Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I can't put in words right now all the things I want to say about the hurricane, but Steve Gilliard is hitting the right tenor about this disaster. I come from the south and am used to hurricanes but I can't really wrap my mind around this whole thing yet. Will write more soon.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Awareness is aging...

I was never terribly enchanted by youth, so it is with great joy that I begin my 28th year. I always had the birthday that generally got forgotten, being at the end of the summer, beginning of school, and too hot for anyone to really want to organize anything but this year everyone seems to have remembered it and called or emailed or made a beautiful recording of them singing me a bastardized rendition of our favorite Judds song and posted it on a happy birthday webpage!

As I have been getting my birthday wishes I have also been getting updates from my family on how everyone fared the storm. So far no one was hurt and the damage to people's houses was minimal. Aunt G's yard apparently sustained the most damage, having 17 trees just toppled or ripped to shreds, but on the house only minimal roof damage and a cracked window! Her place is only about 50 miles inland, so she had the hurricane right on top of her. Our house wasn't hurt. The neighbor's woodshop had its doors ripped off, but everyone's homes seemed to be ok. The wind was still about 60mph there and we live about 5 hours inland.

Anyway, I'm glad to be another year older and to hear my family made it ok through Katrina. I hope the same for everyone else out there.

but it's my birthday and I came into work early so I could leave early so I'm not staying late to blog. I found a nice orchid in a garbage can that I need to pot (I'm not sure what kind it is; I'll tell you when I figure it out) before dinner.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

laughter: celestial and subterranean

an even older email, written not long after having re-read Book of Laughter and Forgetting...


So I have doing a lot of thinking about the laughter of devils and angels. You have Milan Kundera to thank for this. He describes life as a balance between the two, the laughter of angels being that laughter which fill us overwhelmingly as a celebration and recognition of the order and purpose of the world vs the laughter of devils being the laughter at the ridiculousness of it all and even more so at these cackling foolish angels. At their celebratory giggling, skipping through a field together and falling into the soft grass and laughing looking at one another deeply and lovingly, the only thing an onlooking devil can do is laugh at them.

I have been reflecting on this as much as my hung-over head would allow. And one thing that struck me was how cruel and ugly the laughter of angels can be. It is the horrible song that middle americunts are singing right now: we have to support our president, we are there to free the Iraqi people, our war is to protect our freedom, everything is in order. When the angels at the top are laughing it is also a sort of prayer that those further down the pyramid will join in as well and forget who is standing on their shoulders. And most of the people most of the time are only to glad to sing the song, just to be part of the singing.

And we know why angels sing this shit: they like their garden. Eat the fruit and it becomes unliveable. This is what being a devil means; living with knowing more than you are told to know. As soon as you start to recognize what is going on, you are a devil. When you question whether it all is perfect, it isn't eden anymore. I guess this is why the creationistas are so adamant about nothing being questionable or all being false. They are the fools who don't want to live in a garden if it isn't eden.

I guess you are finally a devil when you don't mind knowing that eden doesn't have to be perfect to be worth calling home. When you then figure out how to laugh at the angels running around trying to keep every leaf in place, you can actually begin to live. I never thought that knowing what was wrong with things was reason enough to be kicked out of the garden, and I guess I am finally realizing that it wasn't.

But I guess that is the devil's knowing. The angels know to keep devils out. If they don't, they know they will all become devils. I guess what really ends up happening is that no one lives in eden anyways and fools are fighting over sacred memories. And both sides end up missing pieces.

I guess I would rather be the devil in this kind of world. Austerity always struck me as more horrifying and torturous than anything else. Temptation never really seemed as dangerous as holiness. I think I find more security in the bungledness of the world. It is so much more livable than crisp sterile versions.

I was thinking earlier that the laughter of devils was also the laughter of children. Their laughter comes from seeing things piecemeal and out of context. Angels laugh at the perfect field they are playing in; children (devils) laugh at the turd someone stepped in.

