Okay, I know that’s all really depressing. Makes me want to cry, honestly, but this trial was a great turning point in the passing of hate crime laws in the United States. After all this, Matthew’s parents fought very hard for national hate crime laws for LGBT victims. But now to why procrastination is a good thing in the case of me writing this…
Well today, President Barak Obama finally did something POSSIBLY notable for a Nobel Peace Prize. He passed a Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill disguised in a 2010 Defense Authorization Bill. This bill is meant to protect victims of crimes motivated by sexual orientation and gender identity. Since I suppose marriage for gays will not be legal for a long time, this was the least he could do… although it is a bit ridiculous that this took ten years to pass. Matthew’s mother released a statement shortly after, which can be viewed in an article on The Advocate’s website.
But ANWAY, I’m just speaking politics when this is supposed to be about art. What I really want to talk about is the post-punk, independent screamo band, Thursday. Their frontman, Geoff Rickly is really into Equal Rights and one of their songs is actually about Matthew Shepard. The video below is the song “M. Shepard” with footage from a movie based on the crime and trial called “The Laramie Project.” Hope you enjoy it!
from a butterfly.
The stage is set, don't forget to breathe,
between the lines.
If the whole world dies,
then it's safe to take the stage.
These graves will stretch like landing strips ----
hospitals: all dead museums,
we won't have to be afraid anymore.
The crowd is growing silent
with the gathering storm.
and you're caught on the other side
(just trying to keep up the act),
we'll lie in the back of black cars,
with the windows rolled up,
joining the procession of emptiness.
If we say these words,
it will be too late to take them back,
so we hold our breath and fold our hands, like paper planes
(and we're going to crash).
We don't have to be alone
There's a riot in the theater.
Someone's standing in the aisles,
yelling that murderers are everywhere
and they're lining up,
carving the M in your side.
Pull the curtain back.
Kill all the houselights.
Pin the dress with lotus flowers.
The silk is spinning
around and around, with the ceiling fan.
I'm disappearing into the spotlight.
I'm on display,
and the scarecrow.
With smiles like picket fences,
you tie us all up and leave us outside.
"That voice is silent now, the boat has sunk..."
We're on our own,
but we're not