Saturday, July 09, 2005

Part 12: Moral of the Story

Homer (not Simpson) once said: "After the event, even a fool is wise". So here's a few things this foolish little penguin has learned from his first trip to the magnificent and crazy continent that is Europe.

Politics is a universal language. Whether I was hearing activists speaking at Rome's Gay Village or in front of the Place de la Bastille in Paris, in both cases though I comprehended very few of the words they were saying, I could still understand their meaning and feel their passion. Such desire for justice and true equality easily transcends linguistic barriers.

Australia is not the relaxed, she'll-be-right-mate country as which we like to market ourselves, especially when it comes to the love that dare not speak its name. How often would we see two men holding hands in a public area, other than perhaps in front of Stonewall? Why is it that while over 70% of the Western European nations provides its queer citizens with the options of marriage or civil unions or registration, our Federal government works so hard to deny such relationships even exist?

Queers play an integral part in making the world beautiful. I genuinely appreciated this when staring up gawp-eyed at Michelangelo's work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, as well as his David in Florence. Today this appreciation was strengthened by seeing the many bouquets and poems lovingly placed at the tomb of Oscar Wilde at the Pere-Lachaise in Paris. As is the case today, the queer sexuality of the world's greatest artists may be quickly denied or suppressed, but this will never stop them from offering us their masterpieces qnd to help shape humankind.

Other lessons I have affirmed rather than learned include: American tourists are universally obnoxious, no matter what the country; CityRail and John Howard are disgraces on an international scale; non-English keyboards are a pain in the arse (this is an easy lesson to learn when typing one's magazine column); German men are great lovers and the best things in life don't always come with a 10 Euro cover fare or one-hour queue.

See you back home next week.


At 11/7/05 1:51 pm, Anonymous Harley said...

Glad you got a lot out of it. Yes, it will be good to see you again. When are you getting back?

At 11/7/05 6:42 pm, Anonymous Zhasper said...

I know I'm revealing my own ignorance here, but.. Which are the nations that have gay marriage/civil unions?

At 12/7/05 1:19 am, Blogger Sam said...

Getting in at 6am Friday morning. V stinky.

Zhasper: Off the top of my head, the Euro ones are Denmark in 1989; Norway in 1993; Sweden in 1994; Greenland in 1996; Hungary and Iceland in 1996; the Netherlands in 1998; France in 1999; Belgium, Finland and Portugal in 2001; Germany and Liechtenstein in 2002; Austria, Switzerland, Israel, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and Spain.

At 12/7/05 3:10 pm, Anonymous J J Thompson said...

A queer with a brain, a sense of humour, hates Howard and loves penguins and makes me use up my pre-paid Internet card going through the archives. All's right in God's own rainbow world. JT

At 12/7/05 8:55 pm, Blogger Sam said...

Cheers JT. Sorry about the cards though :-/


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