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Cory Doctorow

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

A day at the Pride Festival

I spent most of the afternoon yesterday at the Long Beach Pride Festival. The experience (and the spending) started before I even got into the Festival after an engaging conversation with a young Greenpeace member. After the colossal, uh, I-can't-say-it-without-swearing, situation in the Gulf of Mexico, a group like Greenpeace is in a position to have a stronger voice in our country's environmental policy. And, thanks to folks like me, a few more bucks in their coffers.

I spent the afternoon being vaccinated, "cracker-jack" tattooed by the FBI, signing petitions and grabbing flyers and postcards from various organizations' booths throughout the Festival. I closed my eyes and took in a drumming performance, danced to a couple of old-school jamz (the only sort I seem to know these days) and even had my palm read. Darn good reader, by the way, as far as checking for changes in my facial expression, pulse in my neck and/or lack of either. I really have to look in to that as a regular gig: 4 goof balls like me every hour paying $5 a piece sounds like pretty solid foundation for a business. And, if I can turn the goof balls into suckers, $10 and $20 per person would be just icing on the cake.

Fortunately, a case of post-nasal drip and a huskier voice than usual this morning and this story, from Malawi in south-eastern Africa, was sobering. If you find yourself struggling in your own relationships, a read of those two men's situation in their own country, where just declaring your love is reason enough for jail without bail, a speedy judgment and, all but likely long-term prison sentence becomes your fate.

And if you think your own struggles are done, this story shows that the freedom of any adult to love another consenting adult is not yet secured.

I'm sobered up and it's time to go back to work.

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