No it's not the avocados; fresh sushi-grade fish; year-round hiking, surfing or biking; the abundance of hybrid cars; Half Dome; Coachella; Tahoe; Golden Gate Bridge; Hollywood or Hwy 1 (but these all pretty much kick ass). It's the fact that the California Supreme Court believes in the rights of all people.
California's high court today overturned a ruling saying that it's unconstitutional to deny gay couples the right to marry. They likened it to not allowing interracial couples to marry. The justices, in a 4-3 ruling, wrote, "In view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples."
This is a huge day for our country. Massachusetts made same-sex marriage legal four years ago at the same time that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom started issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. All the marriages granted during that period had been nullified, but will now be reinstated. Today Newsom said, "It's a throwaway line, but I think it's true: As California goes, so goes the rest of the nation."
As a Chicago resident, I have to ask: So Mayor Daley -- when are you going to start issuing same-sex marriage licenses in the city? Let's make this happen!
"There ain't nothin' real about me but my heart," Dolly Parton told the sold-out crowd at the Chicago Theatre Thursday night, May 8. From the bleach blond wig (that she said came from a real nice Korean girl) to the voluptuous breasts (yes, they are even bigger up close -- and no, they ain't real), Dolly Parton brought her "Backwoods Barbie" tour to the Windy City -- and the crowd couldn't have been happier. The singer who has sold more than 100 million albums, has written hundreds of songs and has touched more hearts than you can shake a stick at was nothing but joyful and full of fun lovin' that night.
But one thing you notice when you're sitting up close (we lucked out and got fourth row center) is that Ms. Dolly, for all her talent and gumption, unfortunately lip synched a lot of her songs -- apparently the "ain't nothin' real" line wasn't just about her looks. This was a big surprise, and disappointment, because when you knew she was actually singing, she sounded great. But it almost didn't matter because she put on such a great show regardless. She played a bit of the banjo, harpsichord, violin, piano, recorder, a rhinestone-studded dulcimer and a worn-out, old acoustic guitar that was strapped on with nothing but a piece of rope -- apparently you can take the girl out of the Smoky Mountains but she's bringin' 'em with her wherever she goes. And thank god for that.
As if bowing at No. 1 in 27 countries around the world with her new critically acclaimed album, Hard Candy, wasn't exciting enough news this week for Madonna fans, Madge just announced the (currently) 27-city European and North American "Sticky & Sweet" tour. She will no doubt announce more cities and fill in extra dates for the ones already announced (she always does -- she played four shows in Chicago for the Confessions tour in 2006). Tickets, which range from $55-$350, go on sale Sat. May 17 at 11 a.m. CST (at least in Chicago) through Live Nation and Ticketmaster (believe me, it's worth it to pay the high price -- I sat 14th row on the catwalk that jutted out into the center of the crowd and was 5 feet from her the last time -- surreal!). The tour kicks off in Cardiff, Wales on Aug. 23 and will hit Berlin, Rome, Amsterdam, London, Paris and elsewhere across the pond before jump starting the U.S. leg Oct. 3 at the Izod (?) Center in E. Rutherford, NJ (wasn't that Giants Stadium?!). Can you stand it?
This video is about 10 minutes long but is worth it. Brilliantly shocking. Watch it all the way through. It's definitely disturbing.