This time about the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA:
When SPIN heard that Section 3 of the odious Defense of Marriage Act had been ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court, naturally their first impulse was to call me.
"John," they said (there were several of them; it was a conference call), "you're a guy who's written, by our count, no fewer than 40 songs about an alcoholic couple getting a divorce. What's your take on this whole deal?"
"Well," I said, because I begin most of my answers to questions that way; it buys time, and also it sounds thoughtful: "I agree with the court, but I also don't think states should have the right to prevent people from marrying who they want, you know, the federal government can't really say 'Here, you abridge these rights, we don't have the stomach for it anymore,' you know — "
"So you think it's a 'partial victory'?" said the junior reporter from Nebraska. That was how he identified himself, "junior reporter from Nebraska." I think his name was actually Kip but the part that stuck with me was "junior reporter from Nebraska."
"Well," I said, because complex deals require a full supply of "wells," "yes, 'partial victory,' sure, yes, bad law has been struck down. But —"
"But what?" demanded a gruff voice, which I can only assume was Weingarten's.
"Look," I said, which is the interjection you resort to when "well" just isn't cutting it anymore, "I'm kind of a radical about this, is the thing. People like to go on about 'the purpose of marriage is to rear children, whose contributions to society further the interest of the state' and all that kind of thing, but my eyes glaze over as soon as they start because actually no, the purpose of my marriage is whatever my partner and I say it is, and my radicalism extends even to maybe amending that to say whatever my partner(s) and I say it is, and the purpose of my marriage is, moreover, none of anybody's business, but if any governmental entity is in any way recognizing anybody's marriage, then it has to recognize mine, too, by which I mean 'anybody's,' at all, ever, forever, it's utterly mystifying to me that there's even any debate about this, and yet there's not only debate, there are a whole lot of people who get themselves very worked up thinking about how they're sure 'the institution of marriage' is somehow damaged by allowing more people to marry whomever they like, and then they start trying to draw comparisons to 'the fall of Rome' and so on, but one generally gets the impression they don't really know anything about that subject and moreover that marriage throughout history is not really their strong suit. But that's also usually the point when you get this sort of rush of perspective; it's like a tracking shot slowing down enough to let you know we're about to resolve on something really cool. Because this ruling, 5-4 or not, is really an observation about the direction we're actually headed already, with or without court rulings, i.e., toward actual freedom for everybody, the whole package, the slippery slope that the rapidly extinguishing breed of rights-deniers fear both rightly (because it's coming) and wrongly (because there's nothing to fear). That's what the ruling means: It is an admission by the court that it sees which way the wind is blowing, and sees the great place that that wind will eventually take us. I'm not fooled, this is only one battle, we lost another one just yesterday and that sucks, but every battle won means ground gained, and in the long run it seems clear that we're going to build something that could conceivably be awesome and totally slay."
"Completely slay?" Weingarten said. I could hear him scribbling.
"Completely," I said. I gripped my phone between my shoulder and my face and assumed a moshing posture no one but the cat could see. "Completely, totally slay."