I guess it all comes down to context. This is why they say the devil is in the details. Out of context heaven and hell can't happen. Until you get to tack some value judgement on things, you can do or say anything and it amounts to nothing more than what it is.

ok this could really take off and go on forever, but I can't write any more right now and if I save it to work on later it will take months to get any of it to you. So this is the first installment in an inquiry about angels and devilry.

ban marriage

I had originally meant for this site to be a place for chronicling the e-discussions that Mason and I have be toiling through for years now, and I was going through old emails looking in vain for an old copy of my resume and decided to pull a couple of emails out of the vault for public consumption. This was written a couple of years back, so if some of it seems dated, it is. I warn that we were never known for our brevity.



despite the fact that I should obviously be writing about my current finacial woes, I tend to rather attack a little nagging mental quandry rather than revisit the dead, beaten horse of my 'poverty'.

More directly, the question of my aversion to marriage. Do I come by it honestly? Perhaps spitefully, but to spite whom? I don't mind others getting married, but I generally recommend against it. when it really comes down to it, it seems that my spite on the subject when given rare voicing reaches resistance only in my parent's direction, who I would argue actually are amongst the best evidence of its success/utility that I have come across to date.

It is worth noting that often my family is so far removed from so many of my harsher wordviews that I find them completely incompatible, generally at the last moment of my tendency toward anarchy driving towards fruition, my family materializes in my mind and I am unable to tell the world to completely fuck off. The same can be said of my friends gathered over the last few years, but they in general have come together with me through some understanding forged in mutual rage/indignation/protest/conquest/laughter. I don't feel like expression of my rage separates me from them, rather it is what strengthens and tempers our bonds.

But what about my family? This inquiry started with the disparity of my opinions about marriage vs the reality of the main example of this institution under which my opinions were born. What is the relationship of my disgust towards this institution vs my admiration for my parents' marriage? I guess there is the very real fact of me resenting all things parental at a time when they had to absorb the brunt of an extremely angry and inconsolable adolescence. There was a time when I hated my parents so much I trimmed our nighttime au revoirs from "goodnight" to " 'nite", a minor act of rebellion mind you, but one whose subtlety was not lost on my mother and one which in my backward world of dismissives spoke of harsher venom than first glance might reveal.

If I hated my parents more completely than most teens and was more judgemental than hopefully they can ever imagine, I have also also forgiven them more completely than most people I know. If nothing else, there tends to be a certain symetry to my extremes. But do some of my cultural critiques remain casualties of this pubescent battle?

I think perhaps I am giving this too much thought. I suspect that more of the abhorance comes from my association of marriage as the penultimate goal of idiots in that horrible high school where all the other things they dreamed of had no reality while they slowly planned their early marital sentence and the wedding the neighbors would talk about and the cars they would buy and the trophies they hadn't won which would be avenged by their offspring. Marriage was a real and accessible dream to them and all the others were nothing real: just a sort of indulgent ugly fiction, uttered more to compete with the other uttered dreams or to indulge their parents' second-hand goals.

It wasn't real to me. Every other goddamn scheme I could come up with had more feelings of reality than dreams of marriage. From early on, before the idea of being gay was in my mind, the idea that I was going to marry someone was ushered unserimoniously out. I knew it didn't include me so I would kill the beast before it ever got to take a swing at me.

And so here I stand today: so terribly comfortable that even being laid off from a part-time job in a recession while living in one of the most expensive cities in the world doesn't phase my understanding that I am one of the lucky ones. But I have known I was lucky all along, just I knew(know) how I am lucky and how I am shortchanged and I don't and won't confuse the two. I've been given so much and I know at what cost and no amount of wanting to just relax and enjoy my windfall will get me to forget that.

Maybe that is a lot of my aversion to 'gay marriages'. Make no mistake: I admire every couple who sincerely has a ceremony these days and commits themselves to one another for life. I have been to a few and they have been beautiful and natural and wonderful. But I have trouble imagining myself involved in one and not just for the obvious reasons such as my fickle nature (which has been turned on its head lately). I have an agressive reaction about purity; not purity for purity's sake, or for bragging rights or any othe the other petty reasons most idiots claim or seek it. there is a certain dignity and beauty about it when it is real, beyond rules and appearances. I may have picked a loaded and inaccurate word in using 'purity' to try to describe what I am talking about.

