casual Vacancy.”
In November Nan A. Talese/Doubleday will release Ian McEwan’s “Sweet Tooth” ... Michael Chabon’s new novel, “Telegraph Avenue,” is scheduled for release on Sept. 11 ...
The pileup has left publishers jostling for shelf space and publication dates, and critics wondering how they can review all of the elite writers worthy of attention ...
The NBA's Rajon Rando, point guard, millionaire, and noted cutie, goes to work as an unpaid fashion intern.
AFTER THE JUMP: See the ordinarily private Carol Blue, Christopher Hitchens's widow, speaks to Charlie Rose about her late husband's last book, Mortality, and his "year of living dyingly."
Posted Sep. 9,2012 at 7:31 PM EST by Brandon K. Thorp in 2012 Election, Basketball, Books, Democratic National Convention, Democratic Party, Football, Football (American), J.K. Rowling, Republican National Convention, Sports | Permalink | Comments (4)
At the New York Post, Mayrav Saar writes about a minor but fascinating controversy currently bubbling under in the Conservative Jewish community, involving gay marriage, straight marriage, and why the former's better than the latter.
Yes -- the former, gay marriage, is better, because of the peculiarities of the liturgy used in "traditional" Conservative Jewish marriage ceremonies. Writes Saar:
The bride, if she wants to, can give the groom a ring (it’s not required) and say whatever she’d like. She can recite back a re-gendered version of what her husband says to her, but not all Conservative rabbis will go for that. Instead, the bride usually recites a poem taken from the Song of Solomon, “I am my beloved, and my beloved is mine.”
There is, in the ritual, a strong proprietary element that's lacking in the same-sex ceremonies cleared for use by a law-making body of Conservative clerics this spring. Though not considered a full marriage in the Conservative community -- because, as Saar writes, a "kiddushin," or "sanctified marriage," "requires the 'dominant' party to acquire the 'less dominant' party," and same-sex couples don't contain that patriarchal dynamic -- it lays obligations upon and grants privileges to gay couples that heterosexual couples, and the women therein especially, might envy.
From the Post:
Currently, only a man can terminate a Jewish marriage with a get, or divorce document, leaving women who want to remarry or just move on with their lives at the mercy of their estranged spouses.
The same-sex model allows either party to dissolve the marriage because, as the rabbis noted, if only a man can initiate a divorce, in a marriage of two women, presumably nobody could.
That heterosexual couples might wish to emulate the same-sex marriage rites was something the rabbis who constructed the liturgies suspected from the beginning. One of them penned a warning:
While some heterosexual couples may see in these new models of brit (covenant) and shutafut (partnership) for same-sex couples a basis for abandoning the traditional model of kiddushin, Conservative Judaism has taught us to respect ancient liturgy and to minimize modifications of text.
But Conservative Jews to whom Saar spoke thought such advice would go unheeded. Said Aurora Mendelsohn, the Canadian blogger:
Anybody who sees the [gay marriage] ceremony will say, 'I want that for me.'"
The second season of the United States' edition of The X Factor debuts on the 12th, and television's full of promos. This very awkward video from what looks like the season premiere has been making the rounds on Facebook all weekend. In it, an angry contestant absolutely refuses to be talked down to by the judges, and Demi Lovato in particular. (Demi Lovato, I learned today, is a singer.)
In what was probably his final major interview before resigning as Archbishop of Canterbury, the always thoughtful Rowan Williams continued to baffle liberals, conservatives, Christians, and secularists alike in a far-randing discussion with The Daily Telegraph.
On the question of marriage equality in Britain, which Williams's Anglical Communion has opposed, the self-described "hairy lefty" maintains a position that has always frustrated marriage's opponents and supporters more or less equally. The church cannot perform same-sex weddings, says Williams, but still:
[The church] has been too – he says “lily mouthed” before correcting himself: “We’ve not exactly been on the forefront of pressing for civic equality for homosexual people, and we were wrong about that.”
To those who fear the constitutional consequences, he says legalising gay marriage would not of itself trigger disestablishment. “We’ve been assured that there will be no pressure on the Church to perform marriages, but of course as things stand, every citizen has the right to be married in Church. That’s alright, so long as the State’s definition of marriage and the Church’s definition are the same. If the State’s definition shifts … then we have a tangle.”
Hear more from the interview AFTER THE JUMP ...
Mitt Romney never expected to win his adopted home state of Massachusetts in November, despite having briefly governed it. Still, the degree to which he's not-winning MA must be a little painful. Yesterday, the Republican Sen. Scott Brown -- the former Cosmo centerfold who won Teddy Kennedy's seat in 2009, and who's currently locked in a hugely expensive, closely contested race with Democratic it-girl Elizabeth Warren -- began airing television ads in which he touts a seeming endorsement, not from his own party's presidential nominee, but from President Barack Obama.
The New York Times reports that the ad shows Barack Obama complimenting Scott Brown on his championing of a bill to stop insider trading in Congress. "Good job," the president tells Brown. For some reason, the ad hasn't yet appeared on Brown's website.
From the Times:
... in this state, Mr. Obama is so popular that candidates from both parties are trying to hitch their wagons to his star.
That approach would be unusual enough for a Democrat in a year in which many feel the need to distance themselves from the administration, but it is virtually unfathomable for a Republican. That both candidates are trying to leverage their ties to Mr. Obama underscores how popular the president is here and how unpopular his rival, Mitt Romney, is, even though he once served as the state’s governor. Mr. Obama is expected to carry Massachusetts overwhelmingly in November.
The Times reports that Brown has also aired ads touting his endorsement from various MA Democrats, including State Rep. Christopher G. Fallon.
Despite having on exactly one occasion praised Scott Brown, Barack Obama enthusiastically endorses his opponent, Mrs. Warren, who received a primetime speaking slot at last week's Democratic National Convention.
Earlier this summer, Andy began chronicling the growing animosity between PETA and Lady Gaga, after the songstress appeared in a b-movie promo poster dressed in what looked like a wolf carcass. At the time, PETA vice president Dan Matthews warned Gaga: "... you're making yourself a target just like the mindless Kim Kardashian." (Kardashian had recently been flour-bombed by a PETA activist.)
Gaga, it appears, doesn't much care: She was spotted and photographed wandering around Cologne this week wearing what looked like the carcass of an arctic fox.
Though I cannot find the post, ABCNews notes that Gaga has posted this message to her website:
I am choosing not to comment on whether or not the furs I purchase are faux fur-pile or real because I would think it hypercritical not to acknowledge the python, ostrich, cow hide, leather, lamb, alligator, 'Kermit' and not to mention meat, that I have already worn.
You see a carcass, I see a museum pièce de résistance.
Gaga proceeded to condemn PETA's "violent, abusive, and childish" brand of activism.
In 2009, Lady Gaga appeared on Ellen and described and condemned the wearing of fur:
Ellen DeGeneres quickly turned the conversation to fashion with Lady Gaga running down a list of her costume and hat designers ... One costume that has been dubbed the Kermit The Frog outfit was made by designer Jean de Castelbajac, and looks like a bunch of Kermit The Frog puppets glued together to make a top. Lady Gaga told Ellen DeGeneres, "I really loved that one in particular because I thought it was a commentary on not wearing fur, 'cause I hate fur and I don't wear fur.