—Peter J. Spiro
The unexpected result in the British referendum is hitting the news today like a thunderclap. As the financial markets tumble, few will escape Brexit’s consequences. But none will feel Brexit more than those whose employment and residential security have been contingent on the UK’s continued EU membership.
The stigma of meeting someone online is gone, but there is one glaring exception to this acceptance: mail-order marriage. The dislike of mail-order marriage has a complicated history, but while the reasons men and women seek mail-order marriages have changed throughout the centuries, its use as a means to increase one’s marital options and thereby improve one’s situation through marriage has changed very little.
Wrapping my head and heart around the murder of 49 queer people while they were dancing in a gay bar in Orlando, beneath the familiar numb feeling accompanying another story of loss, horror, and violence, is survivor’s guilt. I feel an enormous teary affection for all us struggling to digest the consequences of so many queer lives lost in the very place that is supposed to be our haven, and by someone who, had he allowed it, might so easily have been one of us.
National parks provide nature in its full glory and reality, but they do so while providing a measure of security and comfort that visitors would not naturally encounter without the institution. Such a paradox is not a logical impossibility, but an operation and a strategy. And as much as that sounds like a game, the stakes can be as real as the ground under foot.