Like I have said about fidelity in the past, it is neither here not their for me. It matters not in the least (in the emotional realm atleast, physiological/social matters complicate this proclaimation a bit) whether or not someone had sex with someone else while I was away, or perhaps it doesn't matter more to me that they didn't than whether or not they wanted to or perhaps why they wanted to (it also foolish of sires of mine to think that matters of this kind -motives and desires- are safer because I can't ascertain them; I know, I always just know). Of course there will be attraction to other people, to other interests; this doesn't phase me in the least, in fact any declaration to the negative sets off alarms. But when one of these attractions becomes more attractive than what I offer, and why that is more attractive than what I offer is the fabric that infidelity is made up of, therein lies the issue and I refuse to hold court to other people's simplified notions of it.

The same with marriage. As a legal institution, sure I want the tax break and all the security it allows. I know that is important. And I know that legalization will change public perception, it already has, it already does.

But I guess when it hits my reality...ME, considering my life and my love and my world... that as long as people are out there telling me that the partnership that I want to have for life can't be a real marriage and isn't sanctioned by God, the only dialogue that I care to have with them is "fuck off". No attempt at changing their minds and getting their blessing and earning their respect so that I can win the candy that everybody wants and they won't give me. It isn't theirs to keep from me or to tell me whether or not I am good enough or my relationship is good enough or anything else for that matter. The population at large has a long history of misjudging me and the popular opinion has earned my utter disdain.

Congress can argue about my tax breaks and whether or not they are going to make life easier on the doctor or nurse who meets with my aged wrath when they try to tell me I am just a friend who can't go into the ICU to see a loved one because we are missing a legal relationship, but as to whether or not I want my relationship 'legitimized' by legislature or church: fuck them straight up the asshole. They didn't want to make room for me at the table many times before and I have made my own now and I don't care to invite them to sit at it or to ask their permission before inviting someone else to share it. I'll sit on my pumpkin with anyone I want to and for as long as we care to and others can keep fighting for a place on that damn velvet cushion, but I wouldn't join them there even if invited.

So perhaps this aversion does have its root in issues of 'legitimacy'. If you allow that you need to fight over the terms of legitimacy or simply for legitimacy, then you allow that someone else controls it; you allow that what you have isn't legitimate.

so I need to go now. I was listening to "ban marriage" and had gotten into a discussion with my friend a- the other day about gay marriage the other day and will probably send him this message as well. that and the thought of spending a significant amount of time with someone is more real than ever before (please, feel free to puke now). gotta run.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Killing in the name of the lord

A friend just sent me this:


"Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson called on Monday for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling him a "terrific danger" to the United States.

"Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition of America and a former presidential candidate, said on "The 700 Club" it was the United States' duty to stop Chavez from making Venezuela a "launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism." "

pat robertson is a idiotic selfish old fool blinded by his devotion to the god he worships, the almighty dollar sign. But that is the god most americans mean when they describe themselves as 'christian', so I guess he is the religious leader they deserve. Even dobson isn't quite as big an asshole.

Monday, August 22, 2005

sometimes I just want to bite other people...

I rarely if ever click on advertisements online unless I know it is for a product or company I already like. For some reason, today I felt inspired to click on an advertisement on Gawker and landed on this site:

The Malcontent

First off, I find it kind of weird for personal blogs to be buying advertising. Maybe I am just frugal that way and kind of think it is weird for people to advertise if they aren't selling something.

But I quickly picked up on the fact that this guy was gay and it is always nice to see what other gay folks out there are writing and ranting about, so I read a little. I was confused that the top post was making fun of liberals. Then as I read on, it dawned on me that I had stumbled into the lair of a gay republican. Soon as I saw the posting lauding GLAAD's helm being taken by a repub and linking to a post elsewhere criticising HRC for being too liberal, I knew I was in the wrong neighborhood.

Some of his jokes were almost funny-ish, but mostly even if his politics didn't stink I got the overwhelming impression that had I met him at a bar, I would be trying to find a graceful way to exit the conversation as quickly as possible. But his politics seem to be the epitome of everything that pisses me off about gay politics. If you have read my blog at all before, you know that I am less than pleased
with much of
the big gay leadership. Gay marriage shouldn't be our number one issue. Period. It is an issue and there are plenty of philosophical arguements for it, but as far as it being a dire issue that our communty should really be focussing on politically, no way. There are bigger fish to fry. Gay marriage is a nice wish list item, but it isn't a life and death issue and can by dealing with more fundamental systematic problems in the community we bring ourselves closer to being able to realize that goal.

