Daily Archives: January 17, 2006

Space Age Miracle Fiber Mattress

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Our new mattress arrived today, and as advertised, it is filled with some sort of space age miracle material that conforms to your body when you lie down on it — it’s so form-fitting, in fact, that the effect of lying on it is just a little disconcerting, particularly when one tries to move out of the space age miracle cavity the mattress has created to cradle to your body. You have to work up a little momentum to get out of it. Likewise, we’ve warned Athena that her days of bouncing on the bed are over, but as it turns out the warning isn’t necessary because it’s pretty much impossible to bounce on the bed because bed just sucks up all the kinetic energy into its space age miracle surface. I let myself fall hard onto its surface, and just stopped and sank (slightly). It was like falling into a king-sized square of whipped modeling clay. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this, but since the bed is in fact almost disturbingly comfortable, I don’t suspect it will be a real issue.

One of the nice things about the mattress is that it comes with a removable top, so if the cover gets grape juice spilled on it, or the cat takes unfortunate liberties upon it, we can unzip the mattress and clean it off. This makes so much sense that one wonders why all mattresses don’t do this, and not just the ones with space age miracle marketing. Perhaps it will catch on. In the meantime, I expect to enjoy the new mattress, which will hopefully allow me to reach new levels of space age miracle sleep. We’ll have to see.

Instructive

A little something for everyone who thinks there’s some manifest difference between the struggle gays and lesbians are having for their rights, and the struggle blacks and other minorities have had:

Justice Albie Sachs of the South African Constitutional Court tackled the issue of same-sex marriage Wednesday afternoon in Swift Hall during a lecture sponsored by the Human Rights Program.

Sachs said that as he looked down from the bench of the Constitutional Court of South Africa at the crowds waiting to hear its decision in the Fourie gay marriage case, decided last month, Sachs reflected back on a Gay Pride parade he had attended in Cape Town in 1991.

“We were at a park I’d grown up near. Back then, there were signs up saying ‘Whites Only,’” Sachs said. “Now, there were invisible signs saying ‘Straights Only.’ The same signs that would prevent a black and a white from sitting in that park holding hands would prevent a gay couple from doing the same.”

Sachs cited his nation’s past experience with intolerance as a major influence in his landmark opinion in the case, which ordered the South African Parliament to equalize marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Sachs, interestingly enough, had been detained and forced into exile by South Africa’s apartheid government, which also, in 1988, put a bomb in his car that caused him to lose an arm and an eye. He’s walked the walk for equality, which I strongly suspect allows him to talk the talk. If he says there are parallels between the struggle for racial equality and the struggle for the rights of gays and lesbians, it’s hard to gainsay him on the matter.

Of course, the US is not South Africa. Thing is, when it came to the rights of its citizens — all of them — this was something we used to have the right to be proud about.