The soul has greater need of the ideal than the real for it is by the real that we exist, it is by the ideal that we live

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

strange behavior

Google is a strange animal.

This week I see a post on Towleroad telling us all how cool Google is that they're paying their gay employees a little more to make up for the extra taxes they have to pay for health benefits for their partners.

Then I see a post by a fellow blogger in the UK who says his fairly innocuous comments won't post.  They are as follows:

Racial background of US Presidents and Blogger

[With reference to Look Mummy, below]

Something very weird is happening at Blogger. In response to my ramblings about Pride, a kind reader left this comment:

It feels like Obama has been in office for a looong time, but there is still no way the equivalent of this could be seen in the homeland of our US "allies", who continue with the idea that there are no queers in their Goddamn man's military. It must be utterly galling for them to have to serve alongside the lezzers and woofters in the British forces.

Quite the opposite. There are many in the military who wish to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell, including General Petreaus, James Jones, Colin Powell and certain members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Don't lump the mouth-breathing troglodytes with the rest of us Yanks, ok?

It frustrates me when others paint Americans as unenlightened inbred hill folk, since the rest of the world isn't so much better. We did elect an Obama, after all. When will the British elect a Prime Minister of Pakistani descent? Or the French a Senegalese President? The Dutch a Moroccan Prime Minister? The Germans a Turkish leader?

See, you got me all worked up, and not in the way I'm usually worked up when I visit your blog! Oh well, I'll scroll down and look at the pretty pictures again.

I replied, with this -- but for some reason Blogger refuses to publish this comment:

There are many in the military who wish to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell, including General Petreaus, James Jones, Colin Powell and certain members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Well now I'm really confused. If all those powerful people want to end it, and if the saintly Commander-in-Chief also wants to end it, er... why hasn't it ended? Are they all just completely inept? Or is it that they don't actually care that much about this issue because, as Clinton found, queer rights don't play so well in the electoral heartlands?
Really, I'm struggling to reconcile the picture you've painted of all the views of all these lovely enlightened people with the fact that "don't ask, don't tell" is still in place.
You should in no way think this is an attempt to diminish your people and Big Up my own -- as you'll have seen on numerous occasions, I am much, much harder on British politicians than I am on any others.
But we've got to stop letting Obama off the hook just because he comes from a different racial group. That would be like letting Thatcher get away with stuff because she just happened to be a woman.
Of course these break-throughs are to be celebrated. But either these people are fit and proper to do their jobs or they are not -- and their particular circumstances should not be an excuse for mistakes or under-performance.
The whole point of Pride is to (or was to?) underline that queer rights are basic human rights. My post was a reflection of the fact that, for almost every practical purpose, we have finally managed to achieve queer equality in the UK. Other places are not so fortunate -- and we can either make excuses for that or we can keep the pressure up.

For sure, there are much worse places than the US for queer rights. But since we are supposedly the closest allies in the current insane wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and since I was commenting on the British military's always rather popular presence at Pride, it seemed a logical swerve to the US. I'm sorry you don't see it that way.

On reflection, I thought I'd not properly responded to another point, so I left a second comment -- which, for some reason, Blogger also refuses to publish. Here it is:

Oh, and I'm rather with you on the racial background of elected politicians. I'd like a world in which these things don't matter, any more than gender or sexuality or disability.
But if you want to prove the US is more enlightened because it has elected a leader from a different demographic background, most of us can play similar games: a few decades back both Britain's Head of State and Head of Government were women -- when will the US elect a woman President?
I've lost track of the number of lesbian and gay ministers that have served openly in the British Government. But I'm struggling to think of a single lesbian or gay US Secretary.
Race is one issue, and an important one (though I suspect more important in the US than in the UK, for all sorts of historical reasons). But it's not the only one.

I'm very suspicious about why these wouldn't publish. Very strange.

Incidentally, I might also have done a bit of demographic sleuthing -- don't minority ethnic groups in the US make up around 40% of the population (and heading for majority status in a few years)? In the UK the equivalent figure is about 7%, so if you want to do "what proportion of UK Prime Ministers should come from minority ethnic groups" it will be very, very much lower than the equivalent for US Presidents. Women, of course, make up a majority in both countries...

-reciprocating motion

As you can see he didn't say anything particularly inflammatory, and yet is suspicious about why these comments won't post.   Personally I just think they were too long and blogger isn't programmed to think we can formulate sentences that lengthy.

But then the other day I tried to access an email account I have and got the message that they suspended it because of "suspicious activity."

What suspicious activity?  I rarely use the account, in fact it's my secret acct for when I have to give someone an address like for a department store or other online account that I know is only intended to generate useless emails that will do nothing but clog up my personal account. So naturally I was miffed and sent Google the following message:

Stay out of my accounts, I'm doing nothing in there but contacting family and friends which is none of your business.

Today I find that I can't access the account at all.  In fact it asks for my LIBRARY CARD number to reset the password. What the fuck is that?

I sent a form to google from which I expect very little action.  But their unwillingness to actually help me with the problem speaks volumes over and above the domestic partners benefits thing.

So let's hope that someone is actually hijacking email addresses and that's what's happened to mine.   Otherwise Google is turning into something I don't want to associate with...and that would be a hassle.

Feeling like everything is up for grabs recently and that losing it all isn't really the worst thing that could happen.  It is after all just stuff.

and so it goes:

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