Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Child's Play

Okay, so it's been the week of the child. Why stop now?

In WTF news, an article in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle notes the drop in the child population of San Francisco. The article starts out sweetly enough, with an anecdote from a nice heterosexual couple (can't tell if they're married because they have different last names). They share their daughter's lament that all of her friends are leaving the nabe, and she's wondering when they're planning to move. It's heartbreaking, really.

Here's the WTF part. The first fucking sentence: "Ms. XY and Mr. XX are starting to feel as if their family of four is an endangered species." Kids, your hackles should be raised. But, let's jump down to the 9th paragraph: "San Francisco's large gay population ... is thought to be one factor..." In fairness to the author, I'll give you the ending of the sentence: "...though gays and lesbians in the city are increasingly raising families." And, I'll even give the author a little more. Let's jump up again to the second paragraph, talking about Ms. XX, Mr. XY, and young xx and xy, their kids: "Since the couple bought a house five years ago, more than a dozen families in their social circle have left the city for cheaper housing, better schools, or both."

This is classic us vs. them fodder. A nice American family is witnessing the decimation of their community. In reflection, it's because people are looking for cheaper housing and better schools, which are unimportant to double income-no kids homosexuals who come into neighborhoods, glam them up, and make fine, young American families move out. As an afterthought, queers are raising kids too. The author makes no distinction between San Francisco proper, which has always been a really expensive city to live in, kids or no kids, and surrounding cities that make up the Bay Area (Berkeley, Oakland, Santa Cruz).

And then, former hero Gavin Newsome (you remember him -- he married the gays but his wife left him shortly thereafter, even though she says he was layin' the pipe lovely), responds by allocating nearly $1 billion to bolster health insurance for children, better education, enrichment and afterschool programs, and creates a 27-member board to develop plans for keeping families in the city. I'm not against programs to support kids. I'm not even against real research into what families need to live their everyday lives. I'm against the perception that gay=bad, which is what this article suggests. Dan White, the Harvey Milk and George Moscone assassin, ran for the city council on a platform that suggested that non-gay San Franciscans were being unraveled from the fabric of the city. Okay, so one could argue that a buncha bars, theaters, bookstores, and other gay male-friendly establishments popped up overnight, which would probably have made the natives restless, but they were also tax-paying businesses that put a lot of money into city coffers. Crumbling neighborhoods were built up. And, if you've ever been to San Francisco, the queers are centralized in ONE FUCKING AREA -- The Castro. Who the fuck can afford to live there anyway? No family I can think of.

This is yet another instance of gays being blamed for everything that's wrong in the world. And it has to stop.

I Wish I Was Justin Combs

P. Diddy, or in this case, P. Daddy, is appealing a child support order issued by New York State. Hold on, he's no deadbeat dad, and God bless him for that. He's been ordered to increase his monthly payments to the mother of his son Justin from $5000 to $21,000. A month. A month. Good goobly goo, what the hell do you spend $21,000 a month on for a child? Dad pays for health insurance, clothing, private school, vacations, and a partridge in a pear tree. Although I don't have kids, I live in New York, and I know private school is pretty pricey. All those $100 sneakers add up, and certainly, the week on Mustique costs a nice chunka change. But, what in the name of sweet Fanny Doyle do you spend $21-fucking-thousand dollars on in a month on an 11-year-old?

Adopt me. Please. I don't need much, and I'm perfectly content to keep riding the train. I shop at Old Navy, Gap, and H&M. The only $100 sneakers I wear are running shoes, otherwise I've never spent more than $75 for a pair of shoes. I take my lunch to work everyday. I cook 6 days a week. I haven't bought a new bed in 10 years, and my mattress has sunk on one side. I would like one luxury vacation a year, but don't have to have it. I'd like a car, once I learn how to drive, that is, but I'm happy to have a Hyundai. I don't need a Bentley. I need at least 3-bedroom apartment or house (one for the wife & I, an office, and a room just for the wife's shoes), but if you can only swing a 2-bedroom, that's cool.

$21,000. I'll be Farnsworth Bentley for that. Damn.

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