So. I’ve been rooting about in the bad news/good news department — you know, like you do — and have uncovered incontrovertible evidence that people still suck, alongside undeniable evidence that people can grow. I will leave you to determine, within the limitations of your own, personal opti/pessimeter, if we are best advised to draw hope or despair from the following. Perhaps a soupçon of both?
People still suck
It’s never a bad idea to be occasionally reminded that old-school antisemitism is still a thing. To wit:
Iran’s vice president used the lectern of an international antidrug conference [in Tehran] Tuesday to deliver a baldly anti-Semitic speech, blaming Judaism’s holy book, the Talmud, for teaching how to suck blood from people and for causing the spread of illegal drugs around the world.
According to Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, Judaism’s central text, the Talmud (in which the Torah’s laws are expounded, explained, and commented upon) teaches those who follow it to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews.” Furthermore, Rahimi says, “Zionists” run the international drug trade, adding
The Islamic Republic of Iran will pay for anybody who can research and find one single Zionist who is an addict. They do not exist. This is the proof of their involvement in drugs trade.
(Does one even bother to mention Israeli/Jewish drug addicts in this context? Or does one just move on?)
And, just to wrap it all up in a brightly delusional bow, Rahimi also talked about
gynecologists killing black babies on the orders of the Zionists and claimed that the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 was started by the Jews, adding that mysteriously no Jews died in that uprising.
So, you know. That happened.
BUT ON THE OTHER HAND:
People can grow
The Pentagon for the first time celebrated gay pride in a modest but emotional ceremony Tuesday, less than a year after the US military lifted a ban on homosexuals serving openly in uniform.
In a packed hall, a top defense official said the repeal of the the prohibition has gone ahead without any major problems and a panel of gay service members spoke about how much had changed after years of having to hide their sexual orientation under the former “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.
A year ago, Marine Captain Matthew Phelps said he was “in the closet,” taking pains to conceal his homosexuality.
“I was at a point in my career that if anyone had found out that I was gay… I could have lost my job,” he told the audience.
This month, the Marine officer was invited to a reception at the White House honoring gay pride.
President Obama delivered taped remarks at the event — the very same President who on June 1 issued a Pride Month proclamation which he opened by citing the heroes of Stonewall, and ended thusly:
As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
So. That happened too.
And, I’m glad to report that the New York Times also reported that not everyone in Tehran was thrilled with the vice president’s remarks:
One Shiite Muslim cleric, a judge, said that he was appalled by the speech. The judge, who also requested anonymity because of his sensitive position, said the world must ignore Mr. Rahimi and he hoped that Mr. Rahimi and Mr. Ahmadinejad would disappear after the presidential elections in 2013. “We all need to be patient for some more months.”
I’mma let the needle on my opti/pessimeter lean a smidge to the “opti” side today.