It’s no secret that Santa Fe’s got some gay pride. But a recent top ranking of Santa Fe’s overall “gayness” by The Advocate—the magazine that dubs itself “The World’s Leading Source for LGBT News and Entertainment”—has rankled some web-dominating New Yorkers.
Gawker Media has co-opted the definition of a "gawker" as "a spectator who stares stupidly without intelligent awareness" to become, it claims, "the source for daily Manhattan media news and gossip." Its gawks are all up in a grump because New York is allegedly not gay enough to count: The Big Apple failed to rank as the biggest butt bead on the block in The Advocate's tally of America's gayest cities. It failed to rank at all.
Overlooking New York does admittedly seem a little irresponsible if highlighting the gay populations of America's cities. On the other hand, population was probably the factor that took NYC out of the running. Several somewhat-quantifiable numbers—including gay weddings, openly gay elected officials and gay-friendly religious congregations—were divided by population to generate rankings. According to The Advocate, writer Mike Albo (famous for being canned from The New York Times after going on a press junket that he was, um, pre-authorized to go on) used a complex set of quasi-lucid criteria—including nepotistic rankings by The Advocate's sister company Gay.com—and wonky math to conclude that, among other things, Santa Fe is the second-gayest city in the United States. From a publisher's standpoint, it makes sense: You're going to want to mix things up a bit and not confine your write-ups to all the usual suspects. From a practical reality standpoint, one can sympathize with Gawker's outrage and join in pondering exactly how Minneapolis was deemed America's top gay dream town.
But Gawker got nasty in its Jan. 12 response to The Advocate, claiming "the only thing gay about Santa Fe is that they have all those Western blankets lying around. Oh, and Tom Ford lives there, so we guess he just waved his open shirt around and covered the whole town in his sweaty man musk…"
OK, that's more funny than nasty, even if a throwaway term such as "Western blankets" doesn't really contain the rich history of serapes, rugs and textiles that are "lying around" in Santa Fe, and it doesn't really reveal that Tom Ford, local boy or not, wouldn't have returned to Santa Fe if we weren't, well, pretty gol'durned gay around here.
There are two points we may be sure of: 1. Just as with all the other top and bottom, ahem, rankings that Santa Fe receives with regularity, the “science” behind the assessment is decidedly arbitrary. 2. Gawker, having paid $12,000 for nude sexting photos of Brett Favre, is indeed gayer than Santa Fe.
The state recently made headlines by upping its income tax by two-thirds, at least for the next few years. Sure, it sounds like a painful act to inflict on a beaten-down populace whose wages have, for several decades, utterly failed to increase with the cost of living, but honest Americans have to admit that tax rates are simply too low. Even Americans who despise higher taxation (or taxation period) are consistently reluctant to surrender the public benefits of sufficient taxation. The rest of us know—or can guess by looking at Germany—that so-called social entitlements actually provide the security and peace of mind necessary for business to boom, production to peak and innovation to soar.
But despite the well-documented evidence that former Gov. Bill Richardson's large tax cuts were largely irresponsible and have super-magnified the shortfalls the state is currently experiencing, there are no serious efforts to increase income tax in New Mexico, and certainly new Gov. Susana Martinez has made it clear she'll stand in the way of tax increases, especially for business, and solving the budget shortfall be damned.
In other words, New Mexico would rather cut spending on public health, public safety and public education than force corporations to justly pay taxes that are justly owed and return income taxes to pre-reckless-Richardson days.
I mean, I know that, as a Republican, Martinez has sworn over a freshly slaughtered baby lamb an oath to never, ever increase taxes for any reason whatsoever and that even our Democratic representatives are loathe to put the pinch on the people in lean times, but isn’t it better to be responsible than partisan? Isn’t it better to let your actions define you than to let your definition determine your actions?
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*This article originally stated that Gawker Media was owned by AOL, which is not true. SFR regrets the error.