All posts by jeffrey hannan

Fuck the poor


Let them fly coach

I like the concept of flying: one Ativan, three cocktails, and five hours later I’m on the East Coast.

It’s truly ingenious, especially considering it took 86 weeks (or something horrendous like that) to make it cross-country by stagecoach a hundred years ago.

Time flies.

Fortunately or not, so do the rest of us.

Like I said, I like the concept of flying. I can’t say that I care much for the actual carrying-out of it, though.

As we know all too well, there is the disingenuousness: “Sir, we had no idea the plane originating in Sweden and connecting through Cleveland would be downsized…”

There are lies: “Of course the seat reclines.” Which it didn’t. No matter how hard I clicked the button and jammed the seat back during the entire 11 hours from SFO to Heathrow. (I know better now, thanks to the gods at

And then of course, there are the seats

Veal Economy Class

Welcome home.

It’s that time of year: holiday travel time. Gnaw off your elbows and pray you packed your muscle relaxants. Surrender your dignity and comfort as you join the huddled masses in Veal Economy Class.

In California, whence I hail, veal calves, pigs and chickens have better legal protections than gay men and women.* And probably airline passengers as well. For anywhere from $300 to $1200 you can fly coach roundtrip—excuse me, Economy Class (aka World Traveler and other euphemisms)—between SF and DC and share four inches of elbow space as well as a closeup view of the cowlick on the back of the head of the person in front of you.

I’m probably an inch shy of average height for an American man, yet even I find it physically impossible to retrieve something from my carry on bag beneath the seat in front of me if that passenger has reclined the merest 3 degrees. With the forward seat at perfect vertical my knees have perhaps an inch of spare space provided there are no survival tools like magazines, water bottle or bags of granola in the seat pocket ahead. (How likely is that?) Work with an open laptop?…Ha!!

Wait…We pay money for this?!

I would gladly pay 15 or 20% more for a ticket to be given a modicum of humane space and reasonable treatment on a flight over two hours. I paid $320 each for Arvin and me to go back East for Thanksgiving this year (prescription drugs not included). Twenty-some years ago I paid $269 roundtrip, connecting through St Louis. That’s an increase of less than 2.5% per year in the cost of a roundtrip ticket, well below the inflation rate.

With the passage of Prop 2, veal calves should be able to turn around in their cages. We enduring the friendly skies should be as lucky.

*(Of course I’m not really making a real comparison about treatment. I’m glad Prop 2 passed. The treatment of veal calves is atrocious, and it’s about time we started treating creatures that provide us with sustenance with a little bit of civility before we slit their throats. And yes, I am still annoyed about Prop 8.)

Different, Equal, and perhaps just a little bit Superior

So this is my argument…

As a citizen of California, I am legally entitled to equal protection under the law. Period.

As a citizen of the United States, I am entitled to hold my personal religious beliefs steadfastly and to express them freely as long as they do not interfere with my fellow citizens’ Constitutionally-given right to pursue life, liberty and happiness. I am as free to practice my faith as my christian neighbors who voted in favor of Prop 8.

I am a spiritual person and I believe in a God force (which may or may not resembled a robed, bearded man on a throne of clouds). My personal, Christ-based religion dictates that the love between two people is holy: “The greatest among these is love..” However, I do not believe that the Old Testament—neither the ‘original’ (of which there is none) nor the countless translations and re-interpretations thereof—define the moral law by which I am bound to life on this earth. That is my belief.

In the United States we have a constitutionally mandated separation of church and state. If a social group opposes the notion of me being equally permitted to pursue a life of love and commitment on the basis of their religious beliefs, then they are de facto imposing their religious doctrine through the machinations of law to suppress my constitutional right to equal protection and the equal pursuit of happiness and religious freedom.

In a land where the church is separate from the state, the laws that govern the state, NOT the laws that govern SOME of the churches within the state, must prevail.

Wait, I’m confused..

Aren’t all sides pushing their religious beliefs through the governmental system?


So then..?

When love takes hold of this nation instead of fear—if we can ever get there—and when the true essence of our Constitution trumps the failures of human decency, then we who believe that love is superior to dogma will prevail. And it will be a better day for everyone.

But then, wait another minute…
Wouldn’t my reasoning equally apply to religious groups who wanted to be allowed to legally marry multiple partners? Isn’t the Mormon faith being discriminated against as equally as gay couples because an individual is only lawfully allowed to be married to one person at a time?

Just a thought.

Left Coast Responses to Prop 8 passage

LA marches against Prop 8
In a city where people drive to the corner market, social protest marches are becoming de rigeur.

SF responds with light
Ever since the White Night riots 30 years ago, candlelight vigils have been the standard non-violent response in SF.