Anyway, whatever, why shouldn't the prissy republican gays get to blog too? I still have to pick my jaw up off the floor when I hear that a gay person is republican. You just have to be a special kind of selfish and deluded to be gay and vote republican. They hate us and want us dead. They worked long and hard to make that clear in the last election. Oh, maybe I should qualify that statement: they want us (the poor people/people of color/gay people) in our place or dead. Of course anyone with enough money can buy their way out of this equation, but most of us don't have all the money required so I take a vote for republicans as a slap in the face from other gay people.

Excuse me while I go throw up.

Friday, August 19, 2005

of sailboats and Dolly Parton: a week well spent.

I've been pulled away from the computer this week for a little much needed respite, and am slowly picking it back up again.

The first of the week I spent sailing from Portsmouth, NH to Woods Hole, MA on a 134-foot steel brigantine. A friend of mine wisely spent his time after college working on tall ships rather than sitting in an office and from time to time finds himself close enough for us to hang out for a bit. The boat he is on now is used for sailing instruction/research and they were going to have a kid-free boat for the sail and he called and asked if I wanted to escape the city for a little bit, which of course I did. There is just something really beautiful about being on a boat and far enough out at sea that you can't see land. It felt so strange to relax and not worry about where I needed to go or what I needed to do or who I needed to call. The city makes such demands constantly but the ocean drowns such concerns and affords a few moments of peace. I suddenly find myself considering a career change.

Upon arriving back, I got a call from a friend telling me that he suddenly found himself with 4 free tickets to the Dolly Parton show at Radio City Music Hall and that one of them had my name on it! Starting a week with sailing and ending it seeing Dolly in concert is about the best week I can imagine, so I jumped at the opportunity and headed off with what seemed to be most of New York's homo population toward the show. We went and saw her in Philidelphia last fall, but this was a whole new ballgame. Dolly seems to attract wildly disparate demographics, and last year most of her gay urbanite fan base went to see her at a show in NJ, so we found ourselves sticking out in a sea of insanely overweight suburban/rural rednecks. Living in NYC, what passes as overweight becomes skewed. We are a city of skinny people and fat dogs. When everyone walks everywhere, no one can really get that fat. I had forgotten that outside of the city, most people don't walk everywhere and the average size at that concert was somewhat overwhelming to me. I am running off on a tangent and won't go further into this rant, but the point is that the crowd was different. I hadn't thought the Philly crowd was particularly subdued or unresponsive, but compared to how the NYC crowd reacated, they might as well have been dead.

Perhaps I will write more about Dolly later, but this is more just a catch-up post to get me back to blogging. I have been away from computers and current events for a full week for the first time in quite a while and I am slowly getting back into my routine.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Why hasn't someone taken jonah's keyboard away yet?

I came to this from Wonkette's amazingly decent post about the Cindy Sheenan episode. I don't know why I clicked on it, jonah goldberg rarely says anything sensible, but I did anyway.

The Corner on National Review Online

He lays out the root problem of his logic right at the beginning:

"Without getting into all the sub-arguments about Cindy Sheehan, I think she's a great example of the opportunism of partisanship. There's simply no way that establishment liberals would take the same tone if Bill Clinton were president under remotely similar circumstances."

You know what? Clinton wouldn't have ever been in a remotely similar situation. Reagan never would have been in the same situation. Anyway president with half a brain would have defused the damn situation right at the beginning and turned it into a photo op.

Clinton didn't launch a war of choice and then bungle the planning for reconstruction and send troops ill-equipped in to battle. Clinton didn't invade a country and then leave the arms depots wide open to stock an insurgency. And if Clinton had started an ill-concieved war, he wouldn't have taken a five week friggin' vacation in the middle of his war!

So, no, bully on your crap. Don't suddenly try to justify the right's asshole attempts to smear a mother of slain soldier and the president's ridiculous assertion that he can't meet with her during his super-duper busy five week vacation.

And about Wonkette's assertion that we should avoid a "harms race" between dueling grieving mothers I agree but also think we have to throw our support behind Mrs. Sheenan now that she out there.

It is breaking...

First off, much thanks to Eric Alterman for sharing my letter and including a link to my missive about hitting it til it breaks. I hope folks enjoy what they are finding.

