Thursday, October 30, 2008

that part about personal responsibility

I made the mistake of reading another earthquake-scare article in the latest East Bay Express. The Loma Prieta faultline is raring to go, ready to take down 2.5k of us at minimum with the next rattle and roll. I know this. I have known this. So why do I still live here? I often answer this question with a reference to the Berkeley Bowl and the farmers' markets. I'm something of a hedonist with at least a faint conscience and while I like good food, I need to know for the most part it's local, sustainably raised, and, if it was once a critter, humanely treated. All of this is easiest to pull off--I don't see this as debatable, but I am up for being informed--here in Northern California, much more than anywhere else in the world.

However, a large part of living near the bohemian love-peace-acceptance dreamzone of Berkeley, California, has also been the appeal of what many of us conversationally refer to as "the bubble." It's edifying to live in a place evolved enough that gay folks, much like persecuted interracial couples in our country's history, can show affection without fear of hostility and hate crimes, and for the most part, can live in a society that esteems equitability and respect in policy and practice.

But as the real estate market and global economic crisis have shown, bubbles obviously pop. And as I drove past a throng of cheering teenagers waving "Yes on 8" banners with the same innocent, young enthusiasm for which they probably advertise their bake sales, I felt disconsolate, just devastated. So I suppose it's time to see about mending some patches in my local bubble wall, if you will.

I am putting my money where my mouth is for once and venturing out onto the streets, the phones, wherever I'm told to go and whatever I'm told to do by the good folks behind the "No on Proposition 8" campaign working hard to defeat a proposition that would eliminate same-sex couples' established right to marry in California.

I hope, particularly for all of you--and I know many of my friends say this--who have historically said they "don't like to get political," that you'll do something, whether it is donate, volunteer, or vote, to defeat Proposition 8. It would mean a lot to me. It's not so much getting political (though I don't see that as a bad thing) as it is being just plain civil to your neighbor.