Op-Ed for the Philadelphia Gay News 2/25/16

I won’t mourn the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and I don’t think anyone in the gay community should feel obligated to have any sympathy for him. I don’t think any American with a working heart should spare him another thought.

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed when news of Scalia’s death broke. Minutes after his passing was confirmed, there came the finger-wagging. Tweets written by exclusively straight, white and cisgender men reminding people that “regardless of their politics” it is “distasteful” to speak ill of the dead. These same people insisted to their followers that Antonin Scalia had a “brilliant legal mind” and a “great wit.” 

That’s easy for you guys to say. In the nearly 30 years that Scalia spent on the Supreme Court, his rulings never denied you anything: your rights, your dignity or your personal freedom. Antonin Scalia worked his whole career to drag social progression back to 1776. He was very proud of his “originalist” philosophy, meaning he believed the Constitution should remain exactly as it was written, instead of a living document that must grow and evolve to reflect the needs of the American people. 

He compared homosexuality to all manner of colorful things, including: flagpole sitting, rooting for the Chicago Cubs, eating snails, incest and recreational heroin use. Infamously, Scalia once told a gay law student that he believed marriage rights shouldn’t be opened to same-sex couples because of the moral stance against it. He compared marriage laws to the laws against murder, saying that murder is illegal because of moral feeling. He was quoted as saying to the gay student: “I’m surprised you’re not convinced.”

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Occasionally, one gets trapped in a novel.

Hello, readers! Here’s a small, silly thing I wrote: How To Tell You’re In A Patricia Highsmith Novel.
It’s a tricky thing, ending up in such a grim literary world. You’ve got to know how to spot these things before anyone invites you out on their boat. How do you know when you’ve gotten trapped in a novel?

1) You have committed a murder and consequently obtained everything you ever wanted.
2) You have committed a murder and consequently lost everything good you ever had.
3) You love art. You’d do anything for art. Anything.
4) Your housekeeper is comically French and unusually discreet.
5) Your wife is charmingly French and not overly inquisitive.
6) The gossip surrounding your name is horribly, horribly true.
7) Your letters, diaries and legal documents are nothing but lies.
8) There is a man. You wish you were more like him. Soon, he will be dead.
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5 People You Meet at GameLoop Philly

As a life-long geek, it was great to get behind the scenes at Philly’s second annual GameLoop unconference andmeet the people who make up Philly’s vibrate, exciting indy gaming scene. Keep an eye out for next year’s Game Loop here, and check out Philly Dev Night on Thursdays at Cipher Prime Studios

If you don’t know how the unconference model works, here’s the quick version using this weekend’s third-ever Game Loop Philly as a primer. Smart people interested in a given topic, like video game development, show up in the morning to drink coffee, eat pastries and create a day-long collection of cutting edge industry discussions. Then they attend them to learn and share with each other. Easy.

First held in 2011 and then again last year, and using the brand name of a similar Boston event series, Game Loop had some 60 people in the morning to suggest topics and build out the day’s event.

Like the far larger and wider ranging Barcamp Philly, which follows a global trend of open format thought-leadership events, Game Loop is meant to be designed by its attendees, said Nicole Kline, who has organized the event with Ray Merkler since its 2011 launch.

Read the rest of the story here.

Alleged Union T.H.U.G.S. Accused of Arson and Racketeering

10 members of Ironworkers Local 401 were arrested earlier today on charges of arson and racketeering. T.H.U.G.S stand for “The Helpful Union GuyS”, one of the nicknames the crew alleged led by Joseph Dougherty gave themselves.
Plenty of people in Philadelphia (including Your Author) have strong feelings and real cynicism about union labor: http://storify.com/bethanneboyle/never-thought-they-d-arrest-the-goon-sqaud