This project has actually been yielding promising results lately. One of my uncles who is notorious for his repeated forwarding of rightwing craziness and who I actually hadn't originally included on the email list heard about it and got a hold of a forward and start sending his rightwing stuff to everyone. Now, some folks had sent me articles disagreeing with some of my takes or some of my articles but this was a whole other ballgame. We are talking letters in all caps about Clinton conspiracies and bush being a "GOOD CHRISTIAN LEADER" and whatnot. As much as I needed daily updates on how ed klein's Hillary bash-piece was selling, I hit a breaking point recently and kind of snapped.

hit it til it breaks: Re: ABOUT DO NOTHING CLINTON!

And I wasn't quite sure how this would play out (it is catalogued here) but it culminated in a suprising response from my uncle: hit it til it breaks: A break in the clouds...

Anyone got some suggestions for easy to understand info on tax legislation? The journey continues...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

spongedob stickypants advocates dads taking their pants off with their gay sons

from Escaton, I stumbled across Bradford Plumer laughing at Dr. Dobson's (this excerpt of the letter is actually contained in a quote from some quack, but dobson is quoting it positively)oh so helpful advice to father's trying to straighten their gay sons out:

"[T]he boy's father has to do his part. He needs to mirror and affirm his son's maleness. He can play rough-and-tumble games with his son, in ways that are decidedly different from the games he would play with a little girl. He can help his son learn to throw and catch a ball. He can teach him to pound a square wooden peg into a square hole in a pegboard. He can even take his son with him into the shower, where the boy cannot help but notice that Dad has a penis, just like his, only bigger."

There was no lack of rough and tumble games in my household and although I still throw like a girl, my dad and I worked on innumerable workworking projects together and somehow I still ended up gay as an ace of spades. As to the last suggestion, I can only thank my father for having not tried such methods to ensure my straightness. (I am trying mighty hard to avoid the obvious Michael Jackson jokes).

So, I of course ended up going to sponge dob stickipants' web site to see if he had any more helpful tips:

Dr. Dobson's Newsletter: June 2002

I have read this man's stuff and listened to his radio shows for years, basically because I think he is a crazy person, but one to whom many in my family listen. I don't know if it is the way he twists information and misrepresents 'facts' or the psuedosympathetic love-the-sinner way he does it that pisses me off more, but he always manages to piss me off something special. There is too much here to even begin to address, but let me comment on one little snippet which makes me want to punch something:

"In 15 years, I have spoken with hundreds of homosexual men. I have never met one who said he had a loving, respectful relationship with his father."

Oh shut the fuck up.

I have a great relationship with my father and even though there were times when we fought when I was a kid, he was around more than most other fathers I have met. You want to know why coming out to your family is often such hell for people? Asshole statements like this trying to place blame on someone for something that shouldn't have blame attached to it at all. My parents were great through the whole coming out business (with a few notable bumps in the road, all of which center around sponge dob and his ilk), but on occasion my dad implies that he feels responsible for my homo condition. Which I tell him is horseshit and to quit listening to idiots and if he feels the need to try to take credit for something to do with my big ol' gayness, then he can be proud he raised a son who could grow up gay in rural AL without coming out emotionally tramatized on the other side and who has taken it all in stride instead of internalizing the popular bigotry that so many people (I looking dead at you mr. prez, dr. dobson, pat robertson, etc.) try to shove down our throat all the time. He can take credit for raising a son with backbone and self confidence, but if he cares to whine about me ending up gay or trying to think back to something he could have done to prevent it, he is going to be told to shut up.

dr. dobson's logic really just makes steam pour out of my ears. Yes, there are plenty of gay guys who had horrible relationships with their fathers and I might even be willing to be that there might might even be a higher instance of strained relationships between fathers and gay sons than between fathers and straight sons, but you would need a lot more information before you could argue that this suggests a causal relationship. A simpler and more likely explanation might be that in a society where homosexuality is actively vilified, only recently decriminalized, and is held up as being in opposition to masculinity, a homosexual son might be more likely to be withdrawn or defensive than a straight son or a father may feel more pressure to try to revamp his son's interests which could lead to further friction. If my father had even tried to force me to play baseball instead of turning over stones and catching bugs and snakes (as I spent a majority of my childhood doing), I would have been one pissed off little ballplayer with a bad attitude which dobson would tell you that I should have been punished until I submitted. Instead, he took me fishing and took me hiking and to zoos and pet stores. Perhaps the reason I don't have the requisite bad relationship with my father which dobson thinks gay sons are supposed to have is precisely that he didn't do what dobson or popular bigotry recommended: he instead supported his son's not always orthodox interests and developed an honest relationship with him. There were plenty of rocky patches and I was often a withdrawn and hostile kid, particularly to my parents, but they never gave up on me or wrote me off or tried to crush the things about me that didn't add up the macho charicature of what a boy is supposed to be like so when I came out on the other side of the chemical and emotional imbalance that is adolescence, there was still a relationship to build and common ground to be found.

james dobson vilifies exactly the wrong people and makes life harder for kids and parents everywhere. He has made an empire out of telling people what they want to hear: you are angry and your child doesn't respect you? hit 'em. you son is a pansy? you can change him and you are right to do it. In some sick way his message is empowering ("You can do it and God wants you to!"), but at the end of the day it is craven and misinformed and ends up hurting people. I thank my parents for being selective in what of his advice they took to heart (although I can't say I don't wish they would quit listening to him altogether).

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Debunking the idea that john tierney isn't a dumbass.

John Tierney has a highly informative article about the meth problem right now:

Debunking the Drug War - New York Times

What do we learn from his article?

"Drug warriors point to the dangers of home-cooked meth labs, which start fires and create toxic waste. But those labs and the burn victims are a result of the drug war itself.

"Amphetamine pills were easily available, sold over the counter until the 1950's, then routinely prescribed by doctors to patients who wanted to lose weight or stay awake. It was only after the authorities cracked down in the 1970's that many people turned to home labs, criminal gangs and more dangerous ways of ingesting the drug."

Believe me, I'm no fan of the war on drugs, but just saying crystal meth was developed to fill this void of uppers is a lame attempt at equating the effects of the one time widely available over-the-counter speed pills and crystal meth. Throughout this article you get the impression that this was written by someone who hasn't talked to law enforcement officials or doctors or nurses or child welfare workers who are dealing with this and instead decided to write out of some idea of what recreational pill-popping was like 30 years ago.

What else does he have for us?

"Like addicts desperate for a high, they've declared meth the new crack, which was once called the new heroin (that title now belongs to OxyContin). With the help of the press, they're once again frightening the public with tales of a drug so seductive it instantly turns masses of upstanding citizens into addicts who ruin their health, their lives and their families."

Here in NYC, oxycontin isn't talked about much except as a rush limbaugh punchline. I can't think of a single time I have heard someone talk about knowing someone who used it or was addicted or really had even tried it. Down in AL, it is another thing entirely. One of my best friends from high school, who has managed to complicate his life with more than a few drugs, got tangled with oxycontin a few years back. He was in the process of trying to kick his habit when he came to my house for new year's and I had never heard of the drug so I was mildly sceptical about his assertions that it was worse than heroin or anything else he had ever tried. My scepticism waned as he listed the people he knew who had died of overdoses already and when we got the phone call that one more of his close aquantances had just overdosed and died. I think this brought the tally up to six dead in about three months time. mr. tierney can be as dismissive as he wants about tales of dangerous drugs, but some ARE more dangerous than others and you have to be special kind of dumb not to realize this.

one last little tid bit:

"And why spend three decades repeating the errors of Prohibition for a drug that was never as dangerous as alcohol in the first place?"

We learn to equate meth abuse with alcohol. Aaahhhh. Of course they are just alike. All this sudden resistance to criticising meth strikes me as odd. I have to wonder if their isn't a little pressure coming from the drug companies who make the parent otc drugs used to make meth, maybe just a little nudge to keep this source of income from being fettered. I wonder if it is just that tierney is insanely gullible ("Golly geepers, I took speed in the 70's and now they arrested some indian people in Georgia and that don't seem right.") or if he has some interest in companies producing the parent drugs?

One last sneer at his loose definitions :addiction = has used substance in last month.

WTF?! Real helpful, I guess I am addicted to cutting my fingernails and taking dumps and eating french fries. I've never really read his stuff before; now I know why.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I beg to differ...

I read Steve Gilliard everyday and I like his spirited, no bullshit take on most things. But I completely disagree with him today:

I am totally with SusanG on this: annoying our family and friends is where the battle starts. You can't just sit politics on the backburner and be polite about it when your enemy isn't doing the same. I, sometime back, advocated compiling email addresses of all your family members and emailing them news and progressive shit daily. I haven't made good on my promise of compiling another blog of our exchanges, but I have continued to blitz my family with forwards. That is part of why my posting here is so sporadic, because I don't just forward shit, but comment on it and address my audience. But before I go on about this project, some direct commentary on a few of Steve's points:

"Some people approach politics like a bezerker, they want to flail about, swinging wildly and hoping to damage the opposition. Which may be emotionally satisfying, but it is wrong and usually fails."

It wouldn't be effective if this was what all of us were doing, but you know what, it's how the damn republicans won the last election. Spare-no-one, go-for-the-throat, piss-people-off politics aren't pretty, but with this administration and congress you can't dismiss its effectiveness.

"When people get sent the latest rightwing crap from relatives, they are not too happy. What gives you the right to burden anyone who sends you an e-mail with your political views because you think you're right? Huh? Are you so morally superior that you can just impose your politics on people? You have to have the same respect for people as you want from them. E-mail is still mail and it needs to be respected."

Yep, that rightwing crap annoys the hell out of me and I get loads of it, but we have to take the fight to them. We have to push and we have to push hard on all fronts. I'm not saying to just make stuff up and send loads of crap, but you can't shy away from sending stuff which will challenge your audience. I won't send anything without a source and I try to send things which are informative, but I purposely include family members who have polar opposite political views.

I've been doing this damn near daily for most of the last year and I told my family that they were welcome to be pissed off but it was harass the hell out of them and try to show them where I am coming from, or quit talking to them all together. I am still that pissed off about the election and I ain't cooling off anytime soon. And do I feel morally superior? No, but I know I am a hell of a lot better informed and am ready to step up and say why I believe what information I do and why I doubt what I do and what I believe. I come from the deep south, Mississippi and Alabama, and I am writing to people who love rush limbaugh and bill o'reilly and ann coulter and are religious in spades. We couldn't disagree more about who to trust and what to believe, but by throwing stuff out there which often pisses off quite a few of them, we are finding common ground in all the wreckage. I end up in arguments with family members I haven't spoken to in ages, but they are listening and they are hearing things that no one that lives around them is saying. And the liberal relatives are coming out of the woodwork and thanking me for pissing off the other folks and calling bully on all the shit that gets passed around.

Harassing your relatives via email is not spamming them, not even close. SusanG may have resorted to hyperbole, but she is dead on: if you aren't even willing to piss off your friends and family a little to tell them about something you believe in, we aren't going to win this fight.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

blogshares bizarro world.

So being lazy, I sometimes just type "awarenessispainful" into the google toolbar and click the link instead of typing out the whole url in the address bar. On occassion there are a interesting things that pop up, but being as this blog really doesn't get a whole hell of a lot of traffic, there usually is just the main site and occasionally this link:

BlogShares - awareness is painful

Now, I don't mind blogshares including me, in fact, I am happy anyone is noticing that I am out here at all. And every now and then I look through what blogshares has to say about my site, which usually just reminds me that I am worth less than unicornsagainstbush, which would be perfectly understandable if b had done even one single posting in the last 9 months, but one mention on Wonkette and a couple of furry sites link to him and his fake stock value stays on up there forever.

This time there was a little suprise for me: someone had actually bought some blogshares for my site! Ok, I'm all like that is cool and they apparently bought a big ole chunk (I really don't know how any of this works, so feel free to correct any of my assuptions) and that seemed great and then... I look who bought it. don surber. Who I recently disparaged in a post. Because he is kind of ridiculous. Really ridiculous.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm flattered that he felt like trading my blog in fake blogstock, but it still to this mind seems wildly weird, seeing as how I 1)don't get a whole hell of a lot of traffic; 2)have said mean things about him and his blog in the past; 3)am not less likely to say mean things about him in the future because he bought my blog stocks because blogshares means fuck-all to me other than some passing curiosity. So anyway, I feel trapped in some bizarro alternative universe right now. And even more strangely, I somehow feel closer to don surber now. Maybe that is ridiculous. But I think I'll go read his blog again and see if he is still a wanker. Tbogg hasn't been bothering with him lately, so maybe he has gotten better. I ain't holding